When Elham-based supporters Hazel Clements and Will Agri picked up a John Deere 3050 tractor nicknamed Big Deere from Portsmouth, they figured they’d take the opportunity to raise some funds.
“Rather than taking the safest and easiest option of just loading her onto a lorry to bring her back quickly and easily, we decided, for a bit of excitement, we’d drive 28-year-old ‘Big Deere’ all the way home!” Hazel explained.
“As it was such a crazy thing to do, we thought it would be a great opportunity to raise money for charity. I’m part of NFU ladies group and that’s where I first found out about R.A.B.I. As this was a farming-related activity, we wanted to raise funds for a farming charity.”
With a 123 mile journey to cover and a max speed of 18mph, they expected the journey to take eight hours – if they didn’t make any pit stops.
Will started out in the tractor while Hazel led the way in the car in front. Everything was going well until they reached a steep hill near Arundel where Big Deere lost power. Fortunately, a change of fuel filter did the trick and got the tractor working again.
Hazel added: “We were diverted through Chichester where they had a farmer’s market, so the city was full of people. We got a few waves as we drove through.”
When they reached Heathfield, Hazel took over driving Big Deere. They stopped off at a friend’s farm in Aldington – “They didn’t believe we’d just come from Portsmouth!” Hazel said – before finishing the final leg of the journey to Elham.
Thanks to support from family and friends, Hazel and Will raised £335.
Pictured above is Hazel Clements with Big Deere.
Interested in fundraising for R.A.B.I? Find out how you can get involved.