A posse of vintage tractors from Aberdeenshire are turning heads in the isles, piling onto the Sound of Harris ferry yesterday (Tuesday July 31st) during an 800-mile tractor-thon.
They joined a larger group of island tractor drivers on Monday (July 30th) travelling 65 miles from Lews Castle to Leverburgh, where they arrived in time for the South Harris Show yesterday (Tuesday July 31st). From there the smaller group boarded the MV Loch Portain for the Sound of Harris crossing, pausing in Berneray and then setting out again at 10pm for Lochmaddy.
Today (Wednesday August 1st) they plan to complete 100 miles to Eriskay and back to Lochmaddy, before another ferry crossing to continue their journey via Skye and Mallaig back to Montrose.
The group are enduring punishing conditions for their planned charity road trip, travelling in open vehicles for eight days at just 18 miles an hour. Their crossing from Ullapool was during the weekend’s strong winds and ferry delays, and they’ve faced near continuous rain since arriving in the isles.
The group plan to raise money for Macmillan cancer care. One driver, SSEN employee John Piekarski, is making his challenge part of the company’s ‘Be the Difference’ volunteer programme. He said: “We’ll be travelling approximately 800 miles in just over a week. My tractor is quite distinct, so I’m sure it will be easy to spot us on our travels. I’m excited to have the opportunity to raise money for Macmillan while doing something I truly love, so I look forward to the challenge ahead and hope the weather is kind to us along the way.”
Pictures show the tractor rally at Horgabost beach (Andrew Harvey) and boarding MV Loch Portain at Leverburgh on Tuesday (Donald Maclean).