Tractor rally back on track

A CHARITY tractor rally is back on track after organisers confirmed at the weekend that a new venue had been found.The East Suffolk Tractor Run had been in doubt after the Aussie Earl of Stradbroke's son, 19-year-old Henham Rous, told the tractor enthusiasts that it would cost £1,000 to use the Henham estate near Southwold.

A CHARITY tractor rally is back on track after organisers confirmed at the weekend that a new venue had been found.

The East Suffolk Tractor Run had been in doubt after the Aussie Earl of Stradbroke's son, 19-year-old Henham Rous, told the tractor enthusiasts that it would cost £1,000 to use the Henham estate near Southwold.

When the Star reported the decision to cancel the rally on grounds of cost, offers from landowners poured in to host the event.

"We had no idea just how many people were keen to see the tractor run continue.

"All of us involved with the tractor rally are so grateful for all the offers we received," said Mr Garbutt, of Oulton Broad.

"We had dozens of offers from people all over the place, as far as Bury St Edmunds. It was very heart-warming," he said.

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Mr and Mrs Garbutt have visited Roger Desborough at his farm at Wenhaston, near Halesworth, and confirmed that it would make an ideal venue for the rally to be based.

"I took up the Wenhaston offer because it means we can stick to our original route aside from the bit from Henham.

"But I am set up with free places to start it from for the next ten years. It's just great that it can go ahead as it gives the young lads and lasses round here something to look forward to as well as raising money for charity," said Mr Garbutt.

Organisers Dennis and Brenda Garbutt said they realised that the Earl's son has a duty to make the north Suffolk estate pay for itself and the decision not to use Henham for the tractor run had been reached amicably.

"We are just grateful that we have been able to use Henham without charge for the past four years which has enabled us to support various charities," said Mr Garbutt.

In the past the event has supported different good causes including research into breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.

This year's tractor run is raising funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance and will take place on Sunday, May 4.

"Peter Mendham, from the East Anglian Air Ambulance Trust, said he was really happy it was now going ahead," said Mr Garbutt.

Roger Desborough said he was delighted at being able to help and has won numerous trophies for his ploughing skills using historic tractors.

"I am a vintage tractor enthusiast myself and will be taking part in the run.

"There is enough space here at Wenhaston for everyone to park," he said.

Mr Desborough said the event was extremely popular and felt Wenhaston would make a fine venue for up to 90 vintage tractors to start their 20-mile jaunt around north Suffolk.

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