IT’S wagons roll for Airedale horseman John Vickers who will drive his traditional gypsy cart 300 miles to Appleby horse fair to raise cash for a York hospice.
Mr Vickers, 64, will set off with his wife Jane from their home, on Hastings Crescent, in their horse-drawn bowtop caravan to the traditional horse fair in Westmoreland on Monday.
The round-trip journey will take more than four weeks – from Airedale to Cawood, York and Thirsk, before arriving at the showground on June 7 – and the couple will collect the cash for St Leonard’s Hospice along the way.
Great-grandad Mr Vickers said: “We’ve been going to the horse fair for more than 40 years and it is the atmosphere and amazing vehicles which keep us going back every year.
“We are going to go steady on the journey and hope to collect as much cash as we can along the way. If anyone wants to come and pop in for a cup of tea, we’ll be raising money while we ride up there.
“All the money will go to the hospice in York which we will stop at on our way back home.
“About 90 per cent of people will be affected by some sort of illness the hospice can treat and that’s why we think it’s important to give to this charity.”
Mr Vickers recently organised a memorial drive for his friend Jeff Morton – who died of bowel cancer in 2009 – which saw 54 horse and carts cover a seven-mile round trip from Knottingley to Cridling Stubbs on April 15.
It was the third memorial drive held in memory of Mr Morton, who lived on Knottingley’s Warwick estate.
Mr Vickers said: “Jeff was such a genuine man and he was like a brother to me. We met through going to horse events and he was always there and always a very good horseman.
“It was a very fitting tribute to my good friend and I hope we can run this event for many years to come in Jeff’s memory.
“I would like to send my appreciation to everyone for their help and involvement in the memorial drive.
“Our trip to Appleby will also be in memory of Jeff because it was his favourite place to go.”
To donate to Mr Vickers’ charity drive call him on 07985 306464.