September 18 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, March 9, 2014
The roar of adrenaline-fuelled 129mph drag bike racing may seem poles apart from the peaceful tranquility of a poppy field, but a Norwich woman has managed to unite the two extremes for a good cause.
To commemorate the centenary of the start of the first world war, drag bike racer Dawn Watson, 44, dubbed the fastest granny in East Anglia, has painted her bike in red with 100 poppies which sponsors can give at least £10 to put their names on in aid of four military charities.
She was inspired to do the fund raiser because her husband Andy, 49, had a grandfather who was a stretcher bearer at the Battle of the Somme during the first world war, while Mr Watson himself was in the Coldstream Guard 2nd Battalion.
She unveiled her new look 1,000cc Suzuki TL1000 bike during a visit to the Saxon pub in Weeting on Saturday when visitors had the chance to sponsor a poppy.
So far, 40 of the poppies have been named and Mrs Watson has raised nearly £1,000 through poppy sponsorship, donations and a raffle and all the money will go to four charities- the RAF, army and navy benevolent funds and the Royal British Legion.
The grandmother-of-three only started racing in August when she decided she wanted to follow in the tyre tracks of husband, experienced racer Andy, 49.
Since then, she has gone from strength-to-strength, including completing a quarter-of-a-mile stretch of Santa Pod Raceway in Bedfordshire in a time of just 10.65 seconds.
She races in the National Association of SuperTwins for single engined twin cylinder motorbikes and will be racing regularly at Shakespeare County Raceway at Stratford-Upon-Avon at weekends.
The glass engraver, who is known as MissB Fotos in the drag bike racing fraternity, said donations had come from as far afield as Canada thanks to a Facebook appeal, while one sponsor had paid £100 for a poppy.
Mrs Watson said: “It is quite amazing because I was not expecting to raise that amount of money on so few poppies.”
To sponsor a poppy, phone Mrs Watson on 07873 564596.