Over a thousand people braved the wind and rain to watch 97 tractors, festooned with Christmas lights, from the local farming community.
The tractors travelled from the Oswestry Livestock Market, covering a 37 mile circular route through eleven other towns and villages around Oswestry, then back again to raise money for the Lingen Davies Cancer Charity based in Shrewsbury.
Lead organiser Mike Lade said, “The event was organised in memory of a very popular young farmer, Will Roberts of Pennant Farm in Gobowen. Will, the much-loved son of Dave and Sue Roberts, was affectionately known by all as “Choc” because of his love of chocolate. Sadly, “Choc” died from a brain tumour on 12th December last year so this will be a fitting event to remember “Choc”. Chocs own tractor lead the tractor run, driven by Whittington and Oswestry Young Farmers Chairman Charles Dean, and also had Santa onboard to wave to all the children as they passed.
“At the Livestock Market, the best illuminated tractor was judged by the town’s Mayor Olly Rose and the prize was awarded to Tom Evens from Calcott Manor at Llanymnech. North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan then waved off the convoy to start the very first ever Oswestry Illuminated Tractor Run at 5.00pm as the darkness was falling.
“People lined the route through the towns, villages, laybys and even field gateways on the route to cheer the tractors as they passed by, each tractor driver sounding their air horns in acknowledgment.
“The event was jointly organised by Whittington and Oswestry Young Farmer’s with Lingen Davies organisation who arranged the collectors on the route.”
Mike added, “We were totally amazed by the level of support from our community on a dull, damp and cold night. We need not have worried. We look forward to organising a bigger and better event next year. Many thanks to the local Young Farmers, without whom this event would not have happened. I hope Sue and Dave Roberts think this was a good epitaph to Choc and that it becomes an annual event in the Oswestry diary. Hopefully it will be up there with all the other Christmas events held in the town to bring in the Christmas spirit to the community”.
If anyone would still like to support the tractor run and Lingen Davies then please go online to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/will-jackson-1.
Pencil a date in your diary for Saturday 14th December 2023 for the next run!
Tom Evens with the trophy for best illuminated tractor, alongside Sue Roberts, Tom Evans and Mayor Olly Rose.
Picture credits: Graham Mitchell & David Roberts.