A father and son completed a 2,800-mile motorbike ride round the UK coast last weekend (9 July) to help working horses and donkeys around the world.

Alan Joseph, 69 set off with his son Philip, 50 who lives in Stowmarket on 25 June to raise funds for the charity Brooke.

The pair braved the wind and rain of the British summer on the Steel Butts tour, following the coast around Britain.

Setting off from Stowmarket, they travelled north along the east coast to John O’Groats, headed across the Scottish highlands and followed the west coast through Wales and Devon to Land’s End.

“The mountain roads in the Highlands took their toll with very strong winds, driving rain and even hail,” Alan said.

The Josephs were on the fundraising trip with ten other bikers from group Alien Riders.

The rest of the group was raising money for Macmillan, British Legion and St Elizabeth Hospice in Suffolk.

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From Land’s End the riders went along the south coast, then headed back to East Anglia.

I came back physically and mentally shattered, but what a trip it has been,” Alan added.

The group camped most nights, carrying their luggage, including tents, on the bikes.

We lost one rider from hypothermia who’s now safe and well, and two others to mechanical failures,” said Alan, who retired from motorcycling two years ago.

He had given all his bikes to Phillip, but reclaimed one for the ride.


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Alan has raised over £500 for the Brooke so far.

He wanted to support the charity after seeing the plight of working horse and donkeys when living in India and Pakistan.

“I’ve seen that these people don’t mean to treat the animals badly, it’s just a lack of education, and the Brooke is training communities all the time to improve the animals’ lives. I want to help them,” he said.

The next Brooke fundraising challenge is the Royal Parks half marathon in October. The deadline for signing up is 19 August. For more information, visit the charity’s website.