WILTSHIRE'S muddy motorcyclists celebrated 50 years of the Trail Riders Fellowship with a special ride through the town.

The ride started at Bill and Anne Riley’s house on the Bath Road where the Wiltshire group formed, met and departed for their first rides in 1981.

Bill and Anne have spent the past 42 years researching public rights of way and making sure they are correctly recorded by Wiltshire Council.

Town mayor Cllr Simon McNeill-Ritchie donned his chain to lead 17 hardy riders in a procession through the town astride his Honda Hornet, before parting company prior to the first green road at Pipehouse.

He said: “It never ceases to amaze me the diversity of the expertise and interests of Bradford-on-Avon residents.”

The 111-mile ride incorporated 50 unique green roads in the Bath and North-East Somerset area, where the stony geology makes for sustainable winter use.

Upon finishing the route at 8pm, Wiltshire TRF chairman Derek Sadler said: “This was a great turn-out for a cold January morning, the lanes were great fun and it was lovely to ride the last few by starlight.”

Participants were awarded a mug to commemorative the ride, which was a prelude to the main celebrations during July’s Adventure Bike Rider festival at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire.

Founded in January 1970, the TRF was formed to conserve public access, defend the interests of motorcyclists, and help open up the network of overgrown and obstructed green roads which had fallen into disuse.

Today, the fellowship is a volunteer-led organisation representing and advancing the interests of motorcyclists at both the highest levels of governance and in partnership with local authorities and emergency services.

For more details go to www.trf.org.uk and www.wiltshiretrf.com