Northampton pub pedals its way to £1,800 for group's 2020 charity pledge

(L-R) Tia Prendiville, Charlie Prendiville, Paul McManus, Mark Prendiville and Jason Forskitt at The Lord Byron pub bike challenge
(L-R) Tia Prendiville, Charlie Prendiville, Paul McManus, Mark Prendiville and Jason Forskitt at The Lord Byron pub bike challenge

The landlord and regulars at a Northampton pub put their fitness to the test to raise around £1,800 for charity as part of a group-wide campaign last night (Wednesday, January 15).

Five pairs at The Lord Byron on Kingsley Park Terrace cycled 50km between them on static bikes as part of McManus Pub Company's £50,000 charity pledge for its 50th anniversary.

Northampton Saints RUFC hooker James Fish came to support the event too, as well as representatives from the three charities: Mighty Magnus, BacZac and Cynthia Spencer Hospice.

Landlord Markie Prendiville said: "It was absolutely great, the night went fantastically well.

"All in all, with the sponsorship we've got and charity boxes, we have raised £1,806 just here so that absolutely fantastic."

To mark McManus' golden anniversary in March, staff and customers are taking part in a series of fundraising events throughout 2020, starting with the 50km bike challenge.

Over 16 days, 16 McManus pubs will take on the challenge, finishing at Saints' ground prior to the London Irish match on Friday, January 24.

It was The Lord Byron's turn yesterday and Markie, his wife and son all got involved as well as pub regulars and friends while McManus founder Paul McManus showed his support too.

The team who finished in the quickest time - Markie said the winning pair completed the 50km in just under two hours - won two bottles of Prosecco and a month's free membership at Virgin Active.

McManus Pub Company started in March 1970 with the Thomas 'A' Becket in St James before investing in more pubs across the town and beyond.

The firm took over the former bank building in Kingsley before opening The Lord Byron in 2002, according to the landlord who has been running it for around seven months.

Markie said he and his wife, and his aunt before him, have worked hard to make the pub family-friendly, with regular children's parties and sports teams.

"It's all about getting the community back involved in the pub," he said.

In addition to the bike challenge, McManus will also be holding a charity ball in July at Franklins Gardens, a charitable golf day at Northamptonshire County Golf Club in September and other fundraising events across their sites throughout the year.

The grand total of fundraising will be unveiled at a glittering ceremony next January, where supporters, customers and staff will be invited along to celebrate their efforts.

Gary McManus, who took over the McManus family business in 1989, said: "I'm immensely proud of everything we've achieved as a family within the pub trade.

"We're very fortunate to have staff who truly care about what they do, and I think this is obvious by the first-class service and dedication they provide across our venues."

"Our first event is likely to be punishing for those taking part, but I'm thankful that we will have a lot of support along the way."

For a full running order of the charity bike ride and to donate, visit www.mcmanuspub.co.uk/charitybikechallenge

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