Hairy and white-bearded bikers make annual H Cafe toy drop

Herald Series: Sleighs not included: Kevin Claridge, left, and Ron Preston with other bikers outside the hospital Buy this photo » Sleighs not included: Kevin Claridge, left, and Ron Preston with other bikers outside the hospital

CHRISTMAS came early for sick children at Oxford Children’s Hospital.

Bikers from the H Cafe in Berinsfield swapped their leathers for Santa suits to deliver hundreds of presents as part of an annual tradition.

This year the 70 bikers met 16 children and handed out gifts, some donated by regulars at the cafe, a favourite bikers’ haunt.

They also handed over a further £600 worth of toys given by Abingdon Tesco.

Cafe owner Richard Allen, 32, said: “It went really well.

“Christine Turner at the hospital said it was probably the best one we have had, which is really nice — we saw a lot of smiles from the kids.”

The tradition pre-dates Mr Allen’s ownership of the cafe, but since he took it over four years ago he has tried to make it bigger and better each year.

He himself spent a lot of his childhood in hospital in Reading, suffering from asthma.

Mr Allen, who lives in Purley near Reading, added: “You have to give something back don’t you?”

Six-year-old Rebecca Salustiano, from Barton, Oxford, spent last weekend in hospital after banging her head and got to meet the biker santas when they visited on Sunday.

She said: “I got a teddy bear and a doll, I was very happy.”

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