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Jeep push for charity

Jeep push for charity
The team before the event with the Mayor of Wellingborough.
Wednesday 29th September 2010 by C. Freeman
Brooke Weston's building manager, Shaun Houghton was part of a team that raised over £2,000 after pushing a Jeep for eight miles, 26 years after performing a similar stunt for charity.

Mr Houghton, who is a member of a World War Two military preservation group, took part in the earlier Jeep push. That netted nearly £500 for the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen's Association in 1984. The total from this year's charity effort is still to be finalised but more than £2,000 will be donated to Help for Heroes. Funds were raised from sponsorship and on the day when motorists slowed down to drop money into collecting buckets.

The route took them from Wellingborough war memorial through Irchester and Rushden finally reaching the war memorial in Higham Ferrers just three hours later, no mean feat considering they were pushing a 1943 Ford Jeep weighing one and a half tons!

PictureA long haul up Knuston Hill.

The Mayors of Wellingborough and Higham Ferrers both turned out in regalia to support the charity push at the beginning and end of the event, and the group was accompanied by four motorcycle outriders from the Royal British Legion to halt traffic and make the route safer. Afterwards they were all were invited to the Mayor's Parlour in Wellingborough for a reception.

It is likely that the group, Trucks, Troops and Stores, will embark on further fund-raising efforts and there is already talk of them carrying a war-time Jeep body around Silverstone. Mr Houghton and around 42 other members preserve and display military vehicles.

PictureThree hours and eight miles later at the finish line.

Mr Houghton is the proud owner of a World War Two Dodge weapons carrier that was shipped from Detroit to the UK, then on to France as part of the D-Day landing convoy. After the war it was retained by the French government and finally sold to its first civilian owner in 1970. Since then it has been shipped to Australia before finally coming back to the UK where Mr Houghton bought it eight years ago!

Mr Houghton said: 'As a group we do fund-raising like poppy appeals for the Royal British Legion but one of the club members came up with the idea that we could recreate the Jeep push. We had to take a slight detour due to construction work but, apart from that, we followed exactly the same route with six of the 11 taking part being those who did the original Jeep push, one of whom is now aged 68!'

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