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Bike ride bids for gnomentous year!

  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Lampy with Helen Skelton   

They may be considered a horticultural horror by many gardeners, and certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but gnomes are likely to be out in force at Lamport Hall next month for this year’s Cycle 4 Cynthia!

You see, as featured in the Bank Holiday edition of BBCs Countryfile, the impressive stately home near Kettering is home to the world’s oldest gnome which was brought from Germany in the 1800s by former owner Sir Charles Isham, and the organisers of Northamptonshire’s favourite annual cycle ride which is taking place at the Hall on 21st September are hoping that ‘Lampy’ – who is allegedly insured for an impressive £2m – will inspire those cyclists keen to pedal off with the prize for the best fancy dress!

The ride, which last year saw around 1100 riders take part, is raising money for Cynthia Spencer Hospice and Kidsaid and Sue Bownass from the hospice is encouraging riders to re-create the white-bearded, pointy-capped look of the little statue; “We’ve had some great outfits in previous years including cats, cartoon superheroes and even the T-Birds and Pink Ladies from Grease and they really put a smile on our riders’ faces!” explained Sue.

“So we’d love it if we had a few gnomes leap into their saddles this year because, while the ride has a serious mission to raise much-needed funds for our two deserving charities, it’s also a great fun, family event and this would be the perfect costume to wear to mark the arrival at our new venue!” she added.

Those are sentiments echoed by Lamport’s Assistant Property Manager, Neil Lyon who is delighted that their famous diminutive houseguest might be immortalised in this way; “Gnomes have often been seen as figures of ridicule but last year, Lampy was given the seal of approval when he was invited to be a guest of honour at the Chelsea Flower Show – the first time gnomes had been allowed in!” explained Neil.

“I’m sure Lampy would be pleased to think that he was playing his small part in helping to raise even more money for this wonderful event and he cant wait to see all those riders with red pointed hats perched on top of their cycle helmets pedal off down the drive!” enthused Neil.

Cycle 4 Cynthia, now in its eleventh year, will start and finish at Lamport Hall. It will again offer riders 5, 25 or 50-mile routes around the delightful villages of north and west Northamptonshire. Entry is £15 for adults, £7.50 for children and £35 for families for those registering before 5th September. 

For more information, including details of the routes, entry and sponsorship forms, or to register online, please visit www.cycle4cynthia.com or to become an event sponsor, please call Sue Bownass at the hospice on 01604 678088.