2021 Beadlam Charity Tractor Run

The 19th Beadlam Charity Tractor Run 2021

Yupee!! After such a dreadful ‘Covid Year’ we are at last getting signs that things are getting back too normal. One such sign is that this years Beadlam Charity Tractor Run took place on Sunday the 30th May. Last years event, like so many others, had to be cancelled. This year was special-it was held in memory of the late Bernard Simpson, who started this tractor run 19 years ago. Bernard sadly passed away earlier this year but his memory lives on in this marvellous event.

19 years ago, in 2003, Bernard thought that it would be a good idea to raise money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, and what better way to do it than to organise a charity tractor run which would pass through some of North Yorkshires beautiful countryside. The run became an annual event with hundreds of entrants taking part each year. Bernard did most of the organisation in the early years but in later years his son Malcolm Simpson took the strain along with the well oiled team of volunteers they nurtured as the event developed. 

The route the tractors take has been tweaked over the years and now follows  a well tested trail which covers 50 miles of farm tracks, country lanes and picturesque villages. The last few years have seen the start of the run taking place at Wombleton Airfield. Entrants were asked to get there by 9.15 am at the latest to enable a scheduled start at 9.30am. However even at 9.30 there were tractors still arriving to collect their numbers and register their presence. I travelled from Northumberland to get there for 8am so that I could photograph some of the tractors arriving. On my arrival there were about 6 tractors in line heading the start of the queue which was to stretch right back on to the airfield to fit in all 230 tractors with ranged from a super Massey Harris 744D from around 1949 to the huge beasts of modern agriculture. Most of the entrants came from various parts of the East, West and North Ridings of Yorkshire with many having quite a drive before they arrived. A few entrants came from even further afield-Newark, Hartlepool and Ashington.

After leaving Wombleton Airfield the procession of 230 tractors wound its way through country lanes and farm tracks passing through Harome, Beadlam, Fadmoor, Gillamoor and Kirkbymoorside. On leaving Kirkbymoorside we crossed the River Dove at the ‘water splash’ where there is always an ample crowd watching the spectacle and cheering on the tractors as they make their way through the river. The drivers that are ‘in the know’ always take the longer shallower route across the river but those that are not so familiar with the crossing (and those who are a bit adventurous), take the shorter more direct route across and get their feet wet! This year there was bit more water in the river than I have seen before.

Next on the route was Hutton-Le-Hole followed by the lunch stop destination of Spaunton. In previous years the organisers have arranged a magnificent buffet lunch but this year because of covid restrictions each driver was asked to bring a packed lunch. It was a real sight for sore eyes to see the 230 tractors lined up on a gently sloping hill in Spaunton in the glorious sunlight.

After lunch the procession set off again passing through Lastingham, Cropton, Newton on Rawcliffe, Pickering, Marton, Welburn and then back to Wimbledon. In each of the villages, Malcolm’s team were out with buckets to collect donations from the many people who come out every year to see the amazing procession. Previous BTRs have raised over £119,000 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and this years event is hoped to be the best ever with what seems to be a record breaking amount raised. Final amount to be announced shortly.


Order your 12x10" or 20x16" mounted photo OR your coloured photo mug. Have your name and BTR 2021 printed on it for your memento of this years tractor run.