Again, I start with apologies. The first is for my blog frequency which seems to be going the wrong way and the second is that I forgot to mention last time that we were adding a 40 foot container to our headquarters! How could i not mention that? The mini project of moving the container is what I am using as my excuse for the first!

ANOTHER big move.

Quite literally this time! Some of you maybe aware that for the last few years we have had some storage capacity in a 40 foot container located at Morpeth Road Primary School, Blyth. Well we had the opportunity to move it rather than lose it thanks to our understanding and welcoming landlord at Thorneyford Farm.

However, it wasn’t going to be simple or easy, well at least not easy. After being let down by our chosen haulier on the Thursday before the move planned for Saturday 16th February, it was a real challenge to find another with sufficient Hiab crane lift capacity for such a large container. As it turned out we found a real star in Matty at who not only took the job on from his Teeside base, but at short notice on a Saturday! He also went above and beyond in lifting the container fully loaded (and it was!) before safely unloading it at Thorneyford Farm.

There was then a little bit of prep work on the barn – reopening an old doorway which was to become our door through to our container.

That was Stage 1!

Stage 2 involved emptying the container, cutting the end off (so it would fit in the space alongside our barn) and lifting it into place.

Sounds simple? Well, emptying the container was a challenge in itself but cutting off 4 foot of container was another unique challenge to add to this project.

Then it was time for Matty (RMB Transport) to return and lift the empty (thankfully) and shortened container into place, which again was not exactly straightforward.

The photographs give you a good idea of what was involved. All in a (long) weekends work!

The end result is that we have much more storage space sufficient to hang 50+ bikes which in turn enables us to use the barn space much more effectively.

Meanwhile, our workshop has continued towards completion with the floor being laid, 2 double work stands fitted and LED panel lights wired in. A Park Tool Master Toolkit was delivered and is currently being professionally fitted together with work benches before final electricity fit out.

Aside from the container storage the main barn has been fitted out with more racking following the same approach as already established.

Work is now underway on the wet area plumbing, final fix electricity including the installation of washing machine and tumble dryer (for kit washing) and the front office! And maybe somewhere to sit down?

Work is also currently underway on phones and broadband and the lighting in the larger unit.

Finally, the biggest and best news is that we have a new member of the team.

From the 1st April, Mariusz Ilewicz, (Mario to many) is joining the team and will head up our workshop services. Mario is a highly skilled and highly thought of mechanic (and a great guy) and has successfully built up his own business Bike Serve in the last few years. Previously based at The Hub in Newcastle, Mario will be a real asset to the B4H team and we hope that all of his existing customers will continue to enjoy the same quality and service whilst also knowing that within Bike4Health all our commercial work supports our work in schools and communities.

Welcome on board Mario – get pedalling!

Moonrise at Thorneyford


We also had a special visit from Joan Irwin (Landlord Tim’s Mum) who as the previous user of the barn was quite emotional about it being re-used to support such a good cause and nurture young people. The parallel wasn’t lost. Joan used to rear young and sickly calves in the barn for many years when Thorneyford was still operating as a farm and is really pleased to see it being used so positively again.

Extra extra…

Here’s a picture of Dr Dave saving a Pigeon which had got stuck in the barn and was confused with the big clear windows in either gable. Me and Dave, a couple of ladders and a broom and the little fella was free!