HUNDREDS of people lined the streets of south Warwickshire to see a festive tractor run in aid of two local charities.
A Christmas convoy of more than 60 tractors and farm vehicles blazed a bright trail through the area in aid of The Warwickshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs and Warwick children’s charity Molly Ollys.
The vehicles, decked out with festive lights and paraphernalia, paraded through towns and villages on December 13.
The Tractor Run kicked off at 5.30pm from Berkswell & Balsall Rugby Club, taking in Burton Green, Kenilworth, Leek Wootton, Warwick, Leamington and Cubbington and ending at Stoneleigh.
More than £5,000 has been raised so far from tractor drivers, passengers and spectators and the cash keeps rolling in.
One of the event organisers, Charlie Beaty, from The Warwickshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, said: “We have been blown away by the interest and excitement surrounding our first ever tractor run. The past few years have been so difficult for so many people and we wanted to bring some good old-fashioned festive cheer – and we all love driving tractors so it seemed the perfect thing to do.
“The effort the tractor owners went to festively ‘pimp up’ their vehicles was a massive part of the fun. We had an award for ‘Best Dressed Tractor’ which was won by Luke Phillips. It was so popular with spectators that we have decided to make it an annual event.
“People lined the streets all along the route and the spectacle brought together all ages, with children particularly fascinated.”
Molly Ollys is the charity the WYFC have chosen to divide the donations with, after one of the members of the club lost her brother to a very rare form of cancer in 2011.
Rachel Ollerenshaw, co-founder of Molly Ollys, was delighted to be a passenger in one of the tractors.
She said: “I had the best time, it was such a great experience and so humbling to see how many people had taken the time to come out from where they lived or worked to watch us go by and to cheer us on. The Young Farmers brought the community together in a really heart-warming way, we’re so grateful to have their support – their money will make a very real difference to the children we support.”
Warwick-based Molly Ollys was established following the death of Rachel and Tim’s eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer and marks its tenth anniversary this year.
The charity supports children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. It helps with emotional support and donates wishes, therapeutic toys and books to children directly and through hospitals across the UK.
Warwickshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs is a rural youth charity with over 400 members across ten clubs. It provides industry training, mental health support, social activities and more to young people in rural Warwickshire.
To donate to the Tractor Run visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/wfyfc?utm_term=JnE83NDmv