Chester Town Crier and a passing Roman soldier gave baker a colourful send-off as he set off from the city centre on a charity bike marathon round his shops. Edward Chatwin, managing director of Chatwins bread and cake shops, completed a 120-mile cycling marathon to help a bumper £3,000 for the  President’s Appeal launched by St Luke’s.

To raise its profile he stopped off at all shops and coffee lounges owned by the well-known family firm including Chester Northgate Street, Upton, Hoole, Blacon and Great Sutton. The firm, which celebrates its centenary this month, operates 21 shops across Cheshire and Staffordshire and employs more than 300 people.

To mark the milestone it is supporting the appeal to raise £500,000 to build a unique Centre of Excellence offering specialist training to people caring for the frail and elderly in the community.

Pies and pasties help fuel his pedal-power as the father-of-three was welcomed by employees across the chain.

 He said: “Chester was a great place to start the ride. It was meant to be pretty low key but as these pictures for the Chronicle were taken the Town Crier came over to wish me good luck and then a centurion with a local touring company who just happening to be walking by joined in. Now that could only happen in Chester!”

Edward, whose great grandfather founded the business in 1913, was sponsored by family friends and customers. His effort looks set to double once collection boxes in all shops are counted.