Getting Dunmow back on the bike raises money for the NHS

Martin Zelley has raised thousands of pounds in donations for the NHS through 250 bike repairs in Du

Martin Zelley has raised thousands of pounds in donations for the NHS through 250 bike repairs in Dunmow. Picture: Zelley family - Credit: Martin Zelley

Martin Zelley has raised £14,497 in donations for the NHS through 250 bike repairs in Dunmow.

When Martin Zelley posted on Facebook that he would repair bikes it was about 10 minutes before the first one arrived on his doorstep.

Martin, 34, made the offer 10 weeks ago at the start of the lockdown.

The repairs were free but people wanted him to take a donation for charity.

Over 250 bike repairs later, he has raised £14,497 for the NHS - but is now inundated.

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He currently has 19 bikes in his Dumow shed waiting for repair.

His passion for getting people’s wheels back on the road began when he was a boy.

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“My great escape was going out on my bike. But when it broke, there was only person who could do the repairs and that was my next-door-neighbour’s brother-in-law, Andy.

“He was so kind and I had such respect for Andy being able to repair things. I was always excited when he came to visit because I knew he would repair my bike.

“When the lockdown started, I remembered that child and thought people would be upset if their bikes were broken and they couldn’t get them fixed.”

Martin, a father of two, is raising money for The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, This was where Martin, his brother Philip and son Frederick were born.

People have also been giving him unwanted old bikes to do up and sell for the cause.

One grateful customer, Len Collins, rang the Broadcast saying: “We gave him my wife’s Shena’s old bike, it was in the garage and she hadn’t ridden it for years.

He’s sold it, raising £100 for the hospital.”

Martin, a jeweller who owns FJ Zelley in Bishop’s Stortford, has been at home during lockdown. Martin is the fourth generation to run the business started by his great-grandfather, Frederick John Zelley in 1910.

Martin has several bikes himself, including a penny-farthing. He has received sponsorship for this project from estate agent Daniel Brewer and The Flitch House restaurant as donations and to buy bicycle parts.

He says: “I have put some 500 wheels back on the road.”

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