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Ross-shire Crofters' Convoy all set to trundle out from Lochussie for epic 300-mile, four-day vintage tractor trek chasing £25,000 target for Maggie's Highland

By Hector MacKenzie

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A picture from a previous Crofters Convoy with drivers ready to roll.
A picture from a previous Crofters Convoy with drivers ready to roll.

CROFTERS from Ross-shire will tomorrow set out for the Western Isles on a charity challenge – in vintage tractors.

They have set themselves an ambitious £25,000 target for Maggie's Highland with a 300-mile, four-day jaunt due to set out tomorrow from Lochussie.

The hardy band will also this year aim to run the length of the Outer Hebrides.

The final day will be a ferry hop over to Ullapool and on to the finish line at Inchbae Lodge, between Ullapool and Garve.

If all goes according to plan, Rachael Burnett and her vintage tractor enthusiast friends hope to raise at least £25,000 for Maggie's Highland, which supports people living with cancer.

The charity is very close to the hearts of many members of the Crofters Convoy.

She said: "With the pandemic and getting doctor and hospital appointments cancelled or rescheduled, many, many people have been affected. We aim to get Maggie's Highland known far and wide, especially over in the Islands for people who need their fantastic service."

Last year, the charity supported people with cancer and their families over 17,000 times – and numbers will increase again this year.

The charity relies almost exclusively on voluntary donations to meet its £500,000 a year running costs.

Rachael, who relatives in Daliburgh, is well aware of the scale of the challenge ahead when weather and ferries are factored in.

She said: "The weather won't bother us, and we are hoping the ferries will run smoothly.

"Tractor breakdowns won't be a problem either, we will be well equipped, and the team is very knowledgeable about fixing them. And I'm sure if we need any help, then the islanders will be happy to assist."

She said: "We would just love for everyone to support us by giving generously. People from the islands are well known for their kindness, and if anyone would like to join us along the way, they're more than welcome."

The convoy drivers are paying for their fuel, ferries, accommodation out of their own pockets to ensure every penny that's raised goes to the charity.

Taking part will be drivers Jimmy Burnett, John Sinclair, Sandy Cormack, Michael Stewart, Donald Burnett, Bob McNicol, Johnnie McPherson, Norman Duncan and Andrew Collie.

They will be supported by Rachael Burnett, Kris Trakovicky and Sanders Gibson.

The team has set up a Justgiving page for those who would like to contribute, every much is greatly appreciated.

To contribute, see www.justgiving.com/croftersconvoy

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