It’s the only rickshaw of its kind in the UK and after years of ferrying passengers in China it found a new role helping to raise thousands of pounds for Children with Cancer but it has been a bumpy and slightly challenging ride so far.
It made its first outing on the 1st September 2017, a 110 mile fund raising journey from Upminster to Thetford in Suffolk. It ended up in ditch following a sudden manoeuvre, was stopped by police in Cambridgeshire who wanted to take a picture and had the chain snap a few times. However, it eventually arrived safe and sound, complete with it's 10 man crew, to raise £6,500 for good causes.
The “Rickshaw Challenge” was set up by Peter Banks, chairman of the Square at Upminster masonic centre, who purchased the machine with the support of other local Masons and shipped it to the UK at a cost of £2,500.
“Freemasons like to raise money for charities and we are always looking for something new and innovative,” said Peter. “I saw the rickshaw on a business trip to China and thought it would be an eye catching and different way to support charities. However, when it arrived we realised that it was originally made for smaller riders so we quickly adapted it by moving the seat and making a few adjustments. The members at Upminster loved the idea of a fund raiser so we decided to set off on a 110 mile sponsored ride which took us a couple days to complete and while it was not without incident, the end result has been worth it.”
Riders Mick Hughes, Paddy Jones, Terry Gilliland, Simon Porter and Rob Hooper took five mile shifts on the rickshaw supported by the rest of the team that followed on in transit vans, sponsored by local dealer Glyn Hopkins and driven by Albert Summers, Peter Banks, Bill Caten, Kevin Davies and Graham Elvidge.
Now that the rickshaw has had its first outing the question is, where will it go next? That still has to be decided but if you see a strange looking bicycle coming your way complete with all the oriental trappings you will know it is set to raise cash for yet another good cause!