Almost 180 tractors hit road at Lauder in aid of Borders rugby legend’s charity

Rachel Ewing and Anna Mirley were collecting for MND research in Lauder's Main street as the tractors came through.
Rachel Ewing and Anna Mirley were collecting for MND research in Lauder's Main street as the tractors came through.

Almost 180 tractors of all shapes, sizes and ages hit the road yesterday, November 5, in aid of Borders rugby union legend Doddie Weir’s motor neurone disease research charity.

The machines, ranging in vintage from the 1940s to the present day, gathered at Thirlestane Castle, near Lauder, before heading out for a three-hour tour of Lauderdale.

Scott and Murdo McNeill enjoying the tractors at Lauder.

Scott and Murdo McNeill enjoying the tractors at Lauder.

Crowds lined the streets of Lauder and gathered along the route to watch the 178 tractors taking part go past.

Each entrant had donated a minimum of £50 to take part in the parade, organised by Ross Montague, of Blackburn, Lauder, in aid of the My Name’5 Doddie foundation.

Further funds were raised by the auction of a vintage John Deere Model A tractor donated by a local farmer. It went for £8,000.

Other lots included a holiday in Skye and a pedal tractor.

William and Alicia Thomson with Jennifer Nisbett were amongst the many spectators who lined the streets of Lauder to welcome the tractor cavalcade.

William and Alicia Thomson with Jennifer Nisbett were amongst the many spectators who lined the streets of Lauder to welcome the tractor cavalcade.

Ross said: “When I originally had the idea of getting a few tractors together to raise funds for MND research, I never imagined that it would get to the scale of what we saw at Thirlestane Castle and in Lauder on Sunday.

“The vintage tractors were great to see and a credit to their owners. When combined with the big modern machines, row after row of them at the castle and then heading as a parade through Lauder, it was absolutely amazing to see.

“Huge thanks to the drivers, the local tractor dealers and the farmers and contractors and tractor enthusiasts who took part and made the parade such a fantastic spectacle.

“There were hundreds of people out watching in Lauder. Without exaggerating, the atmosphere in the centre of town felt like being at a rock concert.

Sandra Fullerton (right) with her daughters, Jenny Donald, Jill Steel, Pam Anderson and Carolyn Pate working behind the scenes in memory of their dad and husband Pete Fullerton.

Sandra Fullerton (right) with her daughters, Jenny Donald, Jill Steel, Pam Anderson and Carolyn Pate working behind the scenes in memory of their dad and husband Pete Fullerton.

“There are so many people I must thank for helping to make this happen – Edward and Sarah Maitland-Carew for allowing us to use their fantastic venue of Thirlestane Castle, all of the stewards who helped arrange the parade, our sponsor NFU Mutual and all of the raffle and auction lot donors, the Fullerton family and Dining with Doreen for keeping everyone fed and watered and my wife Moira for putting so much work into this.

“Thank you so much to everyone who put their hand in their pocket and donated to this extremely worthwhile cause. We are not ready to announce the total raised as yet as more has been pledged, but it looks like the My Name’5 Doddie foundation will be receiving a very substantial cheque.”

Father-of-three Weir, 47, of Stow, revealed he had MND in June, and since then the former Melrose and Newcastle Falcons lock, capped 61 times for Scotland between 1990 and 2000, has pledged to raise money for others affected by the disease.

Moira and Ross Montague making sure the event ran smoothly.

Moira and Ross Montague making sure the event ran smoothly.