Hero’s welcome after epic ride around Britain for RNLI

Matt Hawkes is cheered into Wells after competing his epic ride around Britain for the RNLI

Matt Hawkes is cheered into Wells after competing his epic ride around Britain for the RNLI - Credit: Archant

Warm applause and fish and chips welcomed a Fakenham motorcyclist home from an epic 4.500-mile adventure around the British coastline which raised money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Matt Hawkes is cheered into Wells after competing his epic ride around Britain for the RNLI

Matt Hawkes is cheered into Wells after competing his epic ride around Britain for the RNLI - Credit: Archant

Matt Hawkes, 43, roared into Wells on Tuesday afternoon on his Triumph Rocket III Touring, where he completed his journey, which saw him visit 170 lifeboat stations.

Matt Hawkes, left, with Wells lifeboat operations manager Chris Hardy.

Matt Hawkes, left, with Wells lifeboat operations manager Chris Hardy. - Credit: Archant

He was cheered in by members of the Wells RNLI lifeboat crew, the Wells Lifeboat Guild and family and friends and celebrated with a portion of fish and chips from French's Fish and Chips on Wells Quayside.

Mr Hawkes, a bus driver for First in Norwich said: 'It was the perfect way to celebrate finishing with family and friends.

'The ride went very smoothly with no problems at all, which is a testament to the quality of Triumphs.'


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Mr Hawkes' motorcycle was painted in orange and blue to reflect the colours of the RNLI and spent more than a month on the road.

He estimates that he has raised between £4,000 and £5,000 but will continue fund-raising by giving a series of talks about his adventures.

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The money will go the RNLI's national funds and Mr Hawkes said he would ask for it to be used to support an education programme run by the charity.

Mr Hawkes said: 'The programme is all about giving people information to make sure they don't get into trouble at sea in the first place, which is a really important aspect of what the RNLI does.'

Mr Hawkes is still accepting donations.

People can donate by going to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CircaNautica or by texting CIRCA to 70700.

Meanwhile, the Wells RNLI is in the midst of an 18-month public appeal to raise funds towards a new lifeboat. The Shannon is the RNLI's latest class of lifeboat and will replace the current Mersey which, after 24 years, is approaching the end of her operational life expectancy.

The station is aiming to raise £250,000 towards the £2m cost of the Shannon.

The appeal was launched on June 1 and the latest accounts show more than £10,000 has been raised so far.

To find out more and to support the appeal, visit www.rnli.org/howtosupportus/donatenow/appeals/Pages/wells-appeal-donate.aspx

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