The ashes of a Reading Toy Run founder were scattered on the route where the first run started 36 years ago.

The procession, which saw more than 1,600 motorcyclists gifting presents to a children’s charity on Sunday, was the first to take place without Ben Spiller since 1985.

Ben, who started the event with 17 other members of the Christian Motorcyclists Association, died on April 9 due to a short illness.

“I’m sure Ben would have been absolutely delighted with the turnout and the generosity of those that take part,” said friend and co-founder Sean Stillman.

Bracknell News: Seven of more than 1,000 bikers who took part in Reading Toy RunSeven of more than 1,000 bikers who took part in Reading Toy Run

“Ben was always very emotional about the day. He was very passionate. The centrality of it all was always seeing children and young people benefit. That was always his motivation.

“He would have wanted the focus to be on the children and young people and the support they were getting rather than himself.”

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Sean and other bikers scattered some of Ben’s ashes on the route nearest to his home and to the Pheasant pub, where the first Toy Run took place, before the motorbikes set off.

Bracknell News: Bikers scatter Ben Spiller's ashes before Reading Toy RunBikers scatter Ben Spiller's ashes before Reading Toy Run

Bikes numbering 1,320 then rode from John Wood PLC (formerly known as Shire Hall) to Barnardo’s at High Close School.

Headteacher Mark Shears said: “Ben’s passion for making a positive difference to the lives of vulnerable young people was a driving force behind the success of the Toy Run and his wife Jane taught at the school for many years.

“Ben was in our collective thoughts yesterday and will be at every Toy Run in the future.”

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More than 150 volunteers made the event possible, alongside police and the Reading Borough Council.

Bracknell News: Police clear the roads for Reading Toy RunPolice clear the roads for Reading Toy Run

“We don’t take that for granted and we’re grateful to the wider community as well for getting behind it and all those that turn out to watch and donate as well,” said Sean.