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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Alt-berg Boots have supported the Boundary 500 Motorcycle Group since it started in June 2006. Mike the owner of Alt-berg each year donates two £100 vouchers to the two people who raise the most sponsorship money in the preceding twelve months.

Alt-Berg was started… using redundancy money… making walking boots in an old, ex-WWI building, with damp, and mould running down the walls – only 100yds away from the old shoe factory. The workforce was a small group of only 5 people – and most had worked at the old shoe factory since leaving school. 

The first 5 years were a continual struggle, with an ever increasing overdraft, and the ancient machines Alt-Berg had assembled – a disparate set of machines that other factories didn’t want – were obsolete, and it was impossible to get spare parts.

Slowly, but surely, new machines were acquired and the orders for Alt-Berg boots started to build up. Demand steadily increased, based on ‘word of mouth’ – there was no money for fancy advertising campaigns.

By the year 2000, the demand for Alt-Berg boots had increased, and Alt-Berg started to use a second factory to cope with demand – at first they worked with Orton’s of Earl Shilton in Leicester – but that factory, which had seen three generations of the Orton family, closed in 2002, and Alt-Berg started a second factory in the Treviso area of Italy, where bootmaking is still a thriving industry, and components, materials and skills are readily available.

Mike Sheehan, the owner, and founder of Alt-Berg says that the Italian manufacturing around Treviso reminds him of how it used to be, when he first started working with William Shepherd in 1969… In Italy, he is back amongst a community of bootmakers.

Mike spends one week each month at the Alt-Berg factory in Italy. When he went there eight years ago, there were only 3 people working in the factory – now there are 40. The remaining three weeks of the month, Mike works in the Alt-Berg Richmond (Yorkshire) factory – 20 people work there, and they still make all the specialist boots in Richmond.

Mike Sheehan is the owner of Alt-Berg, and he has been making boots for over 40 years. He was taught by the Shepherd family of Rochdale – and carries forward the heritage that started over 80 years ago, in a small co-operative in Rochdale.

Today Alt-Berg make some of the best boots in Europe. Their boots are a testament to skills and knowledge built up over many years.

There is a saying, that before you move forwards, you must first look back… our history gives us our bearings. We may raise our eyes to distant horizons, but our feet remain on ground where history happened… and we walk in the footsteps of those who went before us…

“In the early days of Alt-Berg, things were very bleak, and we had some days when we had no money, no orders, and the machines kept breaking down… I didn’t know if we could last another week… But I was taught – by a good man, who had survived the dark days of the 30’s depression – and he would say… ‘when times are bad, just concentrate on making good boots… there’ll always be someone who wants a pair of good boots…’ and that’s what we did, and that’s what we still do…” 











On Saturday 24th November 2012 a number of the Boundary 500 Motorcycle Group popped into see Mike and were shown around the factory by Nigel.

We are very much indebted to all those that work at Alt-berg for their continued support, in particular, Mike, Nigel and Paul.

Not long to go now before the Annual Boundary 500 Motorcycle Santa Ride. Here are a couple of photos of the Boundary Sleigh.



The little fella is Zak.

Have just been totaling up the amount collected so far by the staff at Lillies for the Boundary/Lillies Tea/Coffee initiative and so far this year it has raised £904.21p

For those new to the site if you go to Lillies and ask for a Boundary Mug of Tea or Coffe you will be charged a pound. Thirty pence of that goes into the tin to be shared by The Great North Air Ambulance and Zoes Baby Hospice. This is in addition to any money we collect in the Air Ambulance or Zoes Collecting tin. Big thanks to everyone. Fantastic. A very big thanks to all the satff at Lillies.

A fresh supply of Boundary DVD’s have been dropped off at Zoe’s Baby Hospice, Normanby, Cleveland. They have been placed at reception along with the CD’s. Reception is open 9am – 5pm.

A fresh supply of Boundary DVD’s has been delivered to Tillstons at Stockton.

We have obtained some Promotional T shirts to advertise the ‘Boundary Song’.

Tuesday 20th November 2012 we will be selling the T Shirts at Lillies Cafe. They are priced at £4 each.

After this Tuesday there will be a price increase so if you want a bargain make sure you are there this Tuesday.

The sizes we have to hand are;

Ladies: (These are small sizes)

3 x Small

4 x Medium

2 x Large

Mens. ( Heavy Quality cloth)

4 x Medium

4 x Large.

4 x XL

4 x XXL

3 x XXXL


A big thanks to Andy who has put some clips together from our recent Press launch at the Angel of the North on 3rd November 2012. He has also included all the links that let people know how to buy the CD/DVD, or download directly from I Tunes.




Cover version of the classic I´m Gonna Be (500 Miles) recorded by the Happy Cats for GNAAS and Zoe´s Place Baby Hospice.

CD Available £3.00 or available to download from iTunes for 79p

CD also stocked at Tillston Motorcycles


Supporting Zoe´s Baby Hospice

The Boundary 500 Motorcycle Group Annual Motorcycle Santa Ride takes place on Saturday 8th December 2012. The ride starts at 11:30am from Thornaby Fire Station, Cleveland and travels under Police escort through Stockton, Middlesbrough and Redcar before finishing at Kirkleatham Hall Redcar.

Entrance fee is £6 per rider/pillion which covers the cost of a Santa Suit, a bacon butty and a hot brew. Riders/pillions are asked to raise a minimum of £20 sponsorship money.

Entry forms can be downloaded from the Group website at: or ring Karen on 01642 343479

Closing date for entry is Friday 30th November 2012

The Boundary 500 Mile Challenge will take place on Saturday 29th June 2013. The Boundary Classic will take place on Sunday 30th June 2013. The Lakes Classic will take place on Saturday 24th August 2013

The entry forms are now available at;

The Challenge poster can be downloaded at,

The Boundary Classic Poster can be downloaded at,

The Lakes Classic Poster can be downloaded at,

The Boundary CD’s & DVD’s which are priced at £3 each can be obtained from the following;

We have had to order a new batch of DVD’s but they are still available from the Air Ambulance shop.

The Great North Air Ambulance website shop,

The Secretary. Boundary 500 Motorcycle Group. C/O Premier Ltd. Belasis Business Centre. Belasis Tech Park. Billingham. Cleveland. TS23 4EA Tel No, 01642 343479

Zoe’s Baby Hospice Crossbeck House High Street, Normanby. Middlesbrough. TS6 9DA Tel: 01642 457985

TILLSTON Motorcycles. Brunswick Street,  Stockton-On-Tees. Cleveland.  TS18 1DU Telephone:  01642 611189

Lillies Cafe. Kirkleatham Old Hall Museum, Kirkleatham Lane, Redcar, TS10 5NW  Telephone: 01642 496 401

Bizzy Lizzy’s Coffee House, Lake Road, Ambleside, Cumbria. LA22 0AD Telephone: 01539-434972

Oily’s Pub, Winscales, Workington, Cumbria CA14 4JG  Telephone: 01900 66655
Happy Cats web site at;
Further locations to follow.
Digital download priced at 79p available at ITunes;
Please remember to leave a positive remark because that effects the popularity charts. Please pass on details to all your contacts via email, Facebook or Twitter. Lets make this a Christmas number 1. All proceeds to The Great North Air Ambulance and Zoe’s Baby Hospice.

Total Amount Raised

Since June 2006
we have raised


£ 674222

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Entries to Date

European Coastal: 0
International: 0
Lake Classic: 0
Marathon: 0
Extremities: 0
Gaelic: 0
Challenge: 0
TT Challenge 0
Classic: 0
Coast 2 Coast: 0
Christmas/JT: 0