See Suggs off into the sunset!
Jon Southgate and friends travelled between Southwold and South Stack for us in one day earlier in the year, on their motorbikes! Read all about it below….
Jon said “I have been in Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service for nearly 33 years and with retirement due in September this year, I wanted to do something a bit different as part of my exit strategy from a job that I've absolutely loved!
Motorcycling is a big passion of mine so started thinking about an East to West ride with the aim of reaching somewhere in the West at sunset to see the sun set on my career and from there, I started to look at the maps & already considering a start around Southwold, I looked across the country and found a place called South Stack in North West Wales which coincidentally also had a lighthouse! (No, I'm not a lighthouse spotter!!) It all started to make sense, my nickname in the Fire & Rescue Service is Suggs and my surname is Southgate so I came up with the succinctly titled… ‘See Suggs off into the sunset from Southwold to South Stack!’.
I then put the idea out to mates in and out of work & gathered 15 interested riders which unfortunately reduced to 7 by the time the ride came but, a 'magnificent 7' we were. After one planning meeting then many hours poring over maps to plan the route which had to include a fuel stop every 80 miles to accommodate my bike's tank range, we duly met for a hearty breakfast at Southwold harbour on 29th September (1 week after I retired) then on to the lighthouse for a quick photo then it was head off to the sunset at 09:00.
We lost one rider at Kings Lynn with a bike fault and an hour or so of time when we also got split up at a fuel stop so then we were 6. A trouble free, dry ride across the country through the Peak District via that long place name in Wales (see picture below) and on to our destination followed and despite our best efforts, we missed the sunset by around 30 minutes but as you can see from the final photo! It was still a red sky but the most important thing was the ride, camaraderie and raising some money for CCiS.
At my retirement evening, rather than pay for food, I announced that I would donate the equivalent cash to CCiS and said others were welcome to donate into the collection fund then each of us who did the ride, donated for the privilege.
I'm thrilled to say we raised a total of £312 to help support the great work that CCiS do. I just wanted to play my part and help them to help others to get this invaluable support!
Thanks to Boomer, Chris, Jim, Neil, Phil and Brian (the riders) Sarah for the support and photos when seeing us off and everyone else who donated!”