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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Film-making pair will capture 8,500-mile Ulverston to China challenge

ANYONE planning to get away over the bank holiday weekend might be dreading a long car journey and heavy traffic. But spare a thought for two film-makers who have agreed to drive from Ulverston to Beijing as part of a month-long charity challenge.

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challenge Gary Robinson, right, and Andy Gardner. Inset, Kate Sleat and Edwina Sorkin – the Beijing Biddies

Gary Robinson and Andrew Gardner will hit the road to the Chinese capital on May 1 accompanying fundraisers Kate Sleat, 63, from Wetherby and Edwina Sorkin, 68, from Newbiggin-on-Lune.

The self-proclaimed “Beijing Biddies” will be making the 8,500 mile journey to raise £150,000 for Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support.

The film-making pair, who are based in Ulverston, will be following to make a documentary about the epic trek.

Mr Robinson said: “I’ve always wanted to drive to China, it’s one of those mad things that you always talk about. We thought it would make an interesting documentary particularly given their age, it could bust a few stereotypes.

“It’s a remarkable project and we’re proud to be part of it.”

The two will travel in a brand new Toyota Land Cruiser decorated on one side with the scenic Lake District landscape and on the other with an image of the Great Wall of China.

Mr Robinson said: “It’s going to be a challenge. We’re not mechanics, I don’t know much about cars other than how to change a tyre and check the oil and I’m not that good at either of those.

“It’s not going to be easy, looking at people who have done this before; they have done it in much bigger groups and with a guide.

“But if you’re going to do something for charity, why not do it on a grand scale?”

The duo have been well prepared for their challenge, receiving first aid training and off-road driving advice.

But the team have already had to revise their planned route to avoid the unrest in Ukraine.

Mr Robinson said the pair are still looking for firms to sponsor their adventure.

He added: “We’ve had some amazing support from local businesses, Lake District Farmers have gotten behind us and donated to the project.

“We’re looking for some additional support because there are a few things left to pay for.”

Visit beijingbiddies.co.uk and charity.cumbriatv.net for more information about the challenge.

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