Tractor trek for teenager in tribute to school pal

Richard Rook, from Stanford, on the tractor he is driving to Somerset.
Richard Rook, from Stanford, on the tractor he is driving to Somerset.

A teenager from Standford is to drive a vintage tractor 200 miles in tribute to a young friend who died suddenly.

Richard Rook, 17, has set himself a challenge to drive the family’s 1960 Massey Ferguson 35 tractor from Biggleswade to Brymore School, Bridgwater in Somerset.

Brymore has a working farm, as well as other educational opportunities, and Richard attended the school along with his brothers and his good friend Jake Bowles.

Last year, during their GCSEs, the whole school was left devastated by the sudden death of Jake.

The friends had often joked about driving a tractor down to the Somerset school where they have been working towards Btec Qualifications in agriculture, horticulture and engineering alongside GCSE.

Richard is doing the run from Saturday, June 20 until Satuday, June 27, in aid of Papyrus, a charity that helps prevent suicide in young people and also helps support those affected by it. He hopes that he raises awareness of this charity as well as much needed funds.

The route of the run will follow mainly unclassified and B roads and his brother Edward and friends are intending to provide a support team to assist along the way.

After leaving Biggleswade he will towards Woburn, go through into Buckinghamshire skirting Bicester and onto Charlbury, Burford, the picturesque Bibury, dropping south of Cirencester to pick up the B4040 for Malmesbury and onto Chipping Sudbury.

The next phase of the journey takes him through the most built up part of the run slotting between Bristol and Bath with a short burst on the A39 before skimming the top of the Mendips, passing Chew Valley and Blagdon Lakes before heading out to Lympsham to meet up with Jake’s family.

On the Friday evening of his arrival in Somerset, Jake’s tractor will be driven with Richard through Rooksbridge and Mark to the school.

The tractors will then be exhibited at the school’s annual Show and open day and all are welcome.

You can help Richard to help Papyrus at Virginmoneygiving.com/RichardRook

Follow him on facebook - Biggleswade to Brymore tractor run or look out for Little Red on the Run.