High Peak British Legion members cycle to Paris for Poppy Appeal

Paul Copper, left, and Alan Tideswell, right, having just finished the Pedal to Paris to raise funds for the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal.
Paul Copper, left, and Alan Tideswell, right, having just finished the Pedal to Paris to raise funds for the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal.

Two cyclists clocked up nearly 300 miles in the saddle to raise vital funds for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

Alan Tideswell, of the Chapel branch, and Paul Cooper, from the Hayfield branch, took part in the annual Pedal to Paris event from London to the French capital.

Collectively, they have raised almost £1,500 which will go to support veterans and their families.

Alan said: “It was a fantastic event and I’m so glad I got to take part it.

“We haven’t got any First World War veterans left and we are losing the veterans from the Second World War as well now, but being on the ride it brought it home just how vital the work the Poppy Appeal does still is.

“Veterans and their families from more recent conflicts - such as the Falklands and Afghanistan - are now being supported.”

The four-day event took 285 cyclists from all over the country through beautiful English and French countryside.

During the ride, they also stopped at two towns which were close to the frontline during the Battle of the Somme.

The riders were then given a heroes welcome when they arrived in Paris, with police closing the iconic Champs-Élysées to allow them to make their way to the Arc de Triomphe for a special service with French dignitaries, cheering crowds and a band.

Alan, who served in the Royal Navy between 1982 and 1998, said: “I have wanted to do make this journey for a while and I’m so glad I’ve finally done it.

“It was tough at some points but it really was a brilliant experience to be part of and it was my chance to try and pay something back and help others.”