Video and photo gallery: Sheringham welcomes 300 Harley Davidsons

More than 300 Harley Davidsons arrive at Sheringham at the end of a major rally to raise money for t

More than 300 Harley Davidsons arrive at Sheringham at the end of a major rally to raise money for the RNLI. Roger Neal, assistant director of the Fenlanders Harley Owners Group.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The forecast thunder arrived early in Sheringham this afternoon as 300 Harley Davidson motorcycles roared into town.

Thousands lined the streets to watch and wave as the two-mile convoy of cool cruisers made their noisy arrival in High Street which was closed off for the rally.

The bike engines' throaty purr added a bass line to the town crier's welcoming bell and the standard uniform of the Harley rider - badge-packed black leather - was in sharp contrast to the smart suit, tie and chain of office worn by Sheringham Mayor Doug Smith who walked among the arriving bikes greeting the riders.

It was the second visit to the town by the Fenlanders' Chapter of the Harley Owners' Group which has been holding its annual rally in the district for a number of years, camping on Fakenham Racecourse.

Road captain Neil Sturman, who lives in Great Ryburgh, near Fakenham, said as well as riders from Norfolk and Suffolk, the event had attracted enthusiasts from as far afield as Holland and Scotland.

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The rally, which began on Thursday, saw the bikers ride out to Hunstanton and then, this morning, from Fakenham Market Place to Barsham, Houghton St Giles, Little Walsingham, Wells and then, via Blakeney and Cley, to Sheringham.

They spent two-and-a-half hours in the town when the public was able to admire the expensive cult machines and a competition was held to choose the best.

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'There was an awesome atmosphere - quite spectacular. It brought the place to a standstill,' said Mr Sturman, adding that people had also lined the route in all the other communities along the way.

'Everything has been absolutely spot-on. It takes months of planning. We have to make sure marshalls are in the right place and emergency vehicles can get through.'

Mr Smith said Sheringham was delighted to see the bikers back this year. 'They bring in thousands of people who are very interested in novel motorcycles and they spend money in the town.

'These machines cost somewhere between £40,000 and £100,000 - that's serious money - and I expect among the Hell's Angels there's a few who turn back into company directors on Monday!' he said.

The rally was due to end tonight after a final party on the racecourse, featuring four bands.

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