Anniversary sparks charity cycle challenge

Stuart Bayne
Stuart Bayne

A Hemel-based business is acting as main sponsor for a 1,100-kilometre charity cycle ride that coincides with the firm’s 40th anniversary.

Keen cyclist Stuart Bayne, who is sales manager north for NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, will be crossing five countries to raise funds for the Down’s Syndrome Association.

He left NGK’s Hemel Hempstead headquarters on Monday, and plans to arrive at the company’s spark plug factory at Meung Sur Loire, in southern France, on Tuesday next week, visiting NGK’s European headquarters at Ratingen, near Dusseldorf, Germany en route.

Stuart’s route is designed to help mark the 40th anniversary of the ignition specialist firm, which was incorporated as a UK subsidiary company of Japan in 1975.

Stuart, aged 51, from Haverhill, in Suffolk, is being supported by friend and customer Stuart Larder, from, Lincolnshire, who is driving the support vehicle.

A number of NGK customers have pledged funds, and the running total already stands at nearly £12,000.

NGK automotive director Marko Wowczyna said: “We are delighted to support Stuart in his marathon cycling trip for what is such a worthwhile charity. His route will take in two of our major European facilities and links in with our 40th anniversary celebrations.”

Stuart has been with NGK for 23 years and is a six-time winner of the company’s Salesman of the Year award.

For more information or to sponsor Stuart, see