LEATHER-clad bikers roared into Sunderland on Saturday morning to welcome tall ships to the town ahead of a major international sailing event.

On July 11 a magnificent fleet of sailing vessels will arrive at the North-East coast for the UK’s largest, free, family festival; the Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018.

And with just three months to go, around 250 of the North East of England’s motorcycle fraternity staged their own special welcome this weekend.

The North East Coalition of Motorcycle Clubs, hosted by the Hells Angels MC Tyne & Wear formed a guard of honour for the incoming Tall Ships with leather and chrome.

The Hells Angels have a strong link to naval heritage as their Sunderland Club Hose, Angels Place, was used to house and rehabilitate injured sailors from the epic Battle of Trafalgar.

And the building houses a full log detailing the chronological events of the naval battle, with each ship’s fate accounted for and the notification of Admiral Nelson’s death in battle carefully recorded.