The arrival of a brand-new BMW R 1250 RT motor bike was a joy to behold. This had been made possible after Terry Derbyshire, Charity Steward of Carnarvon Lodge No 2376, completed the coordination of a mammoth fundraiser, involving many lodges around the Leyland and Chorley Group
The new arrival was finally delivered in June 2021 following fundraising efforts that amassed £20,000 over the course of an 18-month period. Terry, a keen biker himself, takes up the story.
'As an avid motorcyclist who clocks up a high annual mileage, involving days out and European tours, I feel safety in riding is paramount. I decided to train with SLAM (South Lancs. Advanced Motorists) to become an advanced motorcyclist, thus incorporating high standards of safety on the road.
'Through SLAM I became aware that many of the members are ‘blood bikers’. A requirement of riding a liveried blood bike is that you must have passed the advanced motorcycling test, which prompted the idea of raising funds to purchase a blood bike.
'As Charity Steward of Carnarvon Lodge, I was already looking at various charities and as a biker I saw first-hand how the NHS worked together with volunteers in the event of an accident, including the air ambulance and the blood bikes, who do a magnificent job of work ferrying not just blood, but human tissue, breast milk and other medical requirements when necessary.
'The goal was to raise money to buy a blood bike by involving all of the Leyland lodges in fundraising and using this to promote the charitable side of Freemasonry. Following the upheaval and turmoil of leaving Wellington Park, the former Leyland Masonic Hall, I saw this as a means of promoting cooperation and consolidation between the Leyland lodges whilst at the same time promoting the charitable work of Freemasonry to the general public.
Numerous fund raising efforts have taken place involving several Lodges as well as individuals. I would particularly like to thank Carl Daggers and Adam Dennett, members of Carnarvon Lodge who took part in the Manchester 10K run and raised almost £1,000. At the last Penwortham Gala a blood bike, ridden by Colette Falloon, (who joined Blood Bikes herself in memory of her brother, himself a blood biker), was displayed and a bucket collection was made.
'All of the Leyland lodges have donated as well as a number of other lodges. The West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity also made a contribution, along with some personal donations by individual Freemasons and friends.
Operation Blood Bike started in September 2018 with posters and flyers in Wellington Park. It is an incredible feat on the part of the Freemasons who have contributed, that the aim to buy a ‘Blood Bike’ has been achieved in so short a space of time.'
Following delivery of the bike, Terry met with John Garnett, Acting Chairman and Fleet Manager of North West Blood Bikes, Lancashire and Lakes, at their HQ in Bamber Bridge to look over the latest addition to the fleet and to discuss where the Masonic decals will be placed on the bike’s livery. They also discussed the planned formal presentation of the bike which is scheduled to take place in the next few weeks, hopefully with TV and radio coverage and the attendance of Tony Harrison, the Provincial Grand Master.
The plan is for Terry and Adam Dennett to ride escort for Colette who will ride the new bike into the presentation.