Wellingborough man’s road trip raises £33,000 for defibrillator cause

A Wellingborough man’s 2,500-mile road trip raised more than £30,000 to provide defibrillators for sports teams.

A Wellingborough man’s 2,500-mile road trip raised more than £30,000 to provide defibrillators for sports teams.

The cars when they returned to Isham Cricket Club.

The cars when they returned to Isham Cricket Club.

Carl Baldry and more than 40 other petrolheads returned from their four-day Rust Bucket Rally, which spanned 10 countries, last week.

Weather conditions made it far from easy but 42-year-old Mr Baldry, an airport transfer driver, said it was ‘epic’.

He said: “It was amazing, it was absolutely epic from start to finish.

“We started with more than 40 cars but only 35 returned as we lost a few to problems on the way.

The drivers on their return.

The drivers on their return.

“When we were in Berlin there was a massive hailstorm and one of the drivers couldn’t get his roof to work, so the electrics were covered in water.

“On day three one of the mountain passes we planned to do was closed as it was covered in snow so we had to come up with a new route.

“But some of the views we had were incredible. There was snow as far as you could see and we were in sunshine and shorts.”

This year’s route took the drivers - the rally’s biggest turnout in four years - through France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Slovakia, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Italy.

Carl's Mercedes at one of the mountains.

Carl's Mercedes at one of the mountains.

The group’s efforts raised £33,000 for SADS UK, who provide defibrillators to communities.

Each defibrillator, complete with a case and training for up to eight people, costs about £1,600.

Carl said: “The defibrillators will help sports clubs in our area and we’ve pretty much earmarked where they’re going.

“Hopefully they never have to be used but if they do then they’re there and waiting.”

This year’s ride was the fourth since it was created in 2015.

The £33,000 means Carl’s efforts have broken the £100,000 barrier for the total raised over the four years.

The riders returned to a hero’s welcome and barbecue at Isham Cricket Club, which is set to receive one of the defibrillators.

Carl will soon begin planning next year’s rally and hopes to have more than 50 cars take part.

He is yet to decide on the route but hopes to visit Monaco again.

To keep up to date on the rally, search for ‘Rust Bucket Rally’ on Facebook.