HOW IT ALL STARTED

The Stoke-on-Trent 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.

Current Run Route

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.

chiefmarshal@btinternet.com

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.

Antony Middleton
(Chairman, Star Bikers Charity)

 

 
   
         
       
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