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Wootton Bassett Afghan Heroes ride is stunning success

Published: 15 March 2010

More than 15,000 motorcyclists turned out yesterday to show their support for the people of Wootton Bassett and honour those troops killed in Afghanistan.

The 10,000 riders and 5000 pillions raised over £150,000 for the Afghan Heroes charity in the process.

Wootton Bassett Mayor Steve Bucknell said: "The vast majority of the people of the town fully support what the bikers are doing today.

"Too many times the town has had to stand still in silence but today is all about noise and movement."

Laurence Phillips, from Afghan Heroes, said: "It's quite a staggering spectacle and an unbelievable show of support for the troops in Afghanistan and a mark of respect for the town of Wootton Bassett.

"I would imagine it is the biggest bike ride of its kind."

The bikers set off from Hullavington Airfield, Wilts, in waves of 500 along the A429, B4042, Callow Hill to White Hill Lane and the A3102 to Wootton Bassett.

The police, Ministry of Defence and local authorities joined forces to marshall the riders through the town and there were no reports of any problems.

MCN will be bringing two pages of your pictures and stories from the event in the paper on Wednesday March 17.

And the Mirror says we’re “annoying gas-guzzlers”!

Mirror newspaper columnist Chris Hughes has caused fury with an online column calling the charity ride-out through Wootton Bassett ‘annoying’.

In the online piece, Hughes states: “Now we've seen it all - hundreds of bikers showing their "solidarity with frontline troops," by trundling their petrol guzzling and fume spewing steeds through Wootton Bassett.”

He goes on to say: “But I wonder if someone - just for a change - could set a trend by doing something they hate doing to raise money for good causes. And something that isn't so public and... well.... so annoying?”

Read the full column here