Brewery Employee Revs Into High Gear for Royal British Legion

Posted: 17 May 2014

Shepherd Neame’s health and safety manager Rob Pooley completed a gruelling challenge to raise money for the Royal British Legion. He was among 10 bikers from the Kent branch of the Royal British Legion Riders to sign up for a whirlwind expedition through Europe.

They decided to visit the 10 largest First World War Commonwealth grave sites, lay wreaths and perform the Last Post at each, within 24 hours – covering a vast area of Belgium and France in one day.

Rob, 51, said: “I have always loved motorbikes since I got my first one at the age of 11. I have done longer rides but this was definitely the most challenging one I have ever undertaken. “We had a constant downpour of rain, causing treacherous road conditions, and several of the bikes broke down, but despite that, we arrived in one piece at our final destination - the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Belgium - at 7.30pm in time for the daily Last Post Ceremony and laying of wreaths.”

The Royal British Legion charity has a special appeal for Rob, as he was in the Army for 23 years, achieving the rank of Sergeant Major in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He left 10 years ago, joining Shepherd Neame shortly afterwards, and now lives near Canterbury with wife Lorraine, who also works for the Faversham-based brewery as customer services manager.

Shepherd Neame staff donated almost £800 in sponsorship, and the team are currently totting up the total funds raised, which they hope will reach over £5,000.Rob said: “I felt very proud when we completed the challenge. The ride was not only very tiring and physically challenging, but also emotionally very draining, walking around the graves and remembering those who had given their lives for us. “I would like to thank everyone who donated for their generosity in helping such a worthy cause.”

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