Tractor drivers from across the north of England are being invited to get in gear and join a spring morning convoy through one of the most beautiful forests in the country.
The drive through the Hamsterley Forest in County Durham takes place on Sunday 22 March and is in aid of the spinal cord injuries unit at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
Organised by John McLeod from Witton Park near Bishop Auckland, the 20-plus mile drive begins from Hamsterley Working Men’s Club from around 9am. John is asking for a £10 entry fee, payable on the day and is hoping to attract many other tractor aficionados for this charity drive.
John, 43, who after an accident many years ago left him paraplegic, said: “Having spent so much time in the spinal injuries unit following my accident, I just want to help them raise funds towards a garden for the benefit of the patients.
“All my working life I’ve been involved with tractors in forestry harvesting work and I hope this attracts not only lots of tractor owners who will come along on the drive, but also those fans of tractor rallies who can come along and view the vast range of old and new models.”
“I’m also looking for a dozen volunteers to steward, help sell raffle tickets, draw tickets and carry collection buckets. Ideally from 9am to 4pm. That would be fantastic, but if you can only spare a few hours that’s fine.
“I’d also like to thank the Forestry Commission for their help with this event, which I hope will raise a significant amount for the spinal unit, after all a spinal cord injury can happen to anyone.”
Glynis Peat, directorate manager for the spinal cord injuries unit, said: “This is such a kind gesture from John and we wish him all the best in this venture. We have plans to create an outside therapeutic garden which will be of benefit to our patients, who come from all over the region.”
Those wanting to take part in the event are asked to call either John on 07792 764310 or Martin Hodgson on 07812 137999. There will also be a prize raffle draw at the event which should finish off back at Hamsterley Working Men’s Club around 2pm.