Bikers roll into town for Poppy Appeal

Members of the RBL Riders Branch NI (archive image).
Members of the RBL Riders Branch NI (archive image).

A gang of leather-clad bikers will be rolling into town on November 3 to raise money for the Poppy Appeal.

Members of the Royal British Legion’s Riders Branch will be in Carrickfergus collecting donations for the annual fundraising campaign, which helps the RBL provide veterans, service personnel and their families with vital support services.

The RBL Riders Branch has more than 7,000 members across the UK, including around 120 in Northern Ireland.

The bikers are all Legion members who have a passion for motorcycles and raising money for good causes.

“We’re all members of the Royal British Legion, but we all have another similar interest which is motorbikes,” a branch spokesman explained.

“It’s all different bikes. We’re not like the Hells Angels where everybody has to ride a Harley. Your bike is your own preference.”

The spokesman, a former soldier, added: “We are trying to raise awareness of the Riders Branch - who we are and what we do. Our number one primary objective is to raise money for the Poppy Appeal, but we also raise money for other charities such as Cancer Research, Children In Need and others.

“We are charity fundraisers, but we like to do it on motorbikes by going on ride outs all over Northern Ireland.

“If people see us when we’re riding down the road, maybe 40 or 50 motorbikes, they’ll know who we are and what we’re doing and that we’re not just a bunch of leather-clad hooligan motorbikers!”

The local Riders Branch, which has only been in existence for the past 18 - 24 months, is keen to attract new members.

“We are always looking for new members - people with a common interest,” the spokesman added. “Our common interest is the British Legion, remembering our past, raising money for charity and riding our bikes. Generally our members are ex-military, but we do have people who weren’t in the military. We welcome anyone who shares our interests.”

For more information about the RBL Riders Branch check out ‘RBL Riders Branch - NI’ on Facebook or log on to www.rblr.co.uk