A GROUP of Barnsley bikers brought a welcome dose of festive spirit to the streets with a fancy dress ride around the borough.

 

Hundreds turned out to watch Sunday’s Santa-led 80-strong procession of illuminated machines, which was the brainchild of husband-and-wife motorcycle fanatics Andrew and June Self.

 

The couple, of Chatsworth Road, Athersley South, are members of Chloe’s Crust Trikers and Bikers, a charity fundraising group which in normal times, meets regularly at the cafe of that name on Laithes Lane, Athersley.

 

Last year, members of the group donned Christmas-themed fancy dress to deliver presents to the children’s ward at Barnsley Hospital and donated £6,000 to the Tiny Hearts Appeal.

 

The pandemic put the brakes in this year’s fundraising plans, but Andrew and June still wanted to provide a yuletide spectacle.

 

An invitation to friends and fellow motorcycle fans to join them brought an an enthusiastic response, and as well as Athersley and New Lodge, the four-hour outing took in Smithies, Lundwood, Cudworth, Monk Bretton, Carlton, Royston, Mapplewell, Shafton, Brierley and Grimethorpe.

 

“It was brilliant,” said June. “We had members of various motorcycle groups getting involved, and to go from just Andrew and myself to around 80 riders was amazing and really provided a colourful sight.

 

“The response we got from members of the public made it more than worthwhile. Seeing so many people come out of their houses to watch and young kids jumping up and down with excitement was amazing.

 

“When we got to Mapplewell, we saw some social media messages from people in Shafton, Brierley and Grimethorpe asking us to go there, so we extended the ride.

 

“It’s been a tough year, and hopefully after the disappointment of Saturday’s government announcement, we gave folk a little bit of festive cheer.

 

“Hopefully by this time next year, things will have settled down a bit and we’ll be back to the fundraising.”