Star Bikers Annual Toy & Egg Runs. The format of the runs is
a simple one. It is a parade of motorbikes, scooters etc. around
the streets of Stoke-on-Trent followed by a party at the end. There
are some conflicting stories, not only of how and when the first
run took place but who started it and why.
The details are lost
in the mists of time, but having spoken to several people who were
involved in the very first Toy Run, and looked at photographic evidence,
it would seem that most agree that the first run was organised as
a collaboration between a group called the Harley Riders and one
called the Star Bikers. Both groups were based at the Star Inn,
Marsh Street, Hanley. The run took place on 17th December 1977 and
went to Penkhull Homes, to hand over toys that had been collected
to the children at the home. As far as we are aware this was the
very first run of it's kind to be held in the UK. It is thought
that about 200 bikes took part in the event and after the run a
number of the bikers returned to the Star Inn for an after run party.
This was followed in the Easter by the first Egg Run.
After those relatively humble beginnings these events have grown
to become much loved and respected events on the calendar for Stoke-on-Trent
regularly attracting thousands of bikes, and also an event on the
national biking events calendar. It has also led to toy and egg
run events being set up in a number of towns and cities across the
country. Even in our own city, it was an ex-Star Biker who set up
the annual Pet Food Run using our tried and tested format.
In recent years our runs have all started from the Bet365 stadium
(Stoke City) and finished at Kings Hall Stoke. There have been many
changes over the years. There have been different starting points
such as Hanley Forest Park, Broadway Traffic Lights in Meir, the
Michelin factory in Stoke, Staffordshire Table Ware in Meir Park,
Rists at Crossheath in Newcastle and Chatterley Whitfield Mining
Museum to name a few. Some of the different finish points we have
used include The Adulte Night Club and Queens Theatre in Burslem,
the legendary Jollies Night Club in Longton, Ritz's Night Club Newcastle,
the amazing Trentham Gardens Ballroom and of course Kings Hall.
Other changes over the years have been to the organising team behind
these events. We have gone from the original Harley Riders &
Star Bikers to just the Star Bikers, through a number of collaborations
with other local bike clubs. They included the Stoke branch of the
Blue Knights (an international police bikers club) and a club called
the Puppy Stranglers or PS (and before you ask NO they didn't),
and then finally back to the Star Bikers.
The current organising
committee is made up of a small but committed number who are, me-
Ant Middleton (Chairman) who joined the Star Bikers in 1980, Nick
James who joined the Star Bikers in 1978 and more recent members
Lisa Abbotts, Noel "Bloke" Blokes and John Cooper. We
also have a couple of non-committee members who we can rely on when
needed ie Rob Dolman, Mike Duffy and Keith Edwards. We are all committed
to keeping these events going and to maintaining the original aims
set out by the Star Bikers, which haven't changed since the first
run. They were and still are to collect toys or Easter eggs for
under- privileged children in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme,
to give any cash raised (after costs) to local children's or bike
related charities and finally to promote motorcycle awareness and
safety. Something else that has not changed over the years is the
fantastic support we get to help us achieve our aims- from Stoke-on-Trent
City Council, Staffordshire Police, local bike shops,the local biking
community and the general public. Without all the previously mentioned
groups the runs could not take place.
All those who have
been involved and those still involved in these events have helped
so many people over the years. Kids who but for the toy and egg
runs would not have any toys for Christmas or Easter eggs at Easter.
Children in special needs schools that need equipment, children
in care homes who need a holiday, individual children who need medical
help. The Star Bikers Toy and Egg Runs have helped in all of the
above and more, all thanks to the generosity of everyone who gives
time and donations to these events.
If you can help in any way no matter how small it may seem, contact.
It would also be good to hear
from anyone who has memories or photographs from any of the past
runs, or has even been on the receiving end. Let us know what the
Star Biker Charity did for you.
(Chairman, Star Bikers Charity)