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When is the next Toy / Egg run going to be held?
Do I need to book in advance?
What if the weather is bad?
What happens when I reach the start?
What happens when I reach the end?
What sort of bike can take part?
I don’t have a bike, but wish to support the event. How can I do this?
What is inside the hall?
Is it true that I can ignore red lights and stop signs?
Where does all the money go?
Is the event safe?
Do you organize the pet food run?
I wish to make a donation to the event. How do I do it?
Are you the oldest run?
Are you the biggest run?
Why do you keep changing the start point?
Why do you use the current route?, why not include………?
Do we need to gift-wrap the presents or eggs we donate?
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You can find details of when our next run is 1st via this web site. You may be interested to know when future events take place, as a guide the Toy run is usually always held on the 2nd Sunday before Christmas day falls & the Egg run is usually held 2 weekends before Easter Sunday falls. This is to ensure that all gifts are distributed in time.
Sometimes events may be held on different days, this is to prevent a possible clash with other local events taking place in the city or major events taking place which may affect the turn out, it is usually rare for this to happen, so always work on the 2 weeks previous principle. Our start time is always scheduled for 11am.
Sometimes other run organisers from neighbouring regions may contact us to ask if we can change the date of our event as our event clashes with their event. We will not under the circumstances change the date of our event if another city is holding their Egg/Toy run event on the same date as our event – besides, we were here 1st & we’ve been doing these events a lot longer than they have .
No advance booking is needed. Just turn up on the day at the right time and place.
Bring your waterproofs and wrap up warm. The run will go ahead regardless of the amount of wet stuff falling from the sky or fog. In the event of the weather causing dangerous road conditions (i.e. snow or ice), a decision will be made between the police and marshals for the run to be escorted via a safe route to Kings Hall.
Also if there is any unforeseen problem with the route on the day of the run due to dangerous road conditions or the possible risk of potential accidents occurring, the parade may have to be switched to a safer alternative route at the last moment or be escorted back to the finish point for reasons of safety, again a decision will be made between the police and the marshals for the run to be escorted via the safest route. If this does happen we will try to keep people informed to the best of our ability via the local radio stations but we cannot guarantee this.
When you reach the start point, marshals will collect your eggs or toys (depending on the run) and your entrance fee of £2. You will be directed by marshals to a suitable parking area. If you have time you can then have a coffee and look at the other bikes, Marshals will then signal the start of the run & will lead the way.
All the event will cost you is £2. for a fee like that you get a chance to ride & take part in one of the UK’s biggest motorcycling events & you also get access to the other features of the day, where there are loads of other things for you on offer. Where else can you get all that for a couple of quid?
The run will finish at Kings Hall. Park your bike and go into the hall. There is no charge to come into the hall for those that have paid to go on the run. If you have not been on the run we ask you to make a donation of £1 per person.
If you have not already handed in your gifts of eggs or toys at the start of the run, or perhaps you have collected some gifts from passers by, people at the roadside or from well-wishers to drop off donations on their behalf, marshals & social services staff will be waiting to collect them.
Any. As long as it is road legal, has an engine, handlebars and two wheels (three in the case of trikes and combos) it is eligible to take part. We welcome anything from a moped to a Goldwing, a scooter to a hard tail chop, a trail bike to a sports bike. Road legal quad bikes or 4 wheeled bikes are now also welcome, provided they have handlebars fitted & not a steering wheel.
Sadly this does not include motorised wheel chairs, 3 wheel derived cars or cars such the Aixam Quadricycle, Microcar, Smart Citycar or similar vehicles which may be eligible to be driven on a full motorcycle license.
If you wish you can also dress in costume and / or decorate your bike – please ensure it is safe & won’t cause injury also that you are still wearing proper riding attire.
If you wish you can become a volunteer, we are always on the lookout for more marshals & extra assistance on running the events click here to find out more
You are always welcome to still turn up at the end of the parade and take part in the events going on in Kings Hall. If you cannot get to Kings Hall you could cheer the parade on at the roadside or better still make a donation. Click here for details of how to make a donation.
We also occasionally hold party nights… keep visiting this site to find out where they are held & on what date & what goes on. Our party nights usually comprise of a night out in a local venue where there will be a band performing. We sometimes may also throw in an extra event long the way.
If you haven’t been inside for a while, you could be surprised. The bands have been bought back to run days after being put on the back-burner for a while on run days. The reason the bands were stopped for few years is for several reasons… firstly the bands started to demand high fees which in turn meant bands became more expensive to hire as time went on & toy & egg run events started to make a loss as we went over our allocated entertainment budget, so we had to say enough was enough. A quieter disco was far cheaper to hire for run days & also holding a pre run party night meant we could still have the bands & hold an extra event & not overspend the budget. Secondly the bands got a bit stale & louder every year… people were generally getting a bit fed up of them & also a lot of people didn’t want to to come in the hall to get deafened by the racket.
