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