This summer Medwyn Parry and Dougie Bancroft will be riding Triumph Trophy motorbikes to every single one of the 51 “Thankful Villages” in the United Kingdom. These are villages with no traditional war memorial because all who left to fight in the Great War were lucky enough to return home.
Many had been scarred physically and/or mentally by their horrific ordeal. Amazingly, 14 of the villages are “Double Thankful”, where everybody who left also returned from the Second World War.
The journey will start at Llanfihangel y Creuddyn, near Aberystwyth, at 8:00am on Saturday the 27th of July, and some 2,500 miles and 9 days later it will finish at the very same village, at about 7:00pm on Sunday the 4th of August. As far as we know, nobody has visited all 51 in one journey. The full schedule is available here: Schedule and map here: Map
The ride will raise funds for the Royal British Legion – the target figure is £51,000. Anything above that will be divided between the Royal British Legion, the Fire Fighters Charity, and the Aberystwyth & District MAG.
Those who live in the Thankful Villages are tremendously proud of their status. Medwyn and Dougie would be very pleased to meet with residents – especially descendants of those who survived the conflict – and of course members of the Royal British Legion.
Around 3 years ago I joined the Royal British Legion Riders Branch to show my support for what I consider a very worthy cause. Both my Grandfather and my Father served in WW1 and WW2 and I was raised hearing their stories of comradeship and loss of dear friends. When I heard about the Thankful Villages Run I was very keen to get involved in some way.
I would have liked to have ridden the whole trip with Medwyn and Dougie but as I have only just returned from a 4,500 mile trip around South Africa and I am now preparing for a 6,000 mile solo trip around SA Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, so I do need to focus on the tour business for a while.
I am however going to be joining the guys and their supporters on the 29th and 30th July when they will be riding through my area. This is a brilliant event that is actually celebrating the fact that all the lads from the 51 villages came home. I am very happy and proud that Kaapstad Motorcycle Tours is able to support the Thankful Villages Run.
Riders of any bikes are warmly encouraged to join in for any part of the trip, though they would be encouraged to make a minimum donation of £5 per bike per day for the Thankful Villages Run.
Both Dougie and Medwyn seen here during what I can only imagine was an extremely proud moment as they got a good will message from the one and only Dame Vera Lynn.
Further details of the ride, complete schedule, and how you can donate are available on the Thankful Villages Run website, thankfulvillagesrun.com.