11th April 2012

Gruelling Vintage Tractor Challenge Gets Underway

The return to icy conditions looks set to mean a gruelling few days aboard a cab-less vintage tractor this week for Eilidh Grieve who is undertaking a 200 mile coast-to-coast charity drive.

The epic fund-raising journey will see Perthshire-based Eilidh drive a 1963 Super Dextra tractor from Campbeltown in the west to Crail in the East to raise funds for rural charity RSABI.

Eilidh, who is a development officer with RSABI, will be supported on the trip by her father, Willie Grieve, during the trip starting tomorrow and finishing all being well on Saturday. Willie painstakingly restored the tractor after it was found abandoned and neglected under a tree on a Perthshire Estate. He then presented the tractor to Eilidh for her 18th birthday in 2006.

“It might not be everyone’s idea of a glamorous open-top but I love driving it – though the lack of power steering can be a bit challenging at times. The speed is controlled by a hand throttle and it has a top of 23 miles per hour. I’ll be pulling in regularly to let other drivers past and my thanks and appreciation go to all if a little patience is required!”

A huge amount of planning has gone into the trip but the one unknown was always the weather. “We had three inches of snow in Ballinluig, where I live, last week. After the weather we’ve been experiencing in recent weeks I’m really not sure whether to pack sunglasses or a snowsuit!” To cover both weather eventualities staff at Quality Meat Scotland have donated a Scotch Beef t-shirt and beanie hat to wish Eilidh well on her trip.

And while Eilidh has not been undertaking any formal training regime ahead of her coast-to-coast endurance test she is confident the stamina she has built up over the past few weeks helping fiancé Craig Robertson with the lambing on his family farm Newton of Logierait will stand her in very good stead!

Perhaps surprisingly saddle sore is not an issue as the tractor has a sprung seat – the main physical challenge she expects to encounter is the cold on her hands, feet and face.

The reason for the challenge is to raise funds for RSABI, Scotland’s charity helping people who have depended on the land. RSABI provides financial support and assistance to those who have worked in land based occupations and are now struggling to cope due to accidents, illness or low income. Last year the charity distributed over £380,000 in financial support to 538 individuals and/or households.

“Part of my role with the charity is to encourage others to fundraise for us and, particularly given it looks like I may well be enduring sleet or snow on route, I hope that it may inspire others to take on a challenge for RSABI!” added Eilidh.

You can sponsor Eilidh by visiting the RSABI website – www.rsabi.org.uk/central . Alternatively you can donate £3 by texting "TRACTOR" to 70300. 100% of the donation will go to RSABI and you may have to pay your standard rate message in addition to the donation.

For further press information please contact Eilidh Grieve, RSABI Development Officer, on 07798695370 or email eilidh.grieve@rsabi.org.uk



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