DRIVING TOWARDS OUR FIRST £500.000
The Legendary Grand Tour is now in its 22nd year, and once again over the August Bank Holiday, the Minis will be taking to the Highways and bye ways of North Devon. From its humble beginning all those years ago it has somehow evolved into a Major Event that now brings thousands of people out into the streets of North Devon to watch it go by.
This year is special because it will mark an incredible milestone for us, as we will be driving towards our first £500,000 mark. Never in our wildest dreams did we ever believe that we could raise and give away half a million pound, with most of it now going to the Children’s Hospice SW.
This year the Children’s Hospice SW has asked us if we could fund a new Peugeot Boxer Van for Little Harbour which would cost £26,455, but that would include all the necessary conversions that are required to take wheel chairs, etc. It would also mean that we have funded a vehicle at all three Children’s Hospice SW sites, except for LBH we have given them two. We have also given some incredible amounts of money to all 3 Hospices, Charlton Farm £130,00, Little Harbour £95,000 and Little Bridge House, which we visit every August Bank Holiday, the rest.
The Grand Tour is not just about Minis; we also have our Motorbike Marshals who help make our event so special, without them it could not or would not work. They hold the event together and make it all possible, and for them, it never has been an easy ride, but they get as much joy from it as the Mini Owners.
This year the event will be one of the biggest we have taken out for many years, as we already have 240 assorted Minis booked in and had to turn many more away. Our Car Parks seem to be getting smaller with each visit, but then you realise some of our Minis are getting bigger. We have always said we do not care what type of Mini you drive as long as you are a nice person and look how well that has worked.
If you think it’s no more than a bunch of Minis driving around North Devon, then come out and see us on the Bank Holiday Monday in Victoria Park, where the Mini Owners will be in fancy dress and their Minis decorated. The atmosphere in the Park is unbelievable especially when Bideford Youth Pipe Band begins playing, as are the costumes of the Mini Owners. Then to top it all, wait to the Motorbikes roar into life, a few minutes before the ribbon is cut.
The money we have raised has not all come from the Mini owners, as some of our motor biker riders do street collections from the people standing on the side of the roads, and that has made a big difference to our totals.
The Legendary Grand Tour is unique to North Devon, and besides raising so much for charity, it has brought untold wealth into the area and lots of joy to the thousands of people who watch it go past. So once again why not come out and see what has been going on in North Devon over the August Bank Holiday for the past 22 years, that has raised so much money and done so much good.