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Massive Tractor Turnout

Massive Tractor Turnout

Tractors of all shapes, sizes and ages took over Lauder and the surrounding area on 5 November in aid of Doddie Weir’s foundation to fund research into Motor Neuron Disease (MND).

The machines, which ranged from a 1940s Grey Fergie to state of the art giants, formed up at Thirlestane Castle, Lauder before a spectacular ‘Grand Parade of Tractors’ set off around the local area.

They were led off by a brand new John Deere 6250R shipped straight from the factory in Germany driven by Xander Donald of Thomas Sherrif & Co, Stow (see left). Xander recently lost his father in law to MND and in the passenger seat was Hamish Weir, the eldest son of Doddie. 

Crowds lined the streets of Lauder and gathered along the route to watch the 178 tractors that took part rumble past.

Each entrant had donated a minimum of £50 to take part in the day which was organised by Ross Montague, of Blackburn, Lauder for the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation.

After a three-hour tour of Lauderdale, the farmers and other drivers returned to Thirlestane for a special lunch provided by Dining by Doreen.

Further funds were raised with the auction of a vintage John Deere Model A tractor which had been generously donated by a local farmer and went for £8,000. There were also several other lots including a holiday in Skye and a specially donated pedal tractor.

Ross Montague said: "When I originally had the idea of getting a few tractors together to raise funds for MND research, I never imagined that it would get to the scale of what we saw at Thirlestane Castle and in Lauder on Sunday!"

"The vintage tractors were great to see and a credit to their owners, when combined with the big modern machines, row after row of them at the castle and then heading as a parade through Lauder; it was absolutely amazing to see."

"Huge thanks to the drivers, the local tractor dealers and the farmers and contractors and tractor enthusiasts who took part and made the parade such a fantastic spectacle. There were hundreds of people out watching in Lauder. Without exaggerating, the atmosphere in the centre of town felt like being at a rock concert!"

"There are so many people I must thank for helping to make this happen. Edward and Sarah Maitland-Carew for allowing us to use their fantastic venue of Thirlestane Castle, all of the stewards who helped arrange the parade, our sponsors NFU Mutual and all of the raffle and auction lot donors, the Fullerton family and Dining with Doreen for keeping everyone fed and watered and above all, my wife, Moira for putting so much work into this."

"Thank you so much to everyone who put their hand in their pocket and donated to this extremely worthwhile cause. We are not ready to announce the total raised as yet, as more has been pledged, but it looks like the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation will be receiving a very substantial cheque."

Main picture: Lawrence Johnston. Other pictures (top to bottom) with thanks to: Carolyn Grant, Carolyn Grant, Tom Parker, J & J Grant.