Fred Hill memorial ride by Motorcycle Action Group

Bikers have ridden through Cornwall in memory of a man who died in prison while protesting against the 1973 helmet law.

Fred Hill was jailed on numerous occasions for refusing to recognise the compulsory law.

The 74-year-old Yorkshire man died from heart failure in Pentonville prison on 10 February 1984.

About 50 bikers took part in the memorial ride which was organised by Cornwall Motorcycle Action Group (MAG).

War dispatch rider

The group laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in Truro.

Spokesman Philip Neale said motorcyclists across the country were also commemorating the anniversary of Mr Hill's death.

He said MAG was not against the wearing of helmets, but "merely the infringement of personal choice in being forced to do so".

The Cornish group has organised a memorial rally every year since Mr Hill's death.

"We see Fred as a freedom fighter - he fought for what he believed in," Mr Neale told BBC News.

"The rally is particularly poignant this year because so many people are concerned that cyclists could soon be forced to wear high visibility jackets."

Mr Hill was a motorcycle dispatch rider during World War II.

The retired school teacher, who lived in Hayes, Middlesex, believed education was preferable to legislation for issues about motorcycle safety.

When the helmet law was introduced, he refused to comply and refused to pay the resulting fines, which led to about 30 short custodial sentences.

Mr Hill was halfway through a 60-day sentence when he died.

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