Express & Star

Grandparents complete 946-mile bike ride in aid of Wolverhampton Music Service

A husband-and-wife team have completed a 946-mile tandem bike ride from John o' Groats to Land's End in aid of the Wolverhampton Music Service.

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Ted and Denise Pearson are congratulated by Ciaran O'Donnell, Head of Wolverhampton Music Service (centre) and colleagues after completing their epic fundraising bike ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

Ted and Denise Pearson spent a total of 15 days on their tandem as they rode across the island of Great Britain, from its northeast extremity in Scotland to the far southwest of Cornwall.

They averaged 63 miles a day, climbing approximately 33,000ft of hills, all to raise money for the Wolverhampton Music Service, which provides musical opportunities for children and young people across the city. Donations can be made via

Ted, a retired driving examiner who is also chair of trustees for the Friends of Wolverhampton Music Service Charitable Trust, said: "Now the ride is finished we both feel a great sense of achievement, not a little relief that we managed it and a certain amount of pride that we did it.

"There is also a feeling of deep gratitude to all our family, friends and also complete strangers who supported us in so many ways and helped us on our way.

“There were highs and lows along the way – we were late starting as our tandem was delayed in transit, there were punctures and bad weather, we were getting very tired and faced steep hills as we approached our destination in Devon and Cornwall.

“But these were more than offset by the many high points – the kindness of strangers who encouraged us and gave us donations for the charity, our first sight of the magnificent Cairngorms, swooping down from the summit of Shap in Cumbria, and getting a wonderful video message from the staff at the Music Service which kept us going the whole way."

Denise, who used to work for the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Welfare Rights Service and is a volunteer with the National Trust at Wightwick Manor, added: “Our faith in each other and getting encouragement from each other saw us through to the end; it was a real triumph and we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us or made a donation to the music service."

Ciaran O'Donnell, head of Wolverhampton Music Service, said: "Ted and Denise are wonderful supporters of the music service and they have really gone the extra mile – in fact an extra 946 miles – for us yet again. Thank you, on behalf of the music service, to them, and to everyone who helped them along the way."

It is the second time Ted and Denise have gone the distance in aid of the music service – they rode from Land's End to John o' Groats in 2019, raising thousands of pounds to buy rock and pop equipment.

The pair are long-standing members of the Friends of Wolverhampton Music Service and proud grandparents of Ella, who studied the oboe with the music service before joining the Royal Welsh Academy of Music, graduating in 2021.

They have two other grandchildren: Jack, who studied classical guitar for a while before concentrating on musical theatre, and Billy, who is currently studying cello; and they say they have witnessed the commitment and dedication of the music service staff and how all three developed under their care.

Wolverhampton Music Service provides high quality tuition and musical opportunities for youngsters from schools across the city, including the chance to perform with its flagship groups, Wolverhampton Youth Orchestra and Wolverhampton Youth Wind Orchestra.

The music service runs 15 groups, bands and orchestras and will be welcoming new members to the groups in September with a series of open rehearsals scheduled for the start of the autumn term.