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Internet abuse and dwindling funds signal the end for Wirral's famous Egg Run
INTERNET abuse and dwindling funds have led organisers of Wirral's famous motorbike Egg Run to resign and wind-up their involvement in the annual charity event.
A statement from the group said: "Sadly, a catalogue of events has made our position untenable and the Wirral Egg Run Charity is to close with effect from Monday."
The committee said the Run - which was launched 30 years ago and at its peak attracted 12,000 bikers - had seen a marked reduction in donations over the last few years.
The point was reached where monies raised were only covering running costs and not enough to fulfil the charity's stated obligation to support children in Wirral.
The scale of the event required extensive road management was put in place on the day, and the costs of providing this ranged from £15,000 to £20,000.
Trouble began for the Run earlier this year when a decision was made to cancel it, primarily due to a lack of support and sponsorship.
A spokesman for the organisers said: "Members of the committee and the trustees suffered unacceptable levels of vilification and abuse on social media sites due to the cancellation of the 2013 Egg Run.
"It was disappointing that a number of individuals chose to spend their time attacking those who organised the event instead of offering much-needed support.
"Sadly, this resulted in the resignation of several committee members and trustees and the Wirral Egg Run Charity is to close with effect from Monday, September 9."
The spokesman disclosed that funds anticipated from sponsors to save the 2013 Run had not materialised, adding: "In real terms, given the number of riders taking part in the event, the charity should have been self-funding – but it was not."
The 2013 Run was "also hit hard" by the decision of Wirral University Teaching Hospital to remove the traditional landing zone at Clatterbridge.
"Unfortunately the committee and trustees only discovered this in January, leaving insufficient time to find another suitable location," said the spokesman.
Suggested alternatives were either not acceptable or permissible.
The committee thanked Wirral Council, Merseyside Police and Wirral Hospital Trust for their support over the years: "We would also like to thank all the businesses who have backed us and of course our loyal supporters."
Whether another group can be found to take over management of the Run is unknown at this point.
The event began as "The Wirral Easter Egg Run" in April 1981.
It was a ride-out by Empress Motorcycle Club from New Brighton to Heswall’s Children Hospital.
About 20 bikes took part with every rider and pillion taking an Easter egg to give to the children who were staying in hospital over the Easter period.
As the years passed and the Run became increasingly popular, it was decided to use it as a charity fund-raising event with donations collected from participants, as well as from spectators along the route.
In total arond £75,000 has been collected and divided between Arrowe Park and Clatterbridge Hospitals.
The cancellation of this year's event led to a "rebel" Run being staged in March, unofficial figures estimated around 2,000 bikers took part.
However, in a statement released before the rebel Run took place, the official event's organisers said: "We must make it clear 'Egg Run' is a registered charity and the name and the concept/event belong solely to the charity. We would ask all of our many and valued supporters to refrain from organising their own version."
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