Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Help these students complete 900 miles with a very slow classic for charity

THERE are lots of things you could do to try out your newly restored pride and joy.

You could, for instance, take it on a run out to the seaside. You could impress your mates down the pub with the results of all your hard work. You could even, if you're feeling ambitious, take it to a show and earn yourself lots of approving comments from petrolheads who've put themselves through the same task to restore something they hold close to their hearts.

Or you could drive it between John 'o' Groats and Land's End and raise a couple of quid for charity. Easier said than done if the classic in question isn't even a car. You could try driving from one end of the country to the other in a freshly-restored 1963 Massey Ferguson.

Which is a tractor.

That's what a trio of mechanically-minded students from Myerscough College are attempting, having set off from the top of Scotland last Saturday (March 25). They are on course to pass through Lancashire tomorrow (March 28).

A spokesperson for the college said this week:

"Three brave Myerscough College students who are attempting to drive 900 miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End …on a tractor! They are raising money for Help for Heroes and the Air Ambulance Service.

"Having restored the 1963 Massey Ferguson tractor to its former glory, the three intrepid students will attempt to cover the 900 mile journey in just 8 days. Completing an average of 120 miles per day, the students will be on the road for anywhere between 8 and 12 hours every day."

The three students - Byron Ratcliffe, Richard Unsworth and Mark France - are aiming to raise £10,000 and have already raised over £1,500 to help the charities, but in order to help them reach their target they're looking for a little extra support.

I've done the Land's End - John 'o' Groats challenge before (admittedly by public transport) and am painfully aware of just how long a journey it is. Fair play to the three of them for taking on the 900 mile journey on a 49-year-old tractor - I doubt whether my younger, faster MGB would last the same distance without breaking down!

To give the trio's epic tractor adventure a bit of a boost, visit their JustGiving page at

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