A COALSNAUGHTON man took part in a Tour de Clacks recently to raise money to help the fight against polio.

Ronnie Beveridge decided to tackle the event after enduring polio as a five-year-old boy.

Shortly after starting school at Dalmore primary in Alva, Ronnie lost power in his arms and soon found he was unable to walk and would spend 13 months at a hospital in Bannockburn.

Ronnie said: "We were each in a wee separate cell, with glass between and we could see the big iron lung that children were confined to when their polio became severe – and this scared me to death."

However, as Ronnie remembers it, the staff were brilliant, and he had a physiotherapist who eventually exercised him back to health.

The 69-year-old continued: "We were living at Balquharn at the time, my father was a farm worker and a miner, and he cycled every single day from Manor Powis to Bannockburn to visit me.

"I was the second youngest of seven kids and I don't know how dad managed it.

"I've had a great respect for cycling ever since."

Ronnie took that respect for cycling and channelled it into raising money for a good cause.

On Sunday, October 24, he entered the Rotary Club of Alloa's Tour de Clacks to fundraise for the Rotary End Polio Now Campaign.

Alloa Rotary Club – along with all the other rotary clubs across the world – marks world Polio Day on October 24 each year and sends money to support the End Polio Now Campaign.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the club's partners, double the amount the clubs raise.

John Scott, president of the Alloa Rotary Club, said: "Ronnie has raised a remarkable £350 at short notice – we can add Gift Aid to that and with the Gates Foundation double match he will be contributing more than £1,300 to this crucial campaign.

"His story as a local young polio sufferer is remarkable and a stark reminder that vaccination saves lives."

Ronnie, who also lived in Tullibody for many years, kept his fitness up by playing football both as a young man and as an adult.

However, he now keeps fit with the help of his personal trainer Alison Grant at U-Gym in Tillicoultry.

He hadn't been on a bike for 40 years but bought a new one specifically for the Tour de Clacks which Alison cycled alongside him.

The Alloa Rotary Club wishes to extend its thanks to everyone who participated in the Tour de Clacks.