The Nash Dash
By: Tony Hoyland; Pictures Michael Jackson & Tony Hoyland
The male branch of the Rimmer family will embark on a 600 mile road trip by vintage tractor on Saturday, June 30, to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care – what a great but by their own admission daft idea.
Tony Rimmer and his three sons James, 25, Alastair, 22, and Joshua, 19, will be at the core of a team which will set out from the village of Wroot in North Lincolnshire bound for Western France. They will be taking turns at the wheel of a 1964 International B-414 tractor on the seven day trip doing an average of 12mph.
Breuil Bernard, a small village near the town of Moncoutant in Deux Sevre, will be the final destination for the tractor, where Tony, 55, and wife Anne own an old farmhouse. The couple bought the old place a few years ago and now, with them both on the brink of early retirement, the decision was made that they should emigrate and settle there.
It was James who decided that they should have a tractor in this rural area where the very least of its duties would include log splitting. And as he studied agriculture at Harper Adams University and then went on to work on agricultural contracts in countries including Ukraine, Russia and Libya, he would argue that he is well informed enough to make such a decision for them. Why not just buy a tractor in France? Tony said: “The inspiration came from Tony Hawks’ book about his journey around the coast of Ireland hitchhiking with a fridge.
“It seemed so absurd that we thought why couldn’t we do something similar for charity?”
But their fate was sealed when James suffered from a bout of the wavy hand syndrome at a Harrogate machine auction; despite warnings from dad Tony for the others to keep an eye on him – the International B-414 was theirs. Tony said: “Some men take up golf, some men take up fishing; apparently I am taking up old tractors!” It was later, at the local pub, that Alastair and James began to fine tune the project.
The serious bit
Statistics prove that there are not many of us whose lives have not been touched by someone close being diagnosed with cancer. Tony puts this forward most eloquently when he gives the reason Marie Curie Cancer Care became the team’s chosen charity: “Cancer has no boundaries and does not stop at the English Channel. Earlier this year our French friends Alain and Monique Fievre lost a member of their family to cancer, while over in England my sons have recently lost their uncle Brian and Anne’s sister-in-law is desperately fighting the ravages of liver cancer. We also lost a family friend, Kevin, to this horrendous disease. Sadly the problem is around us all.”
The fundraisers have set themselves a massive target of £10,000 and beneath the fun that they intend to have on their great adventure, you can sense a steely determination to reach it. No stone has been left unturned in the preparation stages of this run; and as you read this, each daily stage has been measured, stopping points planned, the tractor has been overhauled to minimise any potential breakdowns and a support vehicle chosen.
Tony has even contacted Phil Elms who completed a road run of some 400 miles on an International B-414 (see Tractor issue 100, The big five-oh!), to find someone with first-hand experience of what could possibly cause a problem on the tractor.
Prior to the set-off date, the tractor will be appearing at the Lincolnshire Show 2012 (June 20-21) to promote the Nash Dash, and to help boost the funds of the charity coffers a Marie Curie Event has been planned for each day of the run and the tractor may be autographed by anyone making a donation at these events.
For more information on the Nash Dash visit www.thenashdash.com where the link to donate to Marie Curie Cancer Care can also be found. The Nash Dash team has kindly allowed Tractor magazine to track its journey throughout the run and you can follow its progress on our website www.tractormagazine.co.uk or through our facebook pages.
The Nash Dash departs from Wroot, North Lincolnshire, about four miles west of Epworth, on June 30. Setting off SW in the direction of Finningley and Bawtry, the team will head south to Barmby Moor and on through Ollerton heading past the Eastern side of Nottingham to Bingham.
An early start on Sunday heading past Cotgrave then SW through Loughborough, down the eastern side of Leicester to Narborough, from where the trip carries on along the back roads heading down past Leamington Spa, before finally ending the day at Wellesbourne.
Heading SW through the heart of the Cotswolds through Moreton-in-Marsh and Stow in the Wold and on to the town of Cirencester. The journey continues past Chippenham on to Frome in Somerset.
Heading in a southerly direction through to the village of Mere and then heading SE through the town of Shaftesbury. Eventually arriving to the North of Poole at Wimborne Minster, and then into Poole for the final English leg of the journey.
Set sail for St Malo in France at 5.30am on Wednesday incorporating a 51⁄2 hour stop in Guernsey, arriving in St Malo at 4.45pm. A day of rest for the saddle-sore team with plenty of restorative red wine!
Depart St Malo heading SE. The first stop will be for a picture by the historic chateau in the town of Combourg in Normandy. Proceeding on to the town of St Aubin du Cormier and on though the medieval fortified town of Vitre, Southern Normandy.
South through Craon on to Segre and across the magnificent River Loire at Chalonnes sur Loire. Reaching the town of Chemille by evening.
Travel south through the towns of Maulrevier, Mauleon, Cerizay and Moncoutant and then head east for two more miles to destination Breuil Bernard!
The International B-414 was introduced in 1961 and discontinued in 1966 during which time 52,758 were built at the factory in Bradford, West Yorkshire. The 2.5 litre (154cu in) four-cylinder diesel engine produces 44hp which is transmitted through an eight-speed (four-speed Hi & Low range) gearbox to the rear wheels. The B-414 is actually smaller in size than most cars measuring in at only 2970mm long x 2280mm in width and weighs 1837kg (4050lb). The tractor’s fuel tank is capable of carrying 48.1 litres or 12.7 gallons.
Breuil Bernard is a small village with a population of around 600, nestling in the rolling, hilly bocage countryside in the Department of the Deux Sevre. The surrounding agricultural area is famous for the Parthenaise breed of cattle. The village and population were badly affected in the savage Vendee Wars of 1792. Close by is Europe’s first International Fishing and Nature Complex comprised of more than 100 hectares of fishing lakes with freshwater fish of all types.
Can you help?
Tony and the team would be pleased to hear from you if you want to join them at some part of the run. They would also like to hear from anyone close to the route who may be able to help with their mechanical services. Tony can be contacted on 07919 193963.
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