LE TOUR de Boswells is set to kick off as the directors of the firm behind the coffee shops embark on a 400-mile bike ride from branch to branch in memory of their father and company founder, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer.

Matt, Nick and Tim Burn will set off from Newport on August 20 and travel to each of the 15 Boswells cafes in just four days to raise funds for Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.

They will aim to reach the Swindon coffee shop at the Brunel on August 23 where a special spinathon will be held in the arcade in aid of the charity.

They will then go on their way again and make their final stop at the Gloucester branch.

“Dad was proud of us; he’d drilled us to take over on his retirement and he was gearing up to stepping down when he became ill,” said Matt, 37.

“He was a great mentor with lots of experience and wisdom to share. He was also great fun to be around and we all miss him enormously.

“Family was really important to him and he should have had much more time to enjoy retirement, to enjoy the grandchildren. He deserved to take things easy after so many years of working so hard for us.”

“He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on June 25, 2012 and he died on August 12. It was a massive shock. By the time most people are diagnosed it’s too late. Pancreatic cancer is a horrible killer.”

Each year 8,800 people in the UK are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. About three per cent of them will survive for five years or more; a figure that has barely improved in 40 years.

“We are hoping to raise £35,000 for Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund,” said the father-of-three. “So far we have raised £11,000.

The Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund is really underfunded compared to other cancer charities. We really want to help support them and hopefully find a cure. But at least we want to try and prolong people’s lives.”

Free drinks will be on offer to all customers taking part in the all-day charity spinathon at Boswells on Saturday 23. The person covering the longest distance in 15 minutes will win a free coffee a day for a month.

To donate go to www.justgiving.com/LeTourdeBoswells