Community leader’s bike ride across Suffolk to kickstart next phase of hall revamp

Rob Barber is to cycle more than 200 miles across Suffolk stopping at locations including Risby, Clare, Sudbury, Washbrook, Grundisburgh, Blaxhall and Blythburgh to raise funds to kickstart the last phase of building work at Walsham-le-Willows' Memorial Village Hall. ANL-150204-152759001
Rob Barber is to cycle more than 200 miles across Suffolk stopping at locations including Risby, Clare, Sudbury, Washbrook, Grundisburgh, Blaxhall and Blythburgh to raise funds to kickstart the last phase of building work at Walsham-le-Willows' Memorial Village Hall. ANL-150204-152759001
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As he appproaches his 80th birthday, a community leader who has a prosthetic leg is to cycle across Suffolk to raise funds and awareness of a village hall revamp.

Retired schoolmaster Rob Barber will cover more than 200 miles over 10 days from April 14 to 23 to kickstart phase four of refurbishment at Walsham-le-Willows’ Memorial Village Hall.

He aims to raise £200 towards the project which includes new windows and insulaton of walls in the main hall as well as a new kitchen and serveries.

Mr Barber, chairman of Walsham’s Community Council which manages and maintains the village hall, said: “I grew up in Norfolk when the cycle was used every day and quickly grew accustomed to riding with a below knee prosthetic left leg following a road accident in 1960. I enjoy good health and want to celebrate my 80th year seeing parts of Suffolk as yet unexplored.

“My odyssey will, I hope, highlight something of Suffolk’s unique character, its landscape, its buildings, its history and be of interest to other lovers of where we live.

“I take note of Benjamin Franklin’s observation: ‘We do not stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing’.”

The 1950’s village hall is being transformed into a community venue fit for modern life and new additions since 2000 include a surfaced car park, an extension, disabled facilities and a demountable stage.

A record of Mr Barber’s journey will form the basis of a small book. To sponsor him visit https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/MVH