For many classic owners, a trip to the supermarket can be a serious undertaking. Not so Charles le Strange Meakin, who is gearing up to drive his 1936 Chenard-Walcker Aigle 8 non-stop around the United Kingdom to raise money for charity Action for Children.
The journey, which begins this Friday (16 September), will take the 82-year old adventurer and his co-driver Alex Gandini over 1200 miles of the country’s roads, with a single support vehicle their only safety net.
“Other than stopping for fuel, to swap drivers, or for the inevitable breakdowns, we’ll be driving ‘Edith’ continually and need to keep to our target of under 40 hours,” said le Strange Meakin. “She’s certainly an old girl subject to the vagaries and unpredictability of her era; no power steering or assisted brakes, and if it rains she’ll leak and the cabin becomes pretty unpleasant. We’re just praying any breakdowns or loss of scheduled time doesn’t mean missing ferry crossings – if we don’t make them, it’s game over.”
The pair will be raising money for Action for Children’s ‘Byte Night’, an annual fundraiser sleep which takes place every October at ten cities across the UK. The team will visit each of the event locations, setting off from Cambridge Airport at 10pm on Friday and calling at Newcastle, Edinburgh, Belfast, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bristol, Reading and London before returning to Cambridge early on Sunday afternoon.
“The funds raised for Byte Night will help us to continue to run services for children and young people like Woodland Lodge, our disability short breaks service in Cambridge, and youth homelessness project, West Suffolk Housing,” said Action for Children’s Kylie Prankerd.
Click here to donate or text CLES87 £[amount] to 70070.