News > Super precision bearings smooth way for jailbreak attempt

Super precision bearings smooth way for jailbreak attempt


BBC Radio Devon personality, Gordon Sparks, will be hoping for a smooth getaway after escaping with £500 of sponsorship from Plymouth super precision ball bearing manufacturer, The Barden Corporation (UK) Ltd.

Gordon, or 'Sparksy' as he's better known, has joined forces with three other team mates - Brian Cross, Joseph Louei and Salvo Natale - to form team "Have a Ball with Sparksy & Co". They will be taking part in the Dartmoor Jail Break on the 19th April, where the challenge sees teams 'escape' from Dartmoor Prison and travel as far as they can in the allotted time, without spending any money.

The planned itinerary includes bus driving, football commentary and even a personal favour from the Sultan of Brunei! Dr Graham Stirling, Managing Director at Barden commented: "The Jailbreak challenge has become hugely popular over the years and after hearing about the fantastic itinerary the Have a Ball team had put together and the good causes they were supporting, we couldn't really say no and had to come on board as sponsors".

Gordon Sparks makes a hasty escape with his bearing loot, hotly pursued by Barden Managing Director, Dr Graham Stirling and Senior Manufacturing Engineer, Geoff Kelly.

Have a Ball with Sparksy & Co are supporting four charities - the main event charity, Vranch House School and Centre, Macmillan Cancer Support, St Lukes Hospice and The Chestnut Appeal for Prostate Cancer.

Dr Stirling continued: " Barden has strong ties to the local community and we back local fundraising efforts where we can. Macmillan Cancer Support is a charity close to the hearts of many of our employees and they've had our support on numerous occasions. Have a Ball are supporting four very deserving charities and we're happy to do what we can to help".

The challenge celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and past teams have reached as far as Australia and Hong Kong in their jailbreak attempts. Have a Ball & Chain will be braving a 21 hour flight to travel to Brunei as part of the challenge. While there, the team will meeting a number of dignitaries, including the British High Commissioner and the Sultan of Brunei.

The team also plan to visit several of the local kids clubs in the country during their stay. In his capacity as the Chairman of local rugby team Plymouth Albion, Dr Stirling plans to support this venture by pledging some child sized PARFC shirts, signed by the team.

Gordon Sparks, presenter of The Plymouth Breakfast show and a commentator for Plymouth Argyle commented:

I am delighted that a company of the stature of Barden has joined forces with my team. A worldwide name getting involved with a local fundraising event shows that community spirit is alive and kicking here in Plymouth. We will be proud to wear the Barden logo on our prison outfits and T-shirts, and also - through Graham's contacts - that Plymouth Albion will be helping us to spread the name of the city in Brunei."

A market leader in the design and manufacture of super precision ball bearings for more than 60 years, Barden has supplied products to a range of extreme environment applications, including vacuum pumps and the aerospace industry. With a customer base that includes NASA, Schlumberger and a number of leading aerospace and defence companies, Barden boasts state-of-the-art production technology and a wealth of engineering expertise.

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