We brought back a band as a one off for the 25th Egg run to celebrate the 50th Stoke on Trent charity run, due to the success of it & after an online poll we have decided to keep the tradition going for the time being as it is what people seemed to want. Also we are in negotiations with many bands who are now more willing to do the events for us & give up their time for free or are simply only given money back to recoup any of their out of pocket expenses they may incur. All Bands now are under strict rules to keep the noise level lower & not to stand there shouting & swearing. A disco still plays along side the run day band with a wider mixture of music on offer (although there aren’t many requests for Vivaldi).
You can also wander round the stalls, where a wide variety of merchandise is available for sale such as clothing or badges, new tyres for your bike sometimes go on sale as well as photographs or you may even find models & paintings. You can relax with a cuppa as you chat with old friends – yes we have a tea-bar back after years of asking! There is also hot food available* and for those not riding there is a licensed bar.
All bikes on the car park that have taken part in the run are automatically entered for a free competition, where there are prizes for Best Bike overall, Best Classic / British Bike, Best Scooter and a “Grot” Bike award for those who don’t really appreciate the engineering excellence of the bike they ride. All awards are presented on stage by the Lord Mayor of Stoke on Trent, along with a free prize draw raffle held later in the day.
*Catering facilities are undertaken by Stoke on Trent City Council. Please note the Star bikers charity & it’s committee are not responsible for or have no control over the catering facilities provided at either the Kings Hall or Britannia stadium.
In the interests of safety it is important to keep the run in one continuous group. To achieve this, major junctions are controlled by police and marshals. Other traffic is stopped in order to let the run through. So yes you can go through red lights but only if marshals allow. THIS DOES NOT APPLY ON THE WAY TO OR FROM THE EVENT OR IF YOU GET SEPARATED FROM THE MAIN PARADE.
Please note, if you set off any speed camera’s on the route that you will still be fully liable for any fines or endorsements.
Income is derived from a variety of sources such as raffles, admission fees, merchandising profits, fund raising parties and donations. This can often amount to a substantial quantity of money. However, the event costs a lot of money to put on. Costs include hire of Kings Hall, entertainment hire, printing costs, postage, paying to have the roads closed off etc. All people involved with the organization of this event are volunteers and do NOT receive any payment. When all the bills have been paid the money left over is handed over to the charity fund which is then in turn assigned to needy causes & under privileged children. The causes we donate out to are always usually local children’s charities and appeals. Where possible we try to present a cheque on stage at the next event so that you can see where your money has gone. Alternatively we try to get local press coverage.
Yes. As long as everyone follows the instructions of the police and marshals and behaves in a responsible way there is no reason for any danger.
The actual parade is fairly slow moving as don’t forget on the day we will have some smaller motorcycles & mopeds which will be attending with only a top speed of around 30mph.
By taking part in any Star Bikers run, participants agree to abide by the following terms and conditions.
- All vehicles must display a valid tax disc for that vehicle.
- All vehicles must be in a roadworthy condition and (if over three years old) have a valid MOT certificate.
- All participants must be insured against third party damage.
- All participants must hold a valid driving licence.
- An approved helmet must be worn when required to do so by law.
- Riders must not perform wheelies.
- Riders must follow instructions given by the Police and Marshals.
- Riders must ride in a legal and safe manner.
These rules are not here to spoil your fun, they are just common sense and are here to ensure people’s safety and ensure the run can continue for the future.
Please remember this is not a type of road race, it is a CHARITY PARADE.
No. The Pet food run (or The Potteries Pet Food Cavalcade as it is more correctly known) is not organized by (& has never been organized by) the Star Bikers club or it’s charity committee.
The event is organized by a former Star Bikers member, Sid Rogers.
There are several ways of donating money to the event.
- You can hand it to any of the marshals at the start or end of the run.
- You can hand it in to the door staff or to staff on the merchandise stall at the Kings hall on run day – there will also be a collection bucket on stage.
- You can donate by Paypal at any time – see the “Support the charity” section located on this page
- You can also send your donations by post to:
Toy/Egg Run appeal
S-o-T, Star Bikers Charity
279 Princes Road
Stoke on Trent
- Please make cheques payable to ‘Star Bikers Charity Account’
- Unfortunately we are unable to accept direct donations by credit card at this time, other than using the Pay Pal system.
If you wish to donate toys (for the Toy Run) or Easter eggs (for the Egg Run) or even other gifts such as donating prizes for raffles please bring them to the Kings Hall on run day. If you still have gifts to donate after the runs or cannot get them to the Hall, let us know & we will try to organize a local collection point or if needs be we will send a team along ourselves to collect them from you. Call us to let us know on (01782) 414831.
Stores, Bars, Works groups & factories are also quite welcome to arrange their own collections. Simply let us know where you are holding your collection & your firm will be acknowledged in future newsletters, on the web site or in our press releases.
We are certainly the oldest Toy & Egg runs & Stoke on Trent was the 1st city in the UK to ever hold them. The first of our runs was in 1978. It was in fact the very first Toy Run in the UK. It was followed in 1979 by the first UK based Egg Run.
