Doncaster stalwart pensioner Pam can keep up with Tour de Yorkshire cyclists

When the Tour de Yorkshire zooms through Doncaster in May, you can keep an eye out for Pam Sutton.

Friday, 22nd March 2019, 10:21 am
Updated Friday, 22nd March 2019, 10:33 am
Pam Sutton, competition winner, pictured with friend Keith Wilburn. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP-09-03-19-Sutton-2

Pam, and her pal Keith Wilburn, will be whizzing right past after them – after she won a competition run through the Doncaster Free Press.

Pam will be sitting in the official race car that follows the cyclists all the way along the stretch of the race from Doncaster to Selby on Thursday, May 2.

Pam Sutton, competition winner, pictured with friend Keith Wilburn. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP-09-03-19-Sutton-2

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She will set off from Doncaster market behind some of the biggest names in cycling, then across the St George’s Bridge, through Bentley and Toll Bar, out through Askern and then into North Yorkshire.

And she’s ready for a lot of waving through Toll Bar – as that is where she is well known for years of work as a volunteer helping her community.

We asked for nominations for unsung heroes from the local communities to take the seats in the car, which had been offered to Doncaster Council – but the authority wanted to let a pillar of one of our communities have the place rather than a civic dignitary.

Pam was selected by the judges after receiving two nominations, for the work she has done in Toll Bar over the last 30 years.

Harry Tanfield wins the Tour de Yorkshire, Stage 1, in Doncaster after being in the breakaway all day and becomes the first Yorkshireman and 1st Brit to win a stage of the TdY. Beverley to Doncaster. Finish in Doncaster. 3 May 2018. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Pam, who lives in Toll Bar, aged 71, has been doing voluntary work in her village since the early 1980s.

It all started when she volunteered to help out a gala in the village, serving tea in the former youth club building –and it snowballed from there.

She become involved in the Toll Bar community Forum group, which raised money for schemes including a park for the Manor estate, and with the tenants and residents association.

When Toll Bar was flooded in 2007, she set up a group called the One O’Clock Club, to provide community support for residents who had been flooded out. It was somewhere people could come to meet each other, and to have a hot drink.

After 12 years, the One O’Clock Club is still running at Villa Gardens Community Centre on Askern Road, and now works on projects and raises money for local causes. 

In addition to this, Pam is a governor at Toll Bar Primary School, and a flood warden.

She offered her ‘plus one’ seat in the car to Keith, aged 69, also from Toll Bar, because she felt he was an unsung hero in Toll Bar as well.

Keith, a former engineer at Bentley Colliery, also attends the One O’Clock Club, takes daily trips to the Ea Beck, the cause of the 2007 floods, to look for any possible problems. He is also a flood warden.

Pam said she was really excited about her prize, and her nomination had come as a bolt from the blue.

She said: “I knew about the Tour de Yorkshire, and I followed it on the television last time it came through Doncaster. It’s really exciting that its coming through Toll Bar.

“We’ve got more than 200 children from Toll Bar Primary School who will be lining the route.

“I will be looking for them to wave at them as we go past.”

A runners-up prize has also been put up by Doncaster Council, after seeing the quality of the nominations. That prize is a place in the VIP area for the start of the race

It has been awarded to Chaz Prouten, aged 88, from Consibrough.

Chaz is involved at Conisbrough Forward meetings and recently took on a director’s role in the group and became its treasurer. He is also the treasurer for the the It’s Our Heritage group and the annual Music Fest. He is also a Salvation army volunteer.