Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Cathedral Quest

Several days ago I received an email from Bev Anastasiou who lives on the island of Anghistri, twenty miles from Athens. In it she told me about a sponsored bike ride being undertaken by her 48 year old brother, Gary. The idea was to drum up some financial support for Gary who is cycling around England, Scotland & Wales, calling at every cathedral on the way. My wife and I know Bev because she and her husband Christos run a small hotel where we stay whenever we visit Anghistri. We have even named our house after the island.

Gary is doing the cycle ride to raise money for two quite different charities. The first is the restoration of Letton Church close to his home, and the second is Macmillan Cancer Support. Now by sheer coincidence I happen to be the Secretary of the Anglesey Macmillan Committee. Looking at Gary's itinerary, I noticed that he was due in Bangor, just over the Menai Strait on the mainland on Monday, 12th May. It occurred to me that I should meet Gary to say "Hello, my name is Keith from the Anglesey Macmillan Committee and I know your sister, Bev."

I contacted Eleri Brady, Fund Raising Manager for North Wales for Macmillan to tell her what was happening. She contacted Bangor Cathedral who knew nothing about the event. However, in the meantime, my wife rang Bev in Greece and said I was going to meet Gary. Bev told her to ring Gary's mum who told her that he was having trouble with his cycle and would not make it on Monday as planned. So the plan now is to be at Bangor Cathedral on Wednesday to greet Gary and transport him plus the bike to our home so he is fed and has somewhere to stay overnight. On Thursday I shall take him back to Bangor Cathedral to continue his ride.

If anyone would like to support Gary and make a donation then go to this website: http://www.cathedralquest.org.uk/ where all details of the sponsored cycle ride can be found. On the website full details including a blog are there so you can see how he is doing. Please make a donation to these worthwhile charities. It will make a difference if you do this.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Motor Racing in Anglesey!

Today turned out to be quite different! Yesterday a former work colleague emailed me to say he would be in Anglesey for the weekend taking part in a motor sprint at the Trac Ynys Mon. Mike Ashcroft has been interested in motorsport all his life and is a director and Clerk of the Course at Aintree Circuit Club. At Aintree they use what is left of the former Grand Prix racing track. This weekend's event attracted many keen motorsport enthusiasts, some of who had pitched tents or brought caravans to the event. You might think this is a young man's sport but I saw many men older than myself (64 years) in racing suits.
The circuit is a remarkable achievement on what was once a small military establishment. The quality of the road surface is excellent and all necessary facilities are there. At one point I saw the red flag go out to stop all racing as a car was blocking the circuit. All safety measures were taken and the whole event was very professionally run. Some of the competing cars were single seater racing cars whilst the majority were cars seen on the road everyday. There were various categories to include cars which remained as standard everyday models and cars which were clearly developed and designed as racing cars and transported on trailers to the event.
Refreshments were available at all times and the cost of admission was £6.00. I was lucky enough to have a complimentary ticket. It was fascinating to walk round the car park and see such an array of motor cars, new and old. The people there were very friendly and loved to talk about the beasts they were about to drive at great speed round this quality track.
There is a very full and busy season there and if you wish to go along and see an event it is not too difficult to locate the site. Simply travel to Rhosneigr and then continue along the road to Aberfraw, past Porth Trecastell and turn right where the signs are shown. Eventually you will find yourself travelling slowly along a humped road as far as the gate of the circuit. After paying to enter simply follow the road before you and it leads you to the car park. Silverstone it isn't,but you will see some excellent motorsport going on which is the main reason for going.
The site is certainly exposed and when I was there the south west prevailing wind was blowing in from the Irish Sea. Wrap up warm and the rest is all fun! The photos are of my friend, Mike, enjoying his sport.