Firefighters were on the other end of a rescue mission when they were dealt a blow to their fundraising efforts before they’d even got started in Lamorna.
Kind-hearted strangers stepped in to offer the charity cyclists beds for the night when they arrived in Land’s End ahead of a gruelling nine-day ride only to discover their hotel had permanently closed.
Peter Haslam, Steve Horsley, Richard Beech and Steve Nutt, from the West Midlands, were offered makeshift accommodation in the couple’s home following the surprise closure of The Cove Hotel, in Lamorna.
The friends, who have raised more than £11,500, were gearing up for the 1,000-mile challenge, on August 20th, in aid of Molly Ollys as well as The Firefighters Charity, Cyclists For Cancer and The Royal Marines Charity.
Richard Beech, 54, said: “Trudi and William Thomas were among a small group of locals in a nearby pub who heard about out plight and offered us a place to stay. They were kind enough to let us put up our camp beds in their conservatory and lounge and let us use their kitchen to prepare our food. We had very little sleep which wasn’t ideal but were just relieved to have somewhere to stay.
“They even got up with us at 5.30am and William guided us in his car to take us to the start point at Land’s End. They donated money to our cause as well!”
Trudi said: “Hearing what had happened we were horrified and it was clear they needed somewhere to stay pretty quickly. Living a five-minute walk away and knowing we could find space for them it was a pleasure to take them all home.
“With great efficiency they brought in what they needed, moved some furniture around to make room for their beds and soon had a meal ready. I must admit that on the walk home I was wondering what I could feed them and hoped that I had enough steaks in the freezer!
“Lamorna is a beautiful place with a very friendly community, many of whom would have done the same. We were delighted to be able to help in a very small way and are in awe of what the team did.”
The men, who are all experienced cyclists, were supported by drivers following in a West Midlands Fire Service minibus stocked with essential kit, spare bikes and food supplies.
Richard added: “We all had low points during the nine days and these were probably more mentally than physically, the thought of getting back on the bike every day to ride another 100-plus miles was a constant battle. However, getting the encouragement and donations off everybody kept us going and we saw some amazing scenery along the way.
“Despite everything we finished on schedule and arrived at John O Groats on the Sunday at around 3.30pm. After completing, we immediately got in the minibus and were driven back to Inverness where we stopped at a Youth Hostel and then had a few drinks and meal to celebrate.”
Molly Ollys’ Rachel said: “It sounds quite an adventure that the Four Amigos have been on. Their start was not what they had planned but shows the kindness and generosity of spirit that all these causes inspire. When you simply explain the importance of completing the challenge and the difference that the funds raised can make, many people want to help. We are so grateful to them all and their families and friends who have so generously supported them.”