THE Reading Toy Run usually attracts over 1,600 motorcycles riding in procession to Barnardo’s School at High Close, Wokingham. The toys donated by the bikers get distributed to children at the Bernardo’s organisation and a number of local children’s charities.

The Toy Run is now in its 35th year and holds the Guinness Record for the largest motorcycle toy run in the world.

Covid restrictions meant the run could not happen as normal this year.

However, organisers were determined that the run would go ahead as the needs of the children are greater than ever in the current circumstances.

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Organiser Denis Denmead said instead of being a Toy Run it would be a Toy Drop so that bikers could still donate their gifts safely.

High Close School was too small to receive a large number of visitors safely so the Chief Marshal, Steve Harris from Sons of Kendrick Masonic Lodge in Reading, arranged for Sindlesham and Wokingham Masonic Centres to help out.

Bikers were able to use the car parks to deliver the toys and warm up at the temporary “Biker’s café” set up by volunteers.

More than 300 bikers arrived at the Masonic Centres and the school.

As well as taking part in the ride, members of the Thames Valley Motorcycle Lodge, Buckinghamshire Motorcycle Lodge and Thames Vale Advanced Motorcyclists helped out with marshalling duties.

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Anthony Howlett-Bolton, leader of Berkshire Freemasons said: “Reading Christian Bikers have done a wonderful job organising the Toy Run for many years and our members have enjoyed supporting as marshalls.

"I am delighted that we were able to make our facilities available to support our community in these difficult times.”

Toy Run organiser, Stephen Harris, added: “From the Reading Toy Run Committee, we would like to thank everyone involved, and we wish you a very happy and joyful Christmas and New Year.”