Cool grand for charity cycle trio

Cycling fundraisers (left to right) David Boyd, Gale Waite and Bob Waite
Cycling fundraisers (left to right) David Boyd, Gale Waite and Bob Waite

A CHIMNEY sweep and his daughter and nephew had a brush with real generosity after raking in more than £1,000 through a charity bike ride.

Bob Waite and his daughter Gayle and nephew David Boyd rode 60 miles along the River Wear to raise funds to bring an ice rink to Blackhall Community Centre this Christmas.

Bob, 60, from the village’s Arnold Avenue, had already raked in £2,500 for the cause before the gruelling feat, thanks to the generosity of kind-hearted residents and businesses.

They aimed to raise a further £550 from the ride.

So the trio were overjoyed to collect £1,035 after the event, making a total of £3,535.

Bob, Gayle, 34, and David, 23, took eight hours and 45 minutes to complete the course along the length of the Wear, from Allenheads in Northumberland to Monkwearmouth in Sunderland.

Bob, who is married to Denise, said: “The ride was hassle-free.

“We never got any punctures or anything, though we saw some people along the way who did.

“It was hard work but we had a good laugh.

“Fortunately the wind was at our backs so it pushed us home.

“A big thank you to everyone who sponsored us – without them we can’t do anything.”

Now Bob, who is grandfather to Charlie Campbell, 15, Katie Coverdale, 11, and Maisy Coverdale, four, is busy arranging for the ice rink to come to Blackhall.

It will be in the village over the weekend of December 10 and 11.

Bob, who is a member of the Peterlee and District Lions Club and also father to Tracey Coverdale, 35, said: “The ice rink will be a nice thing for Blackhall at Christmas.

“We want as many people, not just from Blackhall, to come and try it out.”

Previously, Bob has completed a parachute jump to raise money for Horden man Dick Graham’s Schools for Gambia charity, as well as “The Darwin Experience” which saw him and Gayle kayak from Hartlepool to Crimdon in 2009 and from Seaham Harbour to Hartlepool’s Heugh Breakwater and back last year to raise money for Peterlee Lions and the RNLI.