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Home   Gravesend   News   Article

Veteran fundraiser Mick Banks, from Valley Drive, Gravesend, to join charity cycle

14 March 2014
by Julia Roberts
Mick Banks

Mick Banks

From Mother’s Pride to father’s pride, intrepid pensioner and former bread depot worker Mick Banks has helped raise as much as £150,000 for Cancer Research UK over the past 45 years.

The 70-year-old has been on a mission to raise money for the charity since his dad, John, died in 1969.

Since then, the grandfather-of-five has walked, run and even spent a night in a pigsty to raise vital funds.

Now Mr Banks, who lives in Valley Drive, Gravesend, with his wife, Sue, 63, will be part of a team cycling from Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight to Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.

He said: “My dad died from lung cancer when he was only 59.

“Since then I have done as much as I can to raise money for Cancer Research and my sister worked it out that, with friends and family, I must have helped to raise £140-150,000.

“I’m slowing down a bit now so won’t cycle the full 260 miles. I’m part of the support team and will just get on a bike when someone needs a breather.

“I usually spend my time going around the pubs emptyinag the collection boxes and organising Christmas raffles but I like to come up with ideas for events that appeal to people.

“I hope the cycle ride will raise as much money as possible, and I’d like to think about £10,000.

“It’s a cause dear to my heart and a good charity. There are not many families not affected by cancer.”

Over the years Mr Banks, together with regulars from The Welsh Tavern in Stone, has completed the North Kent Marathon, the London Marathon, walked from Paris to London – appearing on French TV – and organised a “Mile of Money” collection of coins in the former Arndale Shopping Centre in Dartford.

In 1989 and dressed as Wee Willie Winkie, he was also one of 12 friends who spent the night with pigs at Stone Lodge Farm Park.

They cheekily prepared themselves beforehand with a bacon sandwich party.

The cycle team, made up of riders and supporters, will travel from The George pub in Singlewell Road, Gravesend, to the Isle of Wight at 9am on Friday, April 4.

They will then embark on their return journey, via Lymington in the New Forest and Chichester, to reach Great Yarmouth on April 8.

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