The iconic Pink Ladies’ Tractor Road Run returned in style this weekend as a convoy of 112 decorated tractors wound their way through south Norfolk and north Suffolk.
The event, which is now in its eighteenth year, is edging ever closer to raising £1m in aid of Cancer Research UK’s breast cancer appeal.
Crowds packed the route while family and friends joined the ladies at a picnic lunch in the sunshine at Gawdy Hall meadow.
People were cheering along the route in towns, villages, laybys and gardens.
Houses and businesses were bedecked in pink bunting, banners, flags and many supporters were dressed in head-to-toe pink.
Organised by Annie Chapman BEM, the annual run started at Thorpe Abbotts airfield before passing through Brockdish, Upper Weybread, Harleston, Pulham St. Mary, Rushall and Langmere Green.
Annie was driving one of the oldest tractors on the run – a 1950 David Brown Cropmaster – which had recently been repainted. She said: “Harleston was incredible, it really choked me up driving through the town. It was packed and it was just wonderful to see, people are incredibly supportive, it’s been very emotional.
“It’s not been an easy run this year, but we’ve had lovely weather and each year the run has got more and more pink.
“The people taking art are from all walks of life and all ages – all on different makes and models of tractors.
“Everyone knows someone who has had cancer and the support means so much because all we can do is raise money to help with research. What else can we do.”
This year, 29 ladies new to the run took part including Ebony Ayton who was taking part with her mum Joanne Grimmer and grandmother Pam Grimmer.
Ebony said: “To start off with it was really scary but once I got going it was really lovely. There’s lots of people cheering all the way round, even on the back roads. It does make it feel nice, it’s so sweet when you see people cheering and whistling.”
Ebony’s mum Joanne Grimmer who lives in Great Moulton, was taking part in her 17th Pink Ladies’ Tractor Run. As well as joining in with the event she fundraises throughout the year, she said: “It’s been amazing as always and Ebony has done brilliantly.
“The event is still so unique even after all this time and people want to support it.”
Pam Grimmer has taken part in every run since it started, she said: “I’ve been into tractors for a long time and Annie rang me up one day and said ‘I’ve had an idea – what do you think about doing a ladies tractor run’. I said ‘Yeah, if you can get enough ladies’ – and it’s grown from there.
“The people in Harleston were great. People decorate their gardens and in one a banner said, ‘I beat breast cancer’.”
Joanne Grimmer said: “It’s good to have that reminder as you drive round because you remember why you are doing the run.
“The reason behind our motivation is that cancer is relentless, and everyone is affected by it. We’ve lost ladies who have done the run previously and this is why we can’t stop raising awareness and money for Cancer Research UK’s breast cancer appeal.”
Annie Chapman said: “As with any event of this size it cannot be achieved without the support of many people. I would like to thank everyone involved, all the drivers, all the people who lend tractors, the land-owners, the many marshals, collecting ladies and anyone else who helps to make this event happen, it’s a large team effort!”
The monies raised from this year’s event will be announced in September. To donate online please visit https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/unite/pink-ladies-tractor-road-run-2022
To find out more about the run visit https://www.ladiestractorroadrun.co.uk
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