Welshpool’s illuminated Christmas tractor run raises thousands for the Addington Fund

  • Welshpool’s high street was closed on Sunday 11th December for the most amazing 30 mile long illuminated tractor run, all in aid of the Addington Fund

With over 200 tractors taking part in the tractor run, the streets lit up with pure Christmas joy and cheer, rippling through the watching crowd of hundreds of people.

This fun filled Christmas event was organised by Jenny Clarke and her husband, Kevin, who have now been running the spectacle for two years. They said: “We first came up with the idea of an illuminated tractor run last year and we originally only wanted to find 8 to 10 local farmers who would be willing to decorate their tractors to pass by our young son’s school. After putting a request on a local Facebook page, it soon became apparent that more than 10 or so people were interested in doing this, and it quickly became an event with over 85 tractors travelling on a 30 mile route, in aid of charity.”

“With just myself and my husband Kevin organising everything, it is certainly a big task. We both work full time and have 3 children, but we enjoy it and can see the huge benefits it gives to the farming charities, our farmers and the members of public too.”

“Last year, we remember stepping outside the livestock market where everyone was asked to congregate before the run, and although we expected 88 tractors, it still came as a surprise at how amazing the sight was with them all lined up and illuminated! It was just magical seeing hundreds of smiling, happy people who were spectating.”

“Both years have brought so much joy to so many people, whilst raising awareness for the farming charities, this year in particular for the Addington Fund.”

Each year Jenny and Kevin have vowed to continue running this event, not only to bring so much joy to spectators, but also to support the agricultural charities. Jenny explains that “whilst all charities are very worthy and also need the awareness, keeping it agricultural for us is key. Farmers are an essential part of our society, our economy and they play a huge role in keeping us all fed and watered.  They also provide employment for people in rural communities. We should all be encouraged to support the farming industry more, so by holding an event like the Welshpool Illuminated Tractor Run, it’s encouraging many people to show their support too.”

During the day, the Addington Fund staff manned the stand whilst passers-by stopped to buy their charity Christmas cards, learn more about the charity and kindly donated for farmers in times of need. In the evening, the decorated tractors drove from Welshpool’s Livestock Market, through Welshpool town centre then on for a further 30 miles, where the members of public could stand at the side of the road to admire and enjoy the spectacle.

As well as raising awareness for the Addington Fund, fundraising activities took place before and during the day of the tractor run. Raffle tickets were sold in many shops and neighbouring companies around Welshpool, and a “Best Dressed Tractor” competition was held where children entered their toy pedal tractors and paraded around part of the Livestock Market in anticipation of winning first prize.

A huge £7,500 was made from this fantastic event and donations are still trickling in via the designated just giving page. Naturally, this would not have been made possible without the generous support from this year’s sponsors. Thank you goes to Robert Davies Machinery, Rea Valley Tractors, Welshpool Printing Group, TR Machinery, RVW Pugh, Derwas of Welshpool, FRS & Transportation, Pontesbury Tractors, Hughes Catering and Welshpool Livestock Market. Also a huge thank you to the 92 volunteer marshals that supported the event.

For anyone wishing to enter their tractors next year, just do it, join in and have some fun. It’s also an opportunity to chat to other like-minded farmers, local folk and have a rest from the daily grind of work! All you need to do is give a small entry fee which goes to charity.

Congratulations to Jenny and Kevin for organising such an inspirational, fun, feel good happy event. And a huge thank you goes to all the amazing farmers who took part in such an incredible show and brought joy to all who were there…

If you would like to donate to the Addington Fund, visit their website on www.addingtonfund.org.uk/donate or if you would like to know more about the Illuminated Tractor Run, search “Welshpool’s Illuminated Christmas Tractor Run” on Facebook.