A CHARITY fun run will raise money for a North-East hospice and commemorate an important date in the region’s history.

The Locomotion Charity Run has been organised by the Orchard Eagles Running Club and The Locomotion Pub, in Eaglescliffe, to raise money for Butterwick Hospice Care.

The 10km run will take place on Sunday, May 22, marking the 200th anniversary since construction began on the Stockton and Darlington Railway, the world’s first passenger railway.

Jim Taylor, landlord of the Locomotion and a keen railway history enthusiast, said: “Two hundred years ago, more than 2,500 people lined the roads to see Thomas Meynell hammer in the first spike in the first rail of the Stockton and Darlington railway. We don’t think we’ll get quite that many runners, but it would be nice if we get a good turnout!

“Teesside is no longer the global hub it was back then, but we want to remember that our area was once practically the centre of the world, and celebrate the North-East’s unique role in world history.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has got behind this event to make it possible, including our local Co-Op, which has kindly donated bottled water for our runners, Martin Gibb Associates, who have taken care of our risk assessment and kept our insurance costs down, Northern Rail for providing use of a car park, and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council for all their support.”

The run will include 7km of road running, and 3km of trail running, and will start from The Locomotion Pub at 11am. Entry costs £16 for adults and £8 for under-16s, with money raised being donated to Butterwick Hospice Care.

Karen Holder, grand-daughter of Butterwick Hospice founder Mary Butterwick, said: “Community fundraising is such an important part of supporting the hospice. It’s exactly how my Nanna raised the vital funds after she sold her house to start the hospice.

“We are all so grateful to Jim and the Orchard Eagles for their amazing fundraising and the part they are playing in supporting the hospice. The Butterwick continues to play a vital role in the community and it’s fundraising like this that allows it to ensure both patients and their families get the support they need.”

The run will be officially started by Matt Vickers, MP for Stockton South. Winners will have their names added to a prize shield, and all runners will receive a commemorative medal.

The event will be the first in a series of runs, dubbed the Rail Trail Runs, inspired by the history of the North-Eastern railway. A second run will be held in September to mark the anniversary of the railway’s first train journey, and will be started by Paralympic champion, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.

  • To register for The Locomotion Charity Run, visit www.locomotioncharityrun.webstarts.com
  • Organisers are also appealing for volunteers to help marshal the route, and local business interested in sponsoring the Rail Trail Runs. For more information, contact Jim on 07751 262162.