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The Cognac 350

The Distillers Velo Club to cycle 350 Miles for our 350th Anniversary and The Distillers Charity
The Distillers’ Velo Club

The Distillers’ Velo Club was informally founded in 2020 with the creation of The Distillers’ 500 charity cycle which took place in September 2020.    This event saw 7 riders, led by IPM, Kenny Mackay, cycle 500 miles from Auchterarder to Mansion House over 7 days (supported by Kathy Mackay and Jonathan Driver), raising over £40,000 for Onside Youth Zone in Barkham and Dagenham.

In July 2021, another group of 7 DVC riders – including 5 from The Distillers 500 ride – took part in “The Master’s Challenge 2021 -The Longest Day”, a 134 mile cycle around Perthshire in a single day, and raised £21,000 which was split between Girl Guiding in Perthshire and Onside Youth Zone in Barkham and Dagenham.

The Master catching his breath at one of the ride’s beneficiaries

As part of the 350th anniversary celebrations of the Company being granted “livery” status, we are an audacious charity cycle tour – The Cognac 350 – starting at Mansion House, London, and finishing at the Town Hall in Cognac, France – some 350 miles away – whilst raising £40,000 for charity!  

The purpose of The Cognac 350 covers three distinct areas that align with the aims and objectives of the Worshipful Company of Distillers:

Charity – raising £40,000 for good causes in line with The Distiller’s Charity objectives.   In the coming months we will finalise the charities that will benefit from The Cognac 350 but it is likely that Onside Youth Zone in Barking and Dagenham will be at least one of the beneficiaries.

Industry – as an outcome of the tour, we hope to be able to establish strong links to the distilling industry in Cognac.   On the last day of the tour there will be an opportunity to visit Cognac distillers we are also planning a “gala dinner” in Cognac on the final evening.

Fellowship – as those that took part in The Distillers 500, we hope to create lasting friendships and memories for those liverymen participating in the tour through the shared endeavour of a cycling challenge and having the opportunity to sample local drinks and cuisine along the way.

The outline tour details are set out below but will be finalised in the coming months and will also be dependent on the number of riders that sign up.

  • May 25 – 31st May/1st June 2022
  • 6/7 day tour (5 days cycling (circa 60/70 miles per day) and a half in Cognac)
  • Up to 20 riders (meaning 5 riding groups of 4)
  • 2/3 Support crew (incl. minibus driver)
  • Route – subject to detailed route planning
  • Likely cost, per rider, to participate will be in the region of £800 – £1000.

We are now looking for expressions of interest from Liveryman and friends to take part in this exciting adventure and one or two Liverymen to take the lead on the detailed planning.    If you are interested in taking part or helping to take the lead on the planning, please contact Kenny Mackay and James Higgins.

Kenny Mackay
Immediate Past Master

James Higgins
Court Assistant