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Blue Knight bikers help family honour tradition despite lockdown

A family tradition to honour a young man who died in a tragic accident has been fulfilled despite the lockdown, thanks to a Blue Light motorcycle group.

Members of the Blue Knights group ensured the emotional journey to Whitby Pier was continued to mark the anniversary of Daniel Hawke. He tragically died in a freak accident aged 28 on 23 May 2015 while riding home from Manchester to Sheffield on his motorbike.

His sister Charlotte, who is a Nottinghamshire officer, and other members of his family have visited his favourite spot every year since but were prevented from doing so this year because of the COVID-19 travel restrictions.

One of her colleagues, PC Anthony Brice, is a member of the Blue Knights which is a motorcycle group for emergency service workers. He put an appeal for help on the group’s Facebook page to see if they could ensure the tradition continued.

Formed in the US in 1974 by a group of police officers from Maine, the Blue Knights started UK Chapters in 1991 which meet for  charity fundraising events and to promote road safety.

Its mission is to “support charities, promote a positive motorcycling image, to maintain a respectable and professional image as law enforcement personnel and to do what we can to enhance a feeling of community with the other Bikers/Motorcyclists we share the road and world with”. 

Durham-based Chapter, England III came forward, with Chapter President Stuart McCarthy and Ride Captain John Ray making the journey to Whitby on Charlotte’s behalf. They placed a rose and a note from Charlotte on Whitby Pier.

The simple gesture was followed by a heart-felt message of thanks from Charlotte and her family.

She sent a message to the group: “On behalf of my family I just want to thank you so much for the support you’ve shown my family today. A massive thank you to those that took the rose to Daniel’s padlock in Whitby. He absolutely loved being on his bike, and I know that he would think that this is beyond amazing. I just needed to say thank you so much for the kindness you have shown towards my family. We will never forget this.”

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