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Published 14th Apr 2011

Maureen Hendon and Robert Reese

Middlesbrough's iconic Transporter Bridge was the latest stop on a European tour with a difference.

For Maureen Hendon and her partner Robert Reese are visiting every working transporter bridge on the continent.

The pair set off earlier this month from Maureen’s home town of Newport in south Wales, home to a fine transporter opened in 1906 by Lord Tredegar.

Robert’s trusty BMW K1200 then took the pair to Warrington, and on to Middlesbrough on Tuesday, April 5.

Their quest then took them by ferry to mainland Europe to visit Osten and Rendsburg in Germany, followed by Rochefort in France and finally Portugalete in Spain.

When Maureen and Robert return by ferry to Portsmouth, they will have clocked up an impressive 2,010 miles over 10 days.

And in addition to seeing some of the world’s finest bridges, they’re hoping to raise lots of money for ‘Benefit Kidney Wales’, a cause close to Maureen’s heart as she has undergone four kidney transplants over the last 17 years.

She said: “It’s been a rough ride, but I’m now feeling better than ever and am keen to take on new challenges.

“Robert loves his bike riding so we thought we could combine that passion with my tenacity and visit all the Transporter bridges which are still operational in Europe - it’s a great bike but unfortunately it won’t ride on water to Buenos Aires or the USA for the full set!

“I don’t know where I would be without the selfless acts of four donors and their families - I hope as many people as possible will support a great cause and help us to promote organ donation.

“We are also fundraising for kidney research – again, people with kidney failure are reliant on research into new medication and treatments.”

Middlesbrough Chief Executive Ian Parker said: “Maureen and Robert have picked a great year to visit the Transporter as the bridge nears its centenary.

“It’s nice to think they will be joining up the European transporter ‘family’ and I wish them all the best with their efforts for a very worthy cause.”


Anyone wishing to donate can visit Maureen and Robert’s special charity web page at

All the money raised will benefit the Kidney Wales foundation who support kidney patients in Wales and support the renowned Institute of Nephrology at the University Hospital of Wales, benefiting kidney patients worldwide.

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