25 Jun Affinity meet and greet Tornado Tribute Team
Mal Craghill and Martin Wintermeyer, two RAF Tornado veterans, are three-quarters of the way through the first leg of their Tornado Tribute Tour of England, a 690-mile fundraising bike ride from Cornwall to Tyne and Wear in tribute to those killed in the Gulf War and raising money for the RAF Association.
The veterans set off from St Eval in Cornwall on Friday 18th, and have cycled through Devon, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, before travelling through the West Midlands to visit the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
They then rode across to Ely and Norfolk where they visited Mareham Cemetery, cycled through Boston and south Lincolnshire and arrived at the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) in Lincoln on Friday 25th June, day eight of their challenge.
Affinity Flying Services Limited sponsored their challenge, and on Friday members of the Affinity team went to meet them during their pitstop at the IBCC.
They were treated to a hot drink and well-deserved bite to eat, before poignantly paying tribute to all of those lost in conflict.
Anna Lyon, Head of Engineering Operations and Fleet Management at Affinity, said: “What an honour to meet with Mal & Martin. Weather notwithstanding, they were in good spirits and graciously agreed to talk with us prior to their hot (and well needed) refreshments. Thank you for your time, effort and energy an incredible feat by two incredible men.
“Affinity are proud to sponsor you and wish you well with the remainder of your Tribute Tour.”
Martin said that although their legs were tired and they were feeling fatigued, they were otherwise feeling good.
He said: “We’re so proud to have done seven days of the challenge, and our families have been amazing, they’ve given us enormous support.”
So far, Mal and Martin’s challenge has raised more than £27,000 for the RAFA, smashing their original target of £10,000.
Mal said: “Just before we got here [the IBCC], we passed the 500 mile mark so now we feel as though we are on the final stretch.
“On the way we’ve had people just coming up to us who’ve been following our journey to say hello and people waving banners, the support has just been incredible.”
Mal and Martin are scheduled to complete their challenge on Sunday in Washington, County Durham.
You can make a donation to their cause by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ttte and follow their progress via the Tornado Tribute Tour of England facebook page at Tornado Tribute Tour of England | Facebook