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Chronicle Live
Nicole Goodwin

Queen Elizabeth II remembered with bikers' 'ride of respect' through the North East

Queen Elizabeth II was remembered in the North East at the weekend by a group of bikers who took part in a special ride across the region.

A total of 50 bikers gathered in Ouseburn on Saturday to take part in a ride of respect in Her Majesty's memory, following her death on September 8 at the age of 96. Some participants have served in the Armed Forces and wanted to pay their respects to the late Queen, who had been Commander-in-Chief of the Forces throughout her 70-year reign.

Mal Jowsey, who co-organised the ride of respect, said: "I'm an ex Navy guy and we have a number of veterans who ride regularly with us and it seemed appropriate to do a ride in remembrance for her. It seemed a fitting way for bikers to express respect for her."

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The 70-year-old, from Wallsend, added: "I don't claim to be a 'royalist' but I've always supported the monarchy and thought of the Queen as being a shining light. When you look at some of the clowns we've had in government, I feel the Queen has always represented some sense and sensibility, along with a bit of compassion and understanding.

"I think the Queen has been a good Head of State and an asset to Britain as a country."

50 bikers gathered in Ouseburn on Saturday to take part in a ride of respect in Her Majesty's memory (Michael Matthews)

Ahead of the ride of respect, the bikers sounded their horns and then held a one minute silence for Her Majesty, which Mal described as "quite moving". One biker, who served in the Falklands, travelled from Hull to take part.

Mal organised the ride of respect alongside fellow biker James Gray, who were organising a new Motorcycle Club Community (MCC) at the time. The original plan was to lead the ride of respect along the Newcastle Quayside and through the city centre via St James' Park.

However, due to the Rugby League World Cup 2021 kicking off in the city on Saturday, which led to a number of road closures, the route had to be amended.

50 bikers gathered in Ouseburn on Saturday to take part in a ride of respect in Her Majesty's memory (Michael Matthews)

Instead to group travelled from The Cycle Hub in Ouseburn, towards Gosforth, around the Western Bypass and then to Stamfordham, where they stopped off at the Swinburne Arms. The route then continued to Hexham, where it concluded at the Tynedale Farmers Function Suite.

The ride of respect was an inclusive event, welcoming motorcycles including 'L' riders, scooters, trikes and four wheelers. Many of the riders already meet each Tuesday at the Foresters Arms West Sleekburn from 5.30pm and are always looking to welcome new members.

The group regularly hosts rides to raise money for charity and also managed to raise £107.73 through voluntary donations ahead of Saturday's ride of respect. The money raised will be donated to the oncology unit at North Tyneside Hospital.

Anyone looking to join future rides can find details on Facebook by searching through the local events section on the site.

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