Cycle rider remembers father and son who were both lost to cancer

 Beers Gears & Engineers Cycle Club

Beers Gears & Engineers Cycle Club - Credit: Bob Wiltshire

A Budleigh Salterton father and son who both lost their lives to cancer were remembered in style at the weekend in an emotional event on the seafront.
Colin Hooker grew up in the town and worked as an engineer at Howmet Aerospace in Exeter.
John Holt, a work colleague, told the Journal: “The Beers Gears & Engineers Cycle Club, a charity fundraising works club, was originally formed in 2007 in the memory of Colin, a great man who loved cycling.
“Colin’s family are originally from Budleigh and he used to share many funny stories with his colleagues at Howmet, where he was an engineer, of him growing up with his two brothers and sister in the town.”
Bob said the idea for a works cycle club came from Colin following a charity ride for cancer charity Force in 2002 .
“Sadly, Colin was struck down by cancer himself in 2006 but we continue to ride the 65-mile ride - called appropriately the ‘Hooker100k’ - in his honour every year.
“We still to this day strongly support all Force-organised rides each year – such as the Nello – and we organise events that support and raise money for Force, a cause close to our club’s history.”
Last year, Colin’s son Ivan also lost his own battle with cancer after three long years of fighting the disease with amazing support from his young family, Sam, William and Eleanor.
Bob said: “This made this year even more poignant for our club, hence why we marked Colin and Ivan’s spiritual home by placing a plaque on the Budleigh in Bloom commemorative boat.”
Saturday’s ride was the 15th Hooker 100K, a ride that always concludes at the harbour wall at the bottom of the hill.
This year was made even more special because Colin’s grandson William, who is eight years old, escorted the 45 cyclists from the layby near Bicton to the war memorial at the top of the hill, where he was joined by his five-year-old sister Eleanor to lead the cyclists all down to the finishing line.
They were then joined by colleague Bob Wiltshire, to place the plaque on the boat, a very special memory for all involved.