About 350 tractors and trucks take part in a Christmas parade in south Leicestershire

The huge procession raised thousands of pounds for charity

By Red Williams
Monday, 20th December 2021, 4:35 pm
Updated Monday, 20th December 2021, 4:36 pm
Over 300 tractors and lorries took part in this year's Archers Tractor Run from Magna Park.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Over 300 tractors and lorries took part in this year's Archers Tractor Run from Magna Park. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

About 350 tractors and trucks took part in a massive two-and-a-half-hour Christmas parade in south Leicestershire yesterday (Sunday) to supercharge two top local charities.

Thousands of people braved the icy foggy weather to go out and cheer the huge procession on its winding way as the specially-decorated yuletide vehicles put a farm festive smile on kids’ faces.

Today jubilant Ryan Archer, 41, who set up the Archer’s Festive Tractor Run, said he’s hoping to at least match the astonishing £30,000 they generated last year.

Over 300 tractors and lorries took part in this year's Archers Tractor Run from Magna Park. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“This was our third festive run and easily our biggest and best yet.

“We had about 200 vehicles taking part last year so this was so much bigger,” said Ryan, of Countesthorpe.

“It was just an awesome day.

“In fact I’m just coming back down to earth now, I’ve been running on pure adrenaline for the last 24 hours!

“We started off in Lutterworth before snaking our way to Dunton Bassett, Broughton Astley, Cosby, Whetstone, Blaby and Countesthorpe and heading back through Peatling Parva and Gilmorton.

“I was out in the front spearheading the convoy with my delighted daughter Izzy, who was celebrating her 17th birthday.

“She absolutely loved it, it was like starring in our own movie so many people came out – they made us feel famous for a day!

“And we all sang happy birthday to Izzy when we got back to the yard at Lutterworth, it was just fantastic,” said Ryan, who works in agriculture and runs his own photographic and video operation.

“We had tractor and truck drivers come from as far away as Luton, Buckinghamshire and Newark to join us.

“They told me it was the best supported tractor run they’d ever been on.

“I lost count of the sheer numbers of smiling men, women and children who flocked out on to the streets to cheer us on.

“It was simply overwhelming.

“We probably got the best response in Broughton Astley.

“The people there whipped up a real carnival atmosphere, it was just surreal and very touching,” said Ryan, who’s already generated over £16,000 as he’s backed up by his close mate Rob Brown and a “magnificent team”.

The excited dad-of-two is splitting the money donated between Leicestershire MS Therapy Centre on Freemens Common Road, Leicester, and the regional Air Ambulance service.

“I’m fighting thyroid cancer and I’ve gone to the MS centre in Leicester every week for the last seven years for oxygen therapy.

“The treatment gives me a genuine energy boost and the people who look after me there are brilliant,” said Ryan, who has over 10,000 subscribers to his own YouTube channel, 21,500 followers on Instagram and 6,000 on Facebook.

“I’m taking an experimental drug at the moment and it’s keeping the cancer in check, holding everything firm.

“And a good friend was rescued by the Air Ambulance recently so I’m determined to help them out as well.

“I’d like to say an enormous thank you to all of the drivers who travelled for miles and gave up so much of their precious time to support us on Sunday.

“I also want to thank everyone who has donated to back these two excellent causes – and to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.”

You can donate to get behind the MS Therapy Centre here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/archersfestivetractorrun2021And you can chip in to get the local Air Ambulance appeal off the ground here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/archersfestivetractorrun2021airambulance