A change of plans! The cyclists will not hand in a letter to JCB on their way to Stoke. Bikers will still be making their commitment to Palestine known but at the:
JCB Golf and Country, Hollington Road, Rocester ST14 5HY
This is where JCB is hosting a three-day Legends Golf Tournament, a prestigious event which is expected to raise £1 million to support the NSPCC. JCB and the NSPCC can ignore the use to which JCB equipment is put but we cannot. We must tell others and raise our voices against this rank and damaging hypocrisy.
A Palestine supporter describes the protest as follows:
‘We arrived at the main entrance to the golf course about noon to find three supporters – formidable women one of which was Linda Ramsden from the Israeli Committee Against House Demolition. They had purchased entrance tickets and then were ‘evicted’ on the grounds they were not there to view the golf!!! However, with smiles and chuckles it seemed they were on excellent terms with the event security at the entrance. In fact, one of them went out of his way to seek out Linda and wish her ‘farewell’ at the end of his shift!
‘Shortly after our arrival and after finishing their lunch they opted to join others who were gathered in the parking area beyond the JCB main entrance.
‘In the absence of much else we decided to search for a cuppa; the merciless sun was, well, being merciless. I made my way back to the golf entrance sometime before 2pm as a dozen or so folk from the car park drifted to the same spot where we learned the cyclists were much delayed and not likely to arrive before 3pm.
‘In the meantime, banners were unfurled, and we had the pleasure of watching numerous police cars and JCB security staff (with JCB number plates) repeatedly driving past our position.
‘At 3.15 or so, close to three hundred cyclists arrived to much chanting and ringing of cycle bells. All in good humour and clearly pleased to see us – and our banners. One of the cyclists joined me alongside the banner I was holding (which had previously received much favourable attention from other cyclists). During our chat he indicated his utter commitment to the cause but had a grumble about the slow pace of the ride!
‘After about 15 minutes, the cyclists were ushered off the road and towards (but not into) the golf course. They were then also out of sight and, we might say, less of an embarrassment to Lord Bamford and his company! ‘Shortly afterwards, the cavalcade emerged, and they continued their journey at which point we all drifted away and that signalled the end of the protest.’