It all started during our appeal in March. We had been totally overwhelmed by the wonderful and generous people who wanted to keep the bookshop going, and by the incredible things that people offered to do to help.
One morning a customer came in and told us that her husband, let's call him Azeem, was doing a cycle ride in July and wanted to donate any money that he made in sponsorship to the Bookshop. This was one of those *gulp* moments for me. One of those *hold it together Simon, don't blub again* moments. I held it together and after saying thank you thank you thank you, said that the least I could do was do the cycle ride with him too. I like a bike ride, me.
She told me that the ride was known as the Dunwich Dynamo and that Azeem had done it last year and loved it. She then gave me a few more bits of information.
- It's an overnight ride
- It's unsupported (there was no organisation as such)
- Oh, and it's 120 miles.
Here's the Route.
A gentle jaunt overnight from Hackney, through idylic countryside and along uncared for potholed roads, ending on the Suffolk coast in a little place called Dunwich. This is what I can tell you about Dunwich at the moment. Time Team are in Dunwich right now. HP Lovecraft wrote a short story called The Dunwich Horror . It's 120 miles away.
Well, it's happening. It's happening alright. And we're going to do it. And there'll be 4 or 5 of us doing it now. It's happening on July 16/17th and will probably take me until July 18th to finish and July 29th to recover. Just in time for the Reading Group World Record attempt (see previous blogpost).
But we're not going to be raising money for the shop. We're going to be raising money for six local Schools. The budgets for Schools have been cut somewhat recently (some may even go as far as to say they have been slashed), and as such there is less for them to spend on books. We like books and we like kids being able to read books, so any money raised will go towards buying books for the School libraries. It might not be much, but we all hope that whatever we raise helps a little bit.
I'M CYCLING 120 MILES!! IN THE DARK!!
The six Schools are Primary Schools that have supported us or that we know don't have a huge budget for books, and so we hope they will benefit from this. It is very difficult choosing Schools as there are so many that we'd like to help, but it seemed to make sense to choose six.
The six schools are;
- Noel Park Primary School N22
- South Harringay Infant/Junior School N4
- North Harringay Primary School N8
- St Michael's CE Primary School N22
- Broadwater Farm Primary School N17
- Chestnuts Primary School N15
If you want to donate/sponsor us, a special Dunwich Dynamo account has been set up. We wanted to do one of those Just Giving pages, but because Schools aren't charities we couldn't.
There's a button on the Top Right of this Blog which will link you to the Donation Account. It is sensibly called 'Dunwich Dynamo'.
Clearly, this is a very local appeal, but even if you don't want to donate, please spread the word. It's really important to us.