One Show challengers race through city centre

St Albans became a buzzing backdrop to the One Show’s country-wide rickshaw challenge on Friday, as presenter Matt Baker and five riders breezed into the city.

The group travelled along Catherine Street and down Hatfield Road on the unusual modes of transportation at around 2.30pm and were greeted by the Mayor of St Albans, Cllr Geoff Harrison, and scores of residents cheering them on.

The Rickshaw team were on a ‘Salford to Walford’ fundraising ride from the BBC’s Media City near Manchester to the EastEnders’ set at Elstree.

Also greeting the riders, along with their mascot Pudsey the Bear, was a band of superheroes as pupils at St Albans City School put on their best fancy dress outfits to celebrate the charity day and welcome the cycling visitors as they rode past.

The schoolchildren each paid £1 to dress up for the school day and donated the total proceeds of £268 to Children in Need.

Headteacher Janet Goddard said: “We have had a super day, where the children have really enjoyed dressing up and supporting such a worthwhile charity.”

The Mayor said: “I was honoured to welcome Team Rickshaw to St Albans where they stopped for a brief chat before heading off again on their fundraising cycle ride.

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“Children and teachers from St Albans City School dressed as superheroes for the occasion, providing a wonderful welcome in their splendid fancy dress outfits.

“I was pleased to see that Team Rickshaw completed their cycling challenge that evening and I congratulate them on their magnificent fundraising efforts for Children in Need.”

After leaving St Albans, they reached the finishing line later that day live during BBC One’s appeal.

Presenter Matt Baker, who has raised £1,263,272.93 for the appeal as of last Tuesday, said: “It’s been a brilliant thing to be a part of.

“Thank you for all your generosity and I hope you don’t mind if you never see me on a rickshaw ever again!”