A CHARITY fundraiser from Wyke and his friends have just travelled the length and breadth of Europe in a monster 4,500-mile fundraising journey – in Reliant Robins!
Mark Hill, 39, set out on the Top-Gear-style journey last month from the Manchester Transport Museum to raise money for the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice in Huddersfield.
He was accompanied on the journey by friends Ian Forster and Nick Rahman, who he met while at university, and who shared another Reliant Robin.
They set out on a self-funded 16-day tour of Europe and Scandinavia in two Reliant Robin cars without using motorways. Covering 300 miles-a-day, their journey took in much of Scandinavia and eastern Europe.
Mark’s car, Bradford Flyer, was bought on Ebay for £750 – and the reaction by the European public to the cars was one he had not expected.
He said: “So many people from around Europe were taking pictures of themselves with our car – they’d never seen one of these magical three-wheeled cars!”
The cars proved not to be so magical for the team, however, as things did not go entirely to plan... Mark, a quantity surveyor, said: “My car broke down in a town called Nykoping in Sweden, I had no idea what was wrong with the car, so I had to take it to a mechanic.
“I met a bloke who owned a garage, and he had seven men working for five hours on the car. He didn’t end up charging me a thing. I was really grateful for the help he gave me.”
The trip was self-funded, with each of the lads coughing up an extra £1,000 to see themselves across the continent.
Mark is no stranger to fundraising challenges, having once driven a moped to Athens to raise money for Cancer Research UK in 2009, and he plans to do similar challenges in future, albeit in a more reliable vehicle!
“Part of me wishes I’d just given the charity the money out of my own pocket and gone on holiday!
“But even though I would certainly not want to do this again in a Reliant Robin, the experience has certainly been one to remember and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
The lads are still on the hunt for contributions towards their gruelling journey – anyone who wishes to donate can visit their charity page at www.justgiving.com/robinreliantchallenge.