Eaton teen’s epic ride in memory of his dad

Determined Eaton teenager Alastair Barrows has raised more than £2,132 in memory of his dad who died tragically when Alastair was a toddler.

Alastair, 17, successfully completed a 301-mile overnight sponsored bike ride on his second attempt.

Donations from the feat will go to the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) in memory of Andrew Basil Barrows, who was taken ill on Christmas day in 2002 and died two days later, aged 47. He was later found to have died from pneumococcal meningitis.

Alastair, whose mum Victoria MacDonald runs The Cellar House pub in Eaton, hopes to raise £5,000 for the charity to help stop other families suffering.

He and fellow Hethersett Velo Club member Rodney Arbon set off from Hethersett and cycled to London, then to Dunwich and back to Hethersett on a route known as the Dunwich Dynamo.

Alastair had tried the same route two years ago but was so exhausted after 230 miles that he collapsed into the support vehicle and abandoned the attempt.

But this time, hindered only by two punctures early on, he was delighted when he and Rodney sailed past the exact spot where he had previously given up.

“I was OK then but it was about an hour and a half or so later when it got hard,” he said. “We kept going through good banter, bad jokes and bad singing.”

Some 28 hours after setting out – 20 hours and 15 minutes of which were spent in the saddle – the pair arrived back in Hethersett but first had to complete five laps of the village during which, fired by adrenalin, they managed to average 18mph, their fastest pace of the whole marathon.

“It was very emotional,” said Alastair. “There were a lot of people there waiting for us – family and other club members.”

Next month Alastair will be back at the City of Norwich School beginning the final year of his A-level studies after which he hopes to gain a place at a conservatoire to study technical theatre.

Anyone who would like to support the cause online can do so via Alastair’s Justgiving page: or look out for his collecting tins scattered in local venues, including The Cellar House.






A-level successes at City of Norwich School

CNS sixth formers have achieved an excellent set of results this year in A-levels.
A dozen students have achieved straight A and A* grades with three achieving three or more A*grades. Five students have successfully been offered places at Oxbridge or to study medical and veterinary sciences. The average points score has also improved overall from last year’s results. The percentage of A*-C grades is 71pc.
“We are pleased to have another great set of results that reflects the dedication and commitment of our students and everyone at home and at CNS who has supported them. Our vibrant, dynamic and large sixth form contributes greatly to school life, I will miss them all but am confident that they will do well in whatever path they choose,”  said  Jim Nixon, headteacher at CNS, an Ormiston Academy.
Girls continue to excel at CNS in the STEMM subjects of science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine. Three girls achieved A and A* grades in maths and physics.
Emma Cartner achieved A* in biology, A in chemistry and A in maths. She is going to Sheffield to study medicine.
Kara Kordtoimiekel achieved Bs in biology, chemistry and maths and is going to Nottingham University to study veterinary sciences.
She said: “I’m so excited, it’s all I have ever wanted to do, to be a vet.”
Lucy Rodd achieved A in biology, A in chemistry, A in maths and an A in her extended project qualification (EPQ). She is going to Birmingham to study biochemistry.
Kimberley Shone has also excelled in STEMM subjects. She is the title holder for the OAT Einstein Award and was chosen from 32,000 students across the OAT network to receive it. Kimberley will study mechanical engineering at Loughborough University after achieving two A*s in maths and physics and an A in product design.
CNS sixth form has a dedicated programme to help students apply for places within Oxbridge and Russell Group universities.
Mikey Matthews achieved four A*s in computer science, maths, further maths and physics. He is going to study computer sciences at Cambridge University.
Emma Wilson Kemsley achieved A*s in biology, computer sciences and physics and A in maths. She is going to Oxford to study biomedical sciences.
Edmund Jones achieved As in geography, economics and maths and will study economics and management at Oxford University.
James Whyman, 18, who was head boy at sixth form is delighted with his results. James will study natural sciences at Durham University after achieving four A*s in chemistry, maths, physics and his EPQ.
Student Rachel Brooker achieved fantastic results against the odds. Rachel studied hard for her A-levels during a time when she also needed to care for her mum who had a long-term illness. During Rachel’s studies, her mum sadly died from cancer. Rachel achieved an A* in philosophy and ethics, and As in politics, history and an EPQ. She is now going to Kings College in London to study history and international relations.
“I’m so happy, and I’m really proud. My dad cried on the phone when I told him. I’m thinking about becoming a political journalist after my degree.”
Karen Treby, sixth-form coordinator, said: “We’re so proud of Rachel, she is incredibly focused and organised and is an inspiration to her peers.”
Pictured, from left: Oxbridge students with Matt Sprake, deputy headteacher. From left: Mikey Matthews, (off to Cambridge University) Edmund Jones, and Emma Wilson Kemsley (off to Oxford University). Photo: ORMISTON ACADEMIES TRUST