Evening of fast paced entertainment in Newark

Posted on: Wednesday, August 3, 2022

The Newark Town Centre Races proved a hit with visitors on Friday 29 July as people packed the streets of Newark for an evening of fast paced entertainment.

Newark and Sherwood District Council worked alongside Generation Pro Cycling Events to deliver the summer evening of races.

The event started with Rupert Brooke, who cycled 200 miles from London to Paris in memory of his dad, leading out riders in the Community Ride.

Rupert led out nearly 60 other riders during the ride around the circuit alongside hero Ed Clancy OBE. A Brompton Bike race followed which featured the workers from some of the sponsors of the race.

The under 12’s, 14’s and 16’s race and the amateur/regional race took place after followed by the women’s professional race. The night then finished with the men’s professional race.

Fans littered the street to cheer on riders as they snaked around a 1.2km circuit travelling on Kirk Gate, Middlegate, Stodman Street, Castle Gate, Lombard Street, Cartergate, Bridge Street and through the cobbled market square.

The winners throughout the night included:

  • Winner of the under 12’s race (boys) – Billy Ladle (Kirklees Cycling Academy)
  • Winner of the under 12’s race (girls) - Jaime Downing (Wolverhampton Wheelers)
  • Winner of the under 14’s race (boys) – Albie Jones (North Cheshire Clarion)
  • Winner of the under 14’s race (girls) - Charlotte Lissaman (Newark Castle CC)
  • Winner of the under 16’s race (boys) – John White (North Cheshire Clarion)
  • Winner of the under 16’s race (girls) - Emily Middlebrooke (Otley CC)
  • Winner of the amateur race - Alex Galpin (Bourne Whls CC)
  • Winner of the women’s professional race - Emma Jeffers (JRC-INTERFLON Race Team)
  • Winners of the men’s professional race - Jacob Scott (team WiV Sungod)

Newark town centre saw an increase in visitors with 31% more people in the town centre compared to a normal Friday. People stayed longer in town too spending over 3 hours in Newark. The all-time average footfall in Newark between 5pm and 11pm was over 1,000 however, during the races, the sensors recorded over 3,000 people in Newark between 5pm and 11pm.

David Whitton, who runs Bentleys Fish and Chips, said: “The evening was great for us and we had plenty of customers buy fish and chips and watch the race from the sides. The atmosphere in the town was electric and our customers enjoyed the entertainment.”   

Shannon Bromell, who is Manager of Soup Dwagon on Chain Lane, said: “It was a fantastic evening in the town and we had a very busy period of trading. It was nice to have such an entertaining event in Newark and we really enjoyed the night.”

Seven-year-old Rupert Brooke who led the first Community Ride, said: “"Riding with Ed was amazing, he did a wheelie which was really cool. He also taught me to do a track stand which I have been practising. I really wanted to overtake the Mayor!"

Shortly before his race Rupert was awarded with his fundraising cheque alongside Ed Clancy OBE. Rupert is raising money for Children's Bereavement Centre and already broke his target of raising £30,000! You can show your support for Rupert by donating to his cause here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rupert-brooke

Rachel Wilson, Fundraising Manager at Children’s Bereavement Centre, said: “It has been an absolute privilege to meet and get to know Rupert over the last couple of months. He is a very determined young man and I was never in any doubt he would smash his challenge and cycle from London to Paris in four days. We have watched his fundraising grow over the recent weeks as he raised his target as the sponsorship came in. He has touched the hearts of so many people and received donations from across the globe, often with emotional and inspirational messages attached.

“We have even had people search out and contact the charity directly by phone and letter to say how much Rupert’s story has touched them and to make a donation. Rupert’s incredible achievement has inspired so many people and the funds he has raised will ensure that the Children’s Bereavement Centre can be there to continue to offer the support that is so desperately needed to other local children and young people, just like Rupert.

“There are not enough words to express how grateful we are to Rupert, his family and all the thousands of people that have supported him along this journey. From all the team at the Children’s Bereavement Centre a heartfelt thank you.”

Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “Rupert is a role model for everyone no matter your age. He’s shown great courage, commitment and determination in raising so much money for an amazing cause. Despite going through immense loss that no one should suffer at that age, Rupert has gone above and beyond helping to raise funds so other young people like him can continue to get the care and support from the amazing team at the Children’s Bereavement Centre in Newark.

 “It was great to see the feedback from supporters and spectators in our town during the event. It was a really positive atmosphere in our town centre with some shops and restaurants indicating better trading.

 “Events like this help in putting Newark on the map and we hope it encourages more residents in the district to pick up two wheels as we work towards our 20-Minute Cycle Town project which is part of our Towns Fund deal secured with central Government.

“As a district we are geared up for plenty of cycling related projects and activities this summer with the Tour of Britain paying a visit to some of our other rural towns and villages this summer.”

Chris Lawrence, Event Organiser, Generation Pro Cycle Events, said: “The event was a real success for Newark. There are lots of learnings, and future events will be even bigger and even better. The racing was excellent and gave the British Cycling National Circuit Series a fitting conclusion. Critically I heard this many times over the night from entrants themselves, their family or friends or simply spectators– “I’ve never been to Newark, what a beautiful market town it is, and I will definitely come back to see it fully”.”

“Yes, there was some disruption, and people did have concerns, but these events are critical to showcase towns to drive future footfall benefiting business in the long term not just for one afternoon and evening. The social media has been incredible too. People can continue to watch the footage of the race, filmed live throughout, by visiting the Newark town centre races website.”

It’s not the only bit of cycling taking place in the district this year either. The Tour of Britain is returning yet again on Thursday 8 September with cyclists passing through Blidworth, Farnsfield, Southwell and through Sherwood Forest and Edwinstowe.