12 tenacious tractors to travel from London…to Mayo

Preparations are well underway for a tractor run with an “extreme” twist – which will travel from the UK capital of London all the way to Co. Mayo in the coming weeks.

Mayo organisation Extreme Tractor Runs is currently in the process of organising “one of its biggest vintage tractor runs to date” in the form of its London2Mayo Charity Tractor Run.

The tractor run will start in London on April 5, 2020, and arrive in Mayo on April 11, 2020.

According to the organisers, all funds raised will go to the Cancer Fund for Children’s Capital Appeal to build Daisy Lodge in Cong, Co. Mayo.

This is a respite centre for children with cancer which needs full fundraising. At present, there is only one such centre on the island in Newcastle, Co. Down, which sees some 500 families avail of this service annually.

Cancer Fund for Children can only provide one in seven families from the Republic of Ireland with a short break at present – which is why the charity has made the decision to build a second Daisy Lodge in Cong, Co. Mayo, according to Extreme Tractor Runs.

Image source: London2Mayo Charity Tractor Run

It is envisaged that building on Cancer Fund for Children’s therapeutic break centre Daisy Lodge, Co. Mayo, will commence in the next 18 to 24 months – during which time the charity will continue to raise €14.5 million needed to make the plan a reality.

The tractor run will consist of 12 vintage tractors initially for the main part of the run, with an expectation of more tractors joining along the way for support, according to the Mayo group.

The convoy will leave The Claddagh Ring in London, and travel to Kilkelly, Co. Mayo, Ireland.

In a breakdown of the planned route, organisers have listed the following schedule:
  • Sunday, April 5: Leaving the Claddagh Ring, London, at 2:00pm, and travel to Amersham, then Aylesbury for an overnight stop – 41.2 miles;
  • Monday, April 6: Aylesbury, Milton Keynes, Weedon, Tamworth and Newport for an overnight stop – 116 miles;
  • Tuesday, April 7: Newport, Whitchurch, Chester, Birkenhead – 60 miles. Then depart on the 10:30pm ferry to Belfast;
  • Wednesday, April 8: Belfast, Ballynahinch, Newcastle, Co. Down – followed by a two-hour stopover at Daisy Lodge – Hiltown, Newry, Dundalk, Ardee, Carlanstown, Moynalty Steam Treshing for an overnight stay – 101.4 miles;
  • Thursday, April 9: Moynalty, Kells, Delvin, Mullingar, Rathowen, Edgesworthtown, Longford Vintage Club for an overnight stay – 56.9 miles;
  • Friday, April 10: Longford, Strokestown, Tulsk, Ballaghaderreen, Charlestown, Bohola, Castlebar, Ballinrobe, Cong for an overnight stay – 97.5 miles;
  • Saturday, April 11: Cong, Headford, Tuam, Dunmore, Cloonfad, Ballyhaunis, Knock and Kilkelly for the homecoming event – 55.6 miles.

From the above breakdown, the total distance covered will amount to 530 miles or 850km.

In 2018, Extreme Tractor Runs raised €96,000 for Crumlin Children’s Hospital and Castlebar Mayo University Hospital (MUH) Special Care Baby Unit.

Going a step further, in 2019, the group raised a sum of €120,000 for the National Rehabilitation Centre Dun Laoghaire and Mullingar and Castlebar MUH Children’s and Paediatric Special Care Units.

In 2020, the group’s focus will be solely on raising much-needed funds for a new cancer respite centre, Daisy Lodge, in Cong, Co. Mayo.

For more information on the run – and its very worthy cause – as well as info on donating, those interested can check out the event’s Facebook page here.