A DOCTOR from East Preston – who by night takes to the stage as an amateur dramatics star – will be pushing himself to limit to help rejuvenate a theatre in Littlehampton.
Dr Tim Kimber, who is a GP at Park Surgery, in St Floras Road, Littlehampton, will be cycling a gruelling course from London to Brighton to raise money for the Windmill Entertainment Centre.
Dr Kimber, who also runs theatre company TJ Productions, has performed countless times at the Windmill.
But he says the theatre is in desperate need of renovation, particularly to the backstage areas of the facility.
Dr Kimber said: “The condition of the Windmill struck me.
“Over the years I have been involved with the theatre and I know it is struggling for cash. It is being run on a skeleton crew and obviously there are so many things that they need to tackle, they simply can’t do it all.
“It needs about £5,000 of refurbishment for a new sound system. Also, backstage the flooring is coming apart. The toilets are in a dilapidated state.”
Dr Kimber will be tackling the 52-mile course through the North and South Downs on June 15.
He hopes to raise about £2,000, which he pledged to plough into improving the Windmill.
“It is a really lovely theatre,” he said. “But the backstage facilities are not up to scratch to attract larger and more professional companies to it, which is a shame.”
Dr Kimber, 54, has been training for several weeks for the endurance test, which he has likened to the ‘marathon of all cycle rides’.
His average training ride is about 30 miles – just over half the distance he will have to cover on the actual day.
“It’s quite a daunting event to be doing,” he added.
“I have never cycled this far before, so to do this at my age is going to be a struggle.
“Right now I’m cycling a lot into the wind along the south coast to make the ride harder.”
The London to Brighton ride is this year being organised by the British Heart Foundation.
And although Dr Kimber is anxious about completing the distance, he will have plenty of support with him along the way.
He will be riding with friend Nick Howland, of Worthing, his daughter Katie and his son-in-law.
Dr Kimber said: “Although I know the ride will be quite hard I’m quite a competitive person.
“So I want to try to complete the course in a decent time.”
Dr Kimber is urging people to sponsor his efforts.
As the Windmill is not a registered charity he has no online site for people to donate to.
However, he is calling on Windmill patrons and residents in the area to donate either directly to the theatre itself or to leave money in a collection tin at his surgery in Littlehampton.
Carrie Reynolds, community development manager for Inspire Leisure, which helps operate the theatre, said: “What Tim is doing is incredible. The Windmill has had a tough time recently but there is so much support for it – it’s a real community asset.”
The cinema re-opened its doors in February after being closed for about a year and has a full programme of films.