We certainly hold the record for being the 1st UK Toy & Egg run – so we can only assume that we are the oldest parade based charity motorcycle event of this type where a parade is the basis of the event with roadside collections also in mind. For this reason we say we are “probably the UK’s oldest Charity Motorcycle run” as to be perfectly honest we can’t prove otherwise at this time.
Other bike clubs & charities have since followed our example & started up their own toy & egg run in their home city emulating the same format that our runs started.
You can find out more about how the Toy & Egg runs started in the UK by clicking here
The only UK based charity motorcycle event or “run” that we know of that is older is the Jumbo Run – the Jumbo run works on a somewhat different format to our runs. It’s aim is to provide an annual outing to a suitable venue for children with disabilities & special needs.
Click here for details of the Jumbo Run.
We could be… At present we don’t honestly know. Some runs claim to have more people on than ours, but these seem to be based on inflated ideas of numbers of participants & unverified counts. We regularly get several thousand bikes on the run & we estimate around 4000 or so more people can turn up at roadside to watch. We have visited many other runs and they simply aren’t as big. Although we actually know of only 1 annual seaside based run which it seems, is holding the claim they are bigger – but we believe many other Egg & Toy run events are still not as nationally popular or have raised as much for charity over the years as the Stoke on Trent events. Also consider the fact that our events are held twice annually – many other bike clubs hold toy runs or egg runs but not very many seem to organise both in a year & the overall turnout for both events is usually bigger than all other runs we have seen.
Many Toy & Egg runs in other areas in recent years have been stopped due to red-tape & various political reasons, although numerous supporters are still holding “unofficial” events in many of those areas affected. We ourselves are coming under increasing pressure making the running of these events more difficult& more expensive & a general lack of support from the local authority under political grounds.
I think we can still safely say we can hold the claim to be the biggest “official” Toy run & Egg run currently operating in the UK but perhaps not the biggest Egg run overall – but we estimate to be a close 2nd.
Number of Bikes attending Stoke on Trent runs in the last few years
(Official count – rounded off to nearest 100)
|Egg Run 25 (2003) – Bikes counted 2400||Toy Run 26 (2003) – Bikes counted 1200|
|Egg Run 26 (2004) – Bikes counted 1800||Toy Run 27 (2004) – Bikes counted 1350|
|Egg Run 27 (2005) – Bikes counted 2200||Toy Run 28 (2005) – Bikes counted 2100|
|Egg Run 28 (2006) – Bikes counted 2000||Toy Run 29 (2006) – Bikes counted – Void count|
The start point needs to have parking for many thousands of bikes, it needs to be easy to find for people from outside the city and most importantly of all we need exclusive access to it on a Sunday morning. These days there is a decreasing number of suitable venues. Supermarkets are all open on Sundays and less and less local companies have large car parks that they are not using. Michelin provided a start point for a few years but were forced to build on the site in 1998. Staffordshire Tableware came to our aid and we used their car park up until 2000, when the company went into liquidation.
We now start from the Britannia Stadium known to football fans as the home of Stoke City FC & have done so now for a few years.
This is a question we get asked quite often before or after a run. The simple reason is that we are only allowed to enter certain area’s & we have to basically join these areas up using the roads in between. We are not allowed to use areas such as the main parts of the City Centre of Stoke on Trent (Hanley) for example & a few other areas for various reasons such as Sunday markets or local carnivals as well as noise restrictions or traffic limitation in certain areas.
We also ourselves do not wish to cross major roads such as the A34 or A500 purely for safety reasons. We do not like to have roads blocked up for long periods of time because of access being reduced for the emergency services vehicles who may also need take to the roads we use. The other factor is of course to travel into other parts of the county the Police & the local Council in those borough’s have to agree.
We also take into consideration there are plenty of places where riders can stop for a breather… bikes get hot & could overheat so we make sure there are plenty of lay-by’s, side roads & even Petrol stations to hand for riders to stop for a quick break & a stretch if they wish or where to top up their tanks. We also have to have alternative escape routes in place in case of major emergency road works being started on the morning of the run & the route needing to take a detour due to dangerous road conditions.
More recently we have (due to legislation) had to apply for road closure orders on the day of the event, to change the route would mean a significant number of other factors would have to be taken into account.
In a word, no. If you have already wrapped your present & forgotten that you don’t have to, don’t worry – simply write out a tag or label & put it on the gift & state what it is wrapped inside, simply so that people can find out what the gift is.
There are several reasons for not needing to wrap presents. The main reason is that the gifts are distributed by social services to children of all age groups so it is better to see what you have given so that teenagers don’t get any presents intended for toddlers or vice versa by mistake.
Also in the current age of heightened terrorism threats & awareness on safety, it is probably in the better interests of security that presents are left unwrapped so that we are sure we get no suspicious or dangerous packages that would otherwise go unnoticed.
For practical reasons things such as cuddly toys or odd shaped boxed items may be difficult to wrap. However as a lot of gifts are donated at the roadside to passing riders it may be a good idea to weatherproof gifts such as soft toys or cardboard boxed packages with plastic carrier bags or a layer of cling film to protect them from the chances of any wet weather causing damage on their journey on the back of a motorcycle.
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