This weekend (4-5 Dec), the Widows Sons Masonic Bikers Association (West Kent) held its annual ‘Toy Run’, where members dressed-up as Father Christmas and elves to deliver more than 500 gifts to excited children via motorbike.

The children received toys, games and gifts purchased with donations received from local Freemasons throughout the month of November.

The members of Widow Sons (West Kent) bought nearly £4,000 worth of toys which resulted in a till receipt which measured more than two and a half meters in length.

Fourteen members of the Masonic Bikers Association took part in the Toy Run during which they delivered 555 toys, which was double the amount delivered in 2020. The gifts were shared with more than 20 charities, including CASPA, Bromley Mencap, Bromley and Croydon Women's Aid, Bromley and Downham Youth Club, Bromley Y, Bromley Gypsy Traveller Group, Crystal Palace Community Trust and a number of local churches.

Mark Estaugh, head of Freemasonry in West Kent, said: “At this special time of year, it is both an honour and privilege for West Kent Freemasons to be able to recognise and support the important work undertaken by local charities operating within our Province.

“Bromley Children and Families Voluntary Sector Forum is one such charity, providing support for charities working with vulnerable children and families across the borough. The annual Toy Run is organised by our members who are also part of the Widows Sons Masonic Bikers Association (West Kent), and who work tirelessly collecting toys and cash donations from our Lodges and individuals across the Province, with the aim of providing a little joy and happiness to those less fortunate children living within the community.”

The Mayor of Bromley, Councillor Nicholas Bennett, was also present at the event with Mr Estaugh. Together, they watched as leather-clad bikers rode past with Christmas music blaring from the back of their motorbikes.

Mr Bennett commented: “We want to express our thanks to the West Kent Freemasons, your generosity and kindness means that kids who would have otherwise gone without, will receive a gift this Christmas. You should all feel very proud to be a West Kent Freemason.”

Chair of the Bromley Children and Families Voluntary Sector Forum, Helen Laryea-Dyer said: “This incredible event means that hundreds of children in Bromley, who otherwise may not get a Christmas present, or who are experiencing difficult times in their lives, will be able to receive a lovely gift.

“Thanks also go to the charities who will be making sure they get them and to the Freemasons who have collected and delivered them. This is a unique and beautiful experience for all involved and we are so grateful for the generosity of all those who have donated and delivered.”

In the days before Covid-19, collection points were placed in each Masonic centre across Kent so members could donate toys. However, in the last two years, the Widows Sons have asked for financial donations instead, for Covid safety reasons.

This has also meant that the Bromley Children and Families Voluntary Sector Forum was able to request details about age ranges and specific toys that were better suited to the children being supported.

There are many children who would not have a Christmas present if it wasn’t for the donations collected and distributed by the Widows Sons Masonic Bikers Association (West Kent). The association’s aims are to promote motorcycling within Freemasonry, raise Masonic awareness within the world of motorcycling, raise funds for charity and support members’ Lodges.

Editors notes:

Picture 1: Freemason Daniel Spencer and representatives of BCFF.
Picture 2: Freemason Stephen Mulvaney President of Widow Sons West Kent
Picture 3: Selection of Elves

Widow Sons: