Beverley Twelvetrees fulfilled a long-held dream when she cycled from Wisborough Green to Gloucester – and surprised herself by finishing in three-and-a-half days, having anticipated that it might take four or even five.
On arrival she was greeted by her son, England rugby international Billy, and next day was interviewed on Gloucester’s rugby pitch in front of a full house and featured in the programme before the icing on the cake – Gloucester beating league leaders Saracens 28-23, in a tense thriller in which Billy came desperately close to crossing the line.
Beverley told The District Post: “At 54 it was a heck of a challenge as I’m not as fit as I used to be, but it went very well. My husband, Kevin, chose a very good route on pleasant B roads and accompanied me along the way.
“I’d been fitting in some training between working with Kevin in our local tree care and gardening business and arrived feeling far better that expected. At one stage we had to pedal fast to shelter under a bridge in a hail storm, but the weather was generally kind.”
Former Pulborough and Horsham rugby star Billy told us: “Mum’s a strong, determined character,” rightly predicting “I’m sure she’ll do it – the whole family is so proud of her, she was the driving force behind my career, running me and my three brothers all over the place.”
Billy and his colleagues organised collections in and around Gloucester’s Kingsholm stadium, raising £600 to push his mother’s fund for the Smile4Wessex charity towards £5000.
Beverley was treated for a brain tumour at the Wessex Neurological Centre in 2006. She said: “I want to repay them for giving me the wonderful life I share today with my brilliant family and help them to continue to provide their specialist, dedicated acute care for patients, especially children, from West Sussex and beyond.”
Beverley is already considering what else she might be able to do to help the centre – perhaps another bike ride beckons. Meanwhile, District Post readers can see further details and have opportunity to donate to Beverley’s great cause via her entry in the virginmoney giving site.