Wigan gran, 89, delighted by dream ride in motorbike sidecar

Gladys Cheetham in the sidecar
Gladys Cheetham in the sidecar

A Wigan pensioner had the surprise of her life when she was treated to her favourite pastime with a ride in a motorbike sidecar.

Gladys Cheetham was beaming with joy when staff at Windsor House care home, where she currently resides, organised for her to go on a trip in the sidecar, just like the one she used to travel in more than half a century ago.

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Gladys, who is 89, used to travel all over the country in the 1950s, in the sidecar of husband Eric’s motorbike.

She had such fond memories of the road trips that she often regaled staff at the Standish care home of how she used to feel the wind through her hair as she travelled in style.

The Windsor House team, part of the Millennium Care UK group, have been working on a “wish tree” project, granting the wishes of residents across the group’s care homes.

And Gladys’s desire to get back in a sidecar again was one such wish granted, much to her delight and surprise.

Activities co-ordinator Colette Smith reached out on social media to find someone with a motorbike and sidecar and was amazed when Alan Bonny got in touch and was more than happy to take one of his vintage bikes and sidecar along to Windsor House for Gladys to relive her dream.

Everyone at Windsor House gathered in the front garden ready to surprise Gladys, residents had deck chairs and prosecco at the ready, and her family were also at the home waiting for their mum to relive her dream.

Daughter Linda said: “Thank you so much everyone at Windsor House for organising this you are all amazing.”

Son John said: “I think the last time I remember mum travelling in a sidecar was 1955, it’s things like this that make this place special.”

Gladys’s daughter Janet said: “It was an absolutely fantastic morning, we can’t thank Windsor House enough for arranging this for our mum.

“When I said I bet you’d like to ride in it and she said I wish I could, and I said well you can, she sprinted out of that chair quicker than me.”

Kathryn Disley Manager at Windsor House said: “This is outstanding, making dreams like this come true is what we are all about at Windsor House.”

Colette added: “Alan and Jane who brought along the bike were so kind and helpful, they have made a very special lady very happy, thank you so much.”