Vending Does!

PV Editor Ian Reynolds-Young met Horeca MD David Brady (pictured) and discovered that there’s more to the charity bike ride ‘Vending Does Tower-To-Tower 2015’ than meets the eye…


The trouble with busy people is that when the pressure eases off momentarily, they start to twiddle their thumbs. This was never a problem in my youth but, in our electronic age, if twiddling thumbs and idle minds are in reach of an internet connected device, there can be unforeseen consequences, as Horeca MD David Brady discovered.

Roger Bunn


‘Roger Bunn (of Crane) and I began cycling early last year and during a hi-tech electronic text discussion we came up with the perfectly reasonable idea of doing a London to Paris ride’ David told me. ‘To begin with, we thought there’d just be us two old industry mates tagging along on an organised charity ride; but then, we then found out that there were several others in the business interested in joining in, so the next thing you know, our very own ride was born.’

If twiddling thumbs and idle minds are in reach of an internet connected device, there can be unforeseen consequences…

(Let’s be honest, this will hardly come as a surprise to anybody in vending. That Roger Bunn, for instance? Well, he has ‘form’. Who can forget the AVA’s Burns Night do in 2013, when Roger was planning to walk Hadrian’s Wall for Edukaid and in the process of raising pledges he without malice but with plenty of forethought, tied an unsuspecting Dave Ward in knots? (Read it here). The man is clearly shameless and prone to bouts of charitable selflessness that evidently overcome him quite suddenly and without warning. And as for that David Brady…)

That David Brady


The first recruit to the fledgling peloton was John Ferguson, who signed-up as part of the organising team. Soon, fourteen riders from the vending business had signed up and paid their deposits and David and Roger once more engaged in a ‘discussion’. What should they call the event? After another bout of thumb-twiddling, they had a brainwave: ‘Vending Does.’ It was a name that ‘had legs’. This time, it’d be ‘Vending Does The Tower To Tower Tour, 2015’: an event organised by cyclists, for cyclists, for charity. Next time, might a bunch of, for instance, vending canoeists, or vending mountaineers, or – why not? – vending dog-walkers come up with their own interpretation of ‘Vending Does’…?

‘There used to be lots of regional black-tie functions within the AVA and these provided fundraising opportunities’, David said. ‘The trouble is, these events dwindled away as we all tightened our belts… It could be that ’Vending Does…’ becomes a fun way in which the vending industry can refocus its charitable efforts. First, though, we have to make a success of this event. Then, hopefully, Roger and I can pass the baton to somebody else for 2016.

Bettavend MD John Ferguson


All that’s for the future. For now, there’s a bike ride to organise… Not to mention a fund-raising effort. ‘There are sponsorship opportunities to be had’, David said, ‘but we’ll also be encouraging individuals to get involved. We’ve arranged it so that all donations can be paid directly to the group, rather than to individual team members.’

Unfortunately as the team members step up training for the event, injury is taken its toll and David has already endured a ‘crash test dummy’ experience.  He shows me a picture on his phone, of a very badly damaged cycling helmet. It’s the one that saved his life during a 34mph collision with a piece of Wiltshire’s finest downhill tarmac – namely Clyffe Pypard Hill. ‘I was a novice rider going too fast down a steep, twisting descent’, David admits…

It sounds like a lot of fun doesn’t it, a bike ride to Paris with your mates? But there’s a huge cost attached, not least in the grueling hours of training that must be put in. When accidents happen, the risks involved in getting out there and doing something are brought home.

We at PV wish Vending Does well and we urge companies, firms and individuals involved in the vending industry to do their bit to support this effort. After all, it’s being done in vending’s name…







About the author

The Editor

Planet Vending’s Editor is Ian Reynolds-Young and it’s Ian’s unique writing talent that has made PV what it is today – the best read (red) vending blog in the world, and vending’s best read (reed). Ian ‘tripped and fell into vending’, in the capacity of PR executive, before launching a specialist agency, ‘reynoldscopy’, dedicated to the UK Vending business. The company continues to represent the interests of many of the sector’s leading brands.

‘It’s all about telling stories’, he says. ‘We want to make every visit to PV a rewarding experience. By celebrating the achievements of the UK’s operating companies, we’re on a mission to debunk the idea that vending is retailing’s poor relation.’

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