Black dogs invade Nannup

Ride for a cause: Nannup riders Sue and John Scott.          Photos: Rachel Tyrrell.
Ride for a cause: Nannup riders Sue and John Scott. Photos: Rachel Tyrrell.
Stopping through: Bikes arriving in Nannup.

Stopping through: Bikes arriving in Nannup.

THE usual peace and tranquillity of a Sunday morning in Nannup was interrupted by the rumble and roar of 760 motorcycles heading into town on Sunday, March 24. 

The riders, who could be heard well before they arrived, were taking part in the annual Black Dog Ride, National One Day Ride around Australia to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention.

The ride travelled from Dardanup to Busselton, with a morning tea stop at the historic Nannup Town Hall.

The riders were greeted by residents and tour bus passengers who got unexpected entertainment watching the riders roll into town.

Brockman Street was filled with bikes of varying sizes, makes and colours, with black proving a popular colour. 

Early figures are that across Australia there were a total of 3784 bikes.Unofficial numbers for the South West ride's number of Black Dogs were 177.

In true Nannup style there was a power blackout and as the coffee and tea were being heated numerous residents and the Shire offered access to generators to help get the hot drinks ready.

Thanks to the donation of two 'Winston' dog mascot plush toys to Nannup District High School by Steve Andrews from The Black Dog Ride, the students had real life models of Winston to assist them in creating artwork which was on display in the Town Hall for the riders and all to admire. 

The artwork, around the theme of the Black Dog Ride, explored the importance of asking for help, looking after your friends and family and the need for greater awareness around depression and suicide prevention. 

Many comments were made about how impressive the artwork was and the effort taken by the students and staff to complete the work for exhibition as part of the ride was appreciated. 

The bouncy castle was a hit with the children and some even got to share it with Winston as they waited for the bikes to arrive.

The group thanked the community members who came out to greet the riders and especially to those who volunteered their time on the day to help with managing the riders and morning tea.

Support from Life Nannup, Nannup CRC, Nannup CWA, Shire of Nannup, Nannup's Tracey King, Yahava KoffeeWorks, Bannister Downs Diary Company and Busselton's Margaret Tickle and Margaret Graham allowed the funds raised from the ride and morning tea to be donated to the Nannup CWA and Lifeline.

More information on the ride is available from blackdogride.com.au. Telephone support (24 hour) is available through LifeLine on 13 11 14.

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