Image Caption: More than 30 classic car and motorbike enthusiasts completed a 650-mile journey for this year’s ride
They revved, they rode, and they rocked the south coast last weekend: yes, this year’s First Night Riders charity motorbike and classic car adventure raising money for The Theatrical Guild (TTG) was an incredible success.
More than 30 classic car and motorbike enthusiasts completed a 650-mile journey for this year’s ride, which was organised by First Night Ride founders Brenda and David Edelstein of Triple E Ltd. The 2014 route took the riders from the ROH and Backstage Centre in Purfleet to Norfolk, and around the coast, via Margate, to Eastbourne, before travelling by ferry to the Isle of Wight. Back on the mainland, the team journeyed into Hampshire.
Theatre visits included the Pavilion Theatre Cromer, Great Yarmouth’s Hippodrome Circus, Margate Theatre Royal, Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park Theatre, a photo call at the Shanklin Theatre on the Isle of Wight, and the Pavilion Theatre Bournemouth.
“Thank you to everyone who took part and to the sponsors who have donated their time, money and hospitality,” says David Edelstein. “A big thank you to Mark Ager of Stage Technologies, Sarah Rushton-Read of The Fifth Estate, Ken Golding of Delstar, and Julian Chiverton of Doughty, for fabulous food. A special mention to Mick Powell who provided the Jeep which was the cause of endless merriment and sore bums – 650 miles on a petrol tank seat with a thin foam cover is worthy of a donation to Robert Hamilton and Canna Gray! If you want to get involved and take part next year all you need is reliable, motorised vehicle capable of at least 45 MPH. We will also take donations for a seat on the minibus which acts as our chase vehicle.”
This summer’s ride marked the fifth year that some of the theatre industry’s biggest movers and shakers got together to raise awareness and much-needed funds to help TTG support backstage workers in need. Established in 1891, TTG is dedicated to looking after theatre personnel who, due to a variety of circumstances, need educational sponsorship, counselling, or welfare advice, in order for them to regain employment in the theatre industry.
The charity has many supporters in the industry, including the actors Simon Russell Beale and Keira Knightley, who are patrons. Riders this year included Mhora Samuel, Director at The Theatres Trust, Charcoalblue’s Managing Partner Andy Hayles, the National Theatre’s Rob Barnard, Laura Hannon from TTG, Robert Hamilton and Wes Jenkins from Canada, and Dick and Marie Lindstrom from Sweden.
To date, First Night Riders has raised more than £50,000 for TTG, enabling the charity to help hundreds of people – who are often theatre’s unsung heroes – progress in the industry. This total does not include this year’s sponsorship money, but organisers are hoping for a record breaking year. There’s still time to donate – visit www.firstnightride.com and navigate to the ‘Riders’ page to show your support.
“The event is going from strength to strength,” continues David Edelstein. “Brenda and I are very proud to be organising this event, and for us, it is another example of Triple E’s commitment to supporting the industry that supports us.”
More information is available on the newly re-launched website, www.firstnightride.comBACK