Epic ride in tribute to Jim

PUBLISHED: 16:00 11 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:12 17 June 2010

A BEER man will be riding his motorbike in an 800 mile epic journey to raise money for a bench in memory of the founder of the village s R & B Festival. Bert Stone, 54, of Rose Cottage, is aiming to raise £800 for a bench in tribute to Jim Riley who died

A BEER man will be riding his motorbike in an 800 mile epic journey to raise money for a bench in memory of the founder of the village's R & B Festival.

Bert Stone, 54, of Rose Cottage, is aiming to raise £800 for a bench in tribute to Jim Riley who died last September.

Bert will be travelling on his 1952 Francis Barnett motorbike to the Isle of Man to do a lap of the TT course, then he will be riding to Macclesfield on the well known biker road, the Cat and Fiddle, and then down to Surrey to Box Hill before returning to Beer. Mike Barry, a local musician, will be accompanying Bert on his journey.

Bert, who works as a chef at Hix Oyster and Fish House in Lyme Regis, said: "The reason I'm doing it is because Jim was a great mate and he brought a lot to Beer. Loads of people came to the village who hadn't been there before.

"He genuinely loved Beer and he came down at every opportunity he could. When he organised the festival a lot of money was brought into the village.

Bert shared Jim's passion for motorbike's and he fondly remembers them chatting about the subject.

"I used to love sitting down and talking about motorcycles with him," said Bert.

"We used to sit for hours talking about what bike and which rider was the best."

In addition to the motorbike fundraiser, Bert is also organising a gig at the Mariners Hall in time for his return on Saturday, April 18.

Bert and his band, Steppin' Up, which includes Dave Somers, Chris Bailey and Tony Silverside will be performing a tribute act to Jim's band, Steppin' Out.

Tim Royce and his band, the King Roosters, is also on the line up alongside Mike and Debbie Barry, as well as other artists who have performed at the festival.

Bert added: "Rather than charging for tickets we will be asking people to donate money."

Sheila, Jim's wife said: "I think it is wonderful that the people of Beer thought so highly of Jim that they are prepared to make such a gesture. Beer will always be a very special place for me, we shared some wonderful times there."

Tim Royce is in the process of setting up a sponsorship website where people can donate money to the cause.

The Herald will have further details of the website when it is up and running by the end of the month.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Sidmouth Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Sidmouth Herald