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Arch to Arc in memory of award winning grandfather

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FROME resident, Simon Maughan, alongside his brother and seven other  amateur cyclists, will take on the Arch to Arc London to Paris challenge in memory of his grandfather,  Charles Maughan, winner of a famous flight between the two cities back in 1959.

In 1909, the Daily Mail offered a £1,000 prize for the first aeroplane flight across the English Channel. This was achieved by Louis Blériot in his monoplane. 

In 1959, Charles Maughan took part in a   Blériot 50th Anniversary Race between Marble Arch and the Arc de Triomphe. The competitors had two weeks to race as many times as they wanted, by any travel necessary, with £5,000 on offer for the winner. 

Squadron Leader Charles Maughan and his team from No 65 Squadron, out of Duxford, won in a time of 40 minutes and 44 seconds in a combination of motorbike, helicopter and plane.

Charles joined the Air Force in 1949 flying all sorts of different planes before being promoted to air vice-marshall in 1974 before retiring in 1977. He was appointed CBE (1970) and CB (1976). He was also awarded the AFC (in 1961) and the American Medal of Freedom. He sadly passed away in December 2009.

60 years later, Charles’ grandsons Simon and Daniel Maughan and seven amateur cyclists will set out from Marble Arch on Thursday 1st August and arrive at the Arc de Triomphe on Saturday 3rd August, being joined by Charles’ son David for the last leg up the Champs Elysees. 

They are hoping to complete the challenge in 40 hours and 44 minutes. The team will be greeted by the original 1959 trophy, that is currently being kept on display by Charles’ son and daughter. 

The ride will not only be in commemoration of the 1959 attempt but will also raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund – the RAF’s leading welfare charity with a proud tradition of looking after its own. 

Simon said, “This will be a self-funded ride and all proceeds collected will be sent to the RAF Benevolent Fund. We would appreciate any offer of support, whether a donation to our charitable fund  or the offer of supplies to aid our ride or even just support to send us on our way. Whilst by no means will this be a record-breaking ride, this will be a challenge for all taking part and a way for us to celebrate the life of Charles Maughan as well as the incredible achievements of all the 1959 Daily Mail Blériot Anniversary Race competitors.”

For more information about the challenge visit www.archtoarc.org, email info@archtoarc.org or visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/archtoarc2019 to donate. For more details about the  RAF Benevolent Fund, visit www.rafbf.org


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