A GROUP of motorcycle enthusiasts have restored a Harley Davidson motorcycle that belonged to a friend who died from cancer – and will raffle it in aid of Oakhaven Hospice to say thank you for its support in his final days.
The effort is well on its way to raising £10,000 for the Pennington-based charity, with more than half of the 2,000 tickets already sold for £5 each before the draw next April.
The restoration and fundraising project by The End Motorcycle Club is a tribute to member Pete Welland, from Blackfield in Fawley, who died of cancer a year ago aged 63.
His friends wanted to help promote Oakhaven’s hospice at home service which cared for him where he lived with wife Dawn.
Dawn, mother of the couple’s grown-up daughter Catherine and son Matthew, was delighted by the project, saying: “It’s wonderful, a great team effort.”
She added: “Pete had had cancer 10 years ago but this time he wasn’t diagnosed with what was classed as a renal secondary until six months before he passed away and it was too late to do anything.
“He was adamant that he was not going into a hospice and Clare Hoyle at Oakhaven said that wasn’t a problem with their hospice at home service. And he stayed at home right to the end, cared for by their wonderful team.”
Pete had worked for ExxonMobil, part of the time at Fawley oil refinery but also travelling on assignment in Texas and Singapore. He took early retirement when heart problems were discovered.
His bike being raffled is a 1995 Harley Davidson 1200cc Sportster offered with a new MoT and restored by a team from The End Motorcycle Club, including James Stringer, Fred Young, Dave Lemon, Andy Whiting and Joey Fielder.
Dawn said: “Pete loved his bikes and had several big machines on which I used to ride pillion. But he wanted something more suited to daily riding and this one came in when I was working at the Harley Davidson dealership in Southampton. I called him and he snapped it up right away.”
Speaking for the club, Andy Whiting said the group was first set up in 1968, was wound up after a few years and then relaunched 35 years ago by founder member Fred Young.
It has around 20 members drawn from across the area, ranging in age from 24 to 69 and owning different brands of two-wheeler, who meet at a workshop near Botley.
Andy said: “Pete wanted to us to raise awareness of the hospice and its need for funding.
“Fred Young bought the bike off him, came up with the idea for a raffle and donated the Sportster to the cause. Since then we have had lots of support and help from local businesses including respraying the tank.
“It’s a lovely machine, a one-off.”
To find out more about the club, go to its Facebook page @TheEndMotorcycleClub.