Scooting over to France from Chorley for D-Day beach visit

A rabble of scooter enthusiasts are to zoom their way to the D-Day landing beaches in France on classic Vespas and Lambrettas.

Tuesday, 1st May 2018, 9:19 am
Updated Tuesday, 1st May 2018, 9:21 am
Scooter enthusiasts are to zoom their way to the D-Day landing beaches in France

Paul Riding and 10 others from Chorley Scorpions will make the journey over to the stretch of the Normandy coast this weekend.

They want to commemorate D-Day and do a tour of museums, exhibitions and cemeteries as well as visit the beach front where allied troops landed during Second World War on June 6, 1944.

Paul, who is 60, said: “We started off last year going over to Belgium and France to remember the First World War battle sites.

“There were a few of us who had family connections who had died in the First World War.

“We decided this year we are going to the D-Day landing beaches – there are 11 of us going out.

“We are going down to Swindon on Friday then on Saturday morning we’ll go to Portsmouth to the naval dockyards. We want to see HMS Victory - Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar.

“We get to France on Sunday morning and we’ll visit several different museums, exhibitions and a cemetery and the D-Day landing beaches.”

Paul has four Lambrettas and he says he’ll be taking his favourite one “which I’ve had since 1981”.

He added: “Three or four of the lads still have military connections or have just come out of the forces. When we went the first time we followed the Chorley Pals. This time we thought we’ll go and see what it’s like.

“People think we are mad because we are going on scooters but it’s very practical.

“The actual landing beach, the battle front, is only 100 miles so it will be simple to travel round. There are 14 places on the list to visit. We are hoping for some good weather.

“We tend to do probably 80 miles and then we stop for petrol and have a bum massage, they’re not the most comfortable things, scooters, they’re like shopping trolleys.”

Paul who has been riding scooters since he was 16 years old says if he was advising what types of scooters to buy now he would say a Vespa because the frame is lighter.

“Last year we did the highest passes in the Lake District we always try to find something a bit different to do,” he said.