Dunmow Great Tractor Run raises more than £3,000

Tractor run

Tractor run - Credit: Archant

When a group of 38 old farm tractors assembled at a grain barn in Stebbing for a charity outing, the owners had only one thing in mind. “Will my wonderful example of mid-20th century engineering make around a 30-mile cross country trip without breaking down?”

The procession of vintage farm vehicles did make their way into Great Bardfield, Saling and Shalford, past the Blue Egg and into Lindsell and back again even if a few of them got lost along the way on a Sunny Sunday in May. And only one broke down.

Vintage tractor enthusiasts, some who had restored their vehicles from a sorry old state, had come from as far as Ipswich, Lakenheath in Suffolk and Stanford le Hope on The Thames. The event had been published in all the best specialist tractor magazines.

It was all for a good cause and for the second year running, the Great Tractor Run has raised over £3,000 for charity. Last year, the event organised by vintage tractor enthusiasts, Dick Hughes and David Hunt raised £3,300 for Farleigh Hospice.

This year, the cash is still coming in. It’s over £3,000 so far and they think they have beaten that figure for their donation to Macmillan.

Mr Hughes, 74, said: “These charities mean a lot to people of our age. A lot of us are retired. We set off, sharp at 10 o’clock, waving at any well-wishers who were up and about. The route took us through to Bardfield Saling hopefully not disturbing the congregation at the Round Church’s morning service.

“Soon after this disaster struck. On a badly rutted bye-way, a 65-year-old Allis Chalmers broke down. The front half of the convoy carried on obliviously whilst the tail enders behind ground to a halt.

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“After some serious pushing and towing the offending tractor sprang into life again. However the front of the convoy had vanished and a mile or two down the road, the followers missed a turning. The leaders were now in the backwoods of Shalford whilst the tailenders were in Great Saling travelling completely in the wrong direction.

“However, by a stroke of good luck both ends were reunited at The Blue Egg Café and continued on their way through Oxen End to a stop at Brazenhead Farm where David and Primrose Hunt laid on refreshments for everyone. The convoy then resumed its journey through Lindsell, Monk Street, Great Easton and to Bran End. There were one or two stragglers but I can report that no one is still missing.

Marie Bell, one of the two women who took part, said: “By the kind permission of local farmers, we drove across some lovely countryside not usually accessible by the public. The weather was kind and after getting lost a few times, we arrived somewhat late at Brazenhead Farm for tea and cakes.

“Then, after losing (and finding) a few more tractors, we got back to Dunmow Farm in time for more tea and bacon baps. I think our map reading skills need to improve by next year, but we all had a most enjoyable day. I’d like to say a big thank you to David and Dick for all their hard work. I’m sure we all know someone who has been helped by Macmillan Cancer Support.”