'He creates treasured memories' - community rallies behind Bikers on Film
- Credit: Andy Welham
A community is rallying around a man who has offered them a source of comfort during times of loss.
Andy Welham from Ipswich, is the man behind Bikers on Film, and for six years has been capturing funeral escorts of motorbikes on film.
Recently, however, the 72-year-old feared that he would have to stop as his bike needed extensive repairs.
But friends decided that this could not be allowed to happen and have begun fundraising to pay for the works.
“He has created treasured memories for so many families,” said friend, Martyn Wegg, who runs the Suffolk and Biker Family group.
For Andy, his own experience of loss led him to set up Bikers on Film.
“I lost my wife, Linda, in 2016,” he said. “Everybody helped me so much.”
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Andy does not organise these processions himself, and explained these escorts are mostly organised by friend, Jay Lorenz. However, Andy spends hours of his own time editing them into videos as a memento of the day.
A few months after Linda's passing, Andy heard that there would be some bikes riding in the funeral procession of a young woman, and decided to capture it on film.
“I put some cameras on the bike and I filmed the escort. I put it to ‘Stairwell for Heaven,’ which was the young lady’s favourite song.”
He shared the video on Facebook, and was amazed at the response it got.
“People started phoning me up, asking me if I’d film their daughter’s funeral, their husband’s funeral.
“It gave me a chance to give back to other people what they did for me when I lost Linda.
“I got a message just last week from a guy from America. He couldn’t get back for his best friend's funeral, but he said he saw the video, and it was like he was there.”
Hearing about his bike trouble Martyn and another friend, Ricky Lee, created a GoFundMe to raise money for the repairs, which has now raised over £1,200.
“This is the community giving back something Andy has been giving us for the past few years,” said Martyn.
“It’s for the time and effort he puts in - meeting people, talking to them, and going out in all weathers. He’s been editing through the night on more occasions than one.”
Andy said he feels humbled to know how much his videos mean to people.
“It helps me to know I’m on the right tracks,” he said.
To find out more about Bikers on Film, visit: www.facebook.com/bikersonfilm/
To donate, click here.
The best way to contact Jay Lorenz to organise a bike escort for a special event is via Facebook.