Setting out on 27 August, a team of steam enthusiasts will attempt the 189-mile journey from Cornwall to the Great Dorset Steam Fair in a Burrell 3257 Steam Locomotive called ‘Clinker’ to raise money for Cancer Research UK. They expect to arrive on Saturday, 29 August.
When Jon Eastman and Rob Wing got together for a drink to chat about this year’s Great Dorset Steam Fair, a plan was hatched. Cancer survivor Jon was keen to raise funds for Cancer Research UK and Rob, together with his 19-year-old son Jack, was up for the challenge of driving his steam road locomotive ‘Clinker’ all the way to the event.
Jon Eastman said: “In 2008 and aged 24 years, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer; it was a very frightening time of my life. Following an operation and treatment I have now had the all clear. I’m also to become a dad for the first time less than two months after this event, and I feel its time I give something back to Cancer Research for saving my life.
“Having driven Clinker for many miles over the years, I am delighted to have joined forces with Rob and Jack to create ‘Clinker’s Challenge’. We will be stopping in as many villages and towns as possible on the journey so, if you see us, come and say hello and show your support.”
The ‘Clinker’s Challenge’ team includes Jon and his wife Sam, Rob and his son Jack Wing and also Charlie Daniel. They hope to complete the challenge in just under 72 hours and raise £10,000. In the process they will use approximately 80 bags of coal, all hand shovelled, and around 14,000 litres of water.
GDSF Managing Director, Martin Oliver, said: “ We are in full support of this challenge for a worthy cause, which is why we have offered to provide all the coal needed for the journey. We hope that the public will show this great team the support they deserve and give generously.”
Other supporters of the challenge include The Cornish Fishmonger and The National Traction Engine Trust. To donate please visit https://www.justgiving.com/steam/or text ‘COAL60’ and your donation to 70070.
For more information and the latest updates from Jon and Rob, visit the Clicker’s Challenge Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/clinkerschallenge/.
27 August: Leave Bodmin 5.30am – expected destination just East of Exeter on the A30. Where possible they will use the old A30 route but significant amounts of mileage will have to be covered on the dual carriage way. They expect to pass through Lifton, Lewdown, Oakhampton and the outskirts of Exeter.
28 August: Leave at 6am – expected destination Sherborne using A30 all the way.They will pass through Chard, Crewkerne, Yeovil and Sherborne. They hope to stop (if possible) in these town centres and interact with the locals.
29 August: Leave at 6am – expected destination Tarrant Hinton 2pm.