Olly Rofix completes epic tractor jaunt from Lands End to John O’Groats

Olly Rofix drove a tractor the length of the country to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust 10

Olly Rofix drove a tractor the length of the country to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust 10 years after he was diagnosed with leukaemia

A Suffolk adventurer has returned from his latest expedition – from Lands End to John O’Groats on the back of a 1952 tractor.

Olly at Brodie Castle, Scotland

Olly at Brodie Castle, Scotland - Credit: Archant

With a garden shed mounted on top for shelter, Olly Rofix took two weeks to make the epic journey – stopping along the way to conquer the UK’s three tallest mountains.

On the journey, the 30-year-old cancer survivor marked a decade since his diagnosis, after which he spent much of his 21st year undergoing chemotherapy and transfusions before a bone marrow transplant.

Since beating the rare form of leukaemia, his many challenges – or Oliver’s Travels – have included sailing round the UK in an 18ft boat.

The engineer, from Clopton, near Woodbridge, said: “It was a fantastic experience.

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“The Three Peaks Challenge (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon) was tougher than I thought, but I completed it with a great sense of achievement.”

Olly was grateful of the support he received along the way – support he thinks was more forthcoming due to the remarkable nature of his challenge. “So many people make the journey in organised groups – particularly cyclists – and perhaps don’t engage with local people living on the route,” he said. “But when they saw I was alone and that my journey was a bit different, I couldn’t have been better looked after.”

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Olly came up against some difficult terrain in Cornwall, where he had to climb and descend hills in second gear at just four miles-per-hour.

Living conditions were cramped in his seven-by-five foot shed, sponsored by Nelson Potter timber merchants, but a camp bed donated by a work colleague added some extra comfort.

He got back a day early, sparing his pre-planned ‘break-down day’ after no major mechanical issues, apart from a broken clutch spring.

Olly has so far raised about £700 from the journey for the Teenage Cancer Trust. He is now seeking sponsorship to retrace his sail round the UK in a small rigid inflatable next year, before travelling to the furthest reaches of Russia and back in a rebuilt Jeep. He would also like to take his 1952 tractor to local shows and events to raise awareness.

Olly received help from a number of firms along the way. He was towed to the start in a van donated by Trucks R Us, had support from Treadfirst Tyres and Exhausts and his employer, P Tuckwell, while Agroco Trailers sponsored his trailer.

For more on Olly’s challenges, visit olivers-travels.co.uk.

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