Classic car adventurer completes epic 1100-mile tour of the British Isles

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Cambridge businessman Charles le Strange Meakin and co-driver Alex Gandini have completed an 1100-mile tour of the British Isles in a 1936 Chenard-Walcker Aigle 8, raising more than £5000 for charity Action for Children. 

The pair managed to maintain an average speed of 40mph while attempting to visit 10 cities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. “We made it to all the 10 sleeper sites,” said le Strange Meakin. “Sadly, however, Edith did not.”

“The problem started 35 miles short of Stranraer on the west coast of Scotland while racing to make the ferry crossing to Belfast. I tried a short cut which lost us time and, as a result, we had to put Edith hard to make the ferry, which our support team had gone ahead to hold. However, hard driving didn’t suit the old girl and six miles short we lost power as the fuel pump gave out.”

“We then made the Dublin to Holyhead ferry OK and, after Manchester and Birmingham, reached Cardiff around 3pm on Sunday. All was going well until 10 miles outside Bristol where we were struck with another fuel pump failure, so we decided to tow the car to Bristol and fix it there.

“So all in all it was a hard challenge and we are all exhausted, but we have raised over £5000 so far and the coffers continue to grow. I’d like to thank the Byte Night board members in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast for meeting us, greeting us and cheering us on our way – and to the Reading and London teams who we stood up by being so late!

“We suffered a bit of hardship for a good cause but we shouldn’t forget the thousands of homeless young people who face far, far greater hardship for days, months and even years,” he concluded. 

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