Erskine Motorbike Meet started a few years ago, about 5 or 6. Four bikers turned up at Erskine Hospital for a tour around the main home located in Bishopton. After the tour, they said they wanted to do something to help fundraise for Erskine.
So they decided on a bike meet. The first year, 30 bikers turned up, next year, 100, then 300. In 2010 1000 turned up and this was the year I got involved. For various reasons the four friends couldn’t continue with their part of the organising so I was roped in to help Erskine with the organising. 2010 was also the first year that the BBQ, live music and family entertainment were introduced and Arriva provided the shuttle bus that ran from Paisley Gilmour St. to Erskine Hospital, for the non-bikers.
In 2011, it all came together again but the weather was a hindrance so we got around 600 bikers: a lot of our visitors come from outwith the local area so the high winds and rain, especially on the east of the country, put a lot of people off travelling over.
However it still raised a good amount of funds for Erskine.
In 2012 we’re looking to be bigger and better. We’ll still have the BBQ, stalls, live music, bouncy castles, aqua balls and many more events on the day as well as hopefully 1000 bikers and the same number of non-bikers; Glasgow Science Centre will be coming along again to do some demonstrations and we hope Arriva will provide the shuttle bus as they did this year – running between Hewlett Packard who kindly allowed cars to be parked in their grounds, they will then shuttle passengers back and forth throughout the day.
It costs £22k to £25k per DAY to keep Erskine open and they are involved in many ways to help veterans. The veterans within Erskine aren’t just from WW2; there are now those in their 20′s needing Erskine’s varied help and support and the bike meet exists to help Erskine meet these needs.
The brochure idea came from the Erskine ladies lunch. A programme is given to each lady who attends and we thought we could do exactly the same for the bikers who are coming into the area – businesses can advertise what they do as well as supporting Erskine. Organisations can give an overview of what’s available within Renfrewshire.
It isn’t just about telling people what’s on in Renfrewshire on that one day – it’s about getting the message to an audience that they can visit Renfrewshire and Paisley any time and find these businesses, activities, etc.
As I said, they’re supporting a local charity while advertising themselves.
Finally, our plan is to make these brochures available before the Bike Meet itself in ways that are still being discussed but the hope is we would be able to sell around 1000 copies.