HUNDREDS of tractors took part in a National Tractor Run event which raised £17,126 for two important charities.

The successful weekend event, in aid of the Wales Air Ambulance and Marie Curie, attracted over a thousand people, as well as 370 registered tractors.

The organisers of the National Vintage Tractor Club Run recently presented a cheque of £8,563 to Wales Air Ambulance volunteers Graham Hirst and Margaret Pritchard at Llanilid Farm, Pencoed, Bridgend.

The National Vintage Tractor Run is held annually at different locations across the UK. The event first started in the mid 1980’s, to bring together like minded tractor enthusiasts for a weekend to raise money for charity, whilst having an enjoyable time.

In 2018, Pencoed farmer Wayne Griffiths, who is a member of Glamorgan Iron Horse Vintage Society, had the idea of bringing the national event to south Wales. 

After a successful meeting with co-founder of the run, Ashley Godsall, Wayne formed a committee to organise the 2020 event which they named Glamorgan Vintage Tractor Club, this included enthusiasts from ‘The Tractor Boys of Aberthin, and ‘Glamorgan Iron Horse Vintage Society’.

Sadly, due to the pandemic the event was cancelled in 2020 and 2021. However, Wayne and the committee were determined to ‘plough on and aim for 2022’.

The tractors took part in the run from Llanilid Farm to Sealands Farm, then on to Ogmore-by-sea and Ewenny before heading back to Llanilid Farm.

At Sealands Farm, there were tractor displays, a raffle, refreshments, and many stalls.

One of the organisers Dave King said: “In June 2021, our entry secretary who had been ill for some time, sadly lost the battle and passed away. A tremendous loss, as one can imagine. We were more determined than ever now to really put on an event to be remembered.

“All who were involved with the event were over the moon with the final total – it makes it all worthwhile. I must add, with costs as they are, we were blessed with some very generous sponsors, advertisers and those who donated financially or with goods and materials to help the cause. Without them, the final total would have been greatly reduced.

“There was wonderful support from our respective families, wives, sons, daughters, girlfriends, and friends. All chipping in to lend a hand.”

Members from local tractor societies came together to assist with all manner of jobs prior, during and after the event, including ‘The Tractor Boys of Aberthin’.

Wales Air Ambulance offers advanced critical care and is often described as a ‘Flying ED’. The on-board consultants and critical care practitioners are highly skilled and carry some of the most pioneering medical equipment in the world. 

They can deliver blood transfusions, administer anaesthesia, and undertake emergency operations at the scene of the incident, before flying the patient directly to specialist care.

Reflecting on why the lifesaving charity would benefit from the event, Dave added: “One of the first decisions to be agreed was, who are we raising money for? There are so many deserving causes out there! 

Wales Air Ambulance was chosen because, by its very nature, serious accidents on farms require a rapid response. Not always easy in rural locations. The farming community realise this and always support efforts to raise money for air ambulance organisations around the UK. Some have needed assistance themselves.”

James Cordell, Wales Air Ambulance’s Community Fundraiser said: “It was wonderful to hear that the National Vintage Tractor Run would be held in South Wales. Despite the setbacks of the pandemic the organisers were determined the event would go ahead this year and it was a huge success. Thank you to everyone who took part, helped, or attended on the day. You’ve helped raise an amazing amount for both charities. Donations, like this

one, will help the Wales Air Ambulance continue to be there for the people of Wales, especially in rural areas, when they need us most. You’re all helping save more lives across the country. Thank you.”

There are several ways that the public can continue to support the Wales Air Ambulance.

These include online donations, signing up to the Charity’s Lifesaving Lottery or by coming up with their own innovative ways to fundraise at home. Further information can be found via www.walesairambulance.com. 

Alternatively, a £5 text-message donation can be made by texting the word HELI to 70711.