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EXCLUSIVE: Organisers clash over 'rebel' run for charity
ORGANISERS of Wirral’s famous Egg Run have clashed with motorbikers hoping to put on their own event.
The world-renowned charity event, which attracts thousands of bikers every year to deliver Easter eggs to sick children, was scrapped this year due to a lack of funding.
The 2013 Run was thought to have been saved when United Utilities came forward with a £20,000 sponsorship package but the total cost to hold the event safely could still not be met.
Also, the usual “landing zone” for the bikes at Clatterbridge Hospital was not available due to construction work at the site.
Following the cancellation, organisers were quick to discourage any unofficial events and insisted that it was merely a “hiatus” for the much-loved Run and that it would return next year.
But now local bikers have put together their own “ride-out” in aid of Claire House Children’s Hospice in a bid to keep momentum going.
Alf Burns, 57, who is among those organising the Merseyside Easter Ride Out, said the event is not an attempt to go against the Wirral Egg Run but instead a chance for bikers to still come together for charity.
Plans have been put in place for Claire House to set up a meeting point on New Brighton Dips to collect eggs or cash donations before the bikers set off along the usual Run route - without stopping at Clatterbridge Hospital.
Mr Burns said: “We were very disappointed and upset when the Egg Run was cancelled and we were annoyed at how it was off, then on, then off again. At the end of the day, it is about raising money for children and that is what we are hoping to do.
“We’re not trying to be vindictive at all or go against anyone’s wishes on purpose - we are all responsible bikers who obey the Highway Code. We are worried, though that if it does come back next year there will be a lot of people who won’t bother turning up at all because of all the messing about.”
However Wirral Egg Run organiser Philip Whittam said the March 17 ride-out could inadvertently damage the charity’s reputation but said they were supporting a family fun day being held on the same day.
He told the Globe: “I think this could damage future runs. I know there are people who are unhappy about this year’s cancellation but we will be back next year even bigger and we are already making plans now.
“We have advised people not to organise their own alternatives so if this goes ahead and something goes wrong, it has the potential to ruin our reputation.
“We are however backing a family event whereby people can bring along Easter eggs which will then be distributed.”
However, Claire House have said they are grateful of any donations raised during the ride-out.
A spokeswoman for the fundraising team said: “Claire House Children’s Hospice are delighted to have been invited to meet the fantastic bikers at New Brighton at the start of the Merseyside Easter Ride Out.
“Claire House rely heavily on the support of the local community to keep their doors open and are relieved that despite the official Egg Run not going ahead that we will still benefit from the generosity and kindness of the bikers who offer their support to us.”
A family fun day in aid of the Wirral Egg Run will be held at Molloy’s Garden Centre, Leasowe Road, Wallasey on March 17. It will feature a bouncy castle, DJ and stalls.
Organisers of the official Wirral Egg Run have confirmed next year's event will take place on Sunday, April 6 2014.