A SEA of tractors will turn out for a charity run in memory of a dedicated young farmer next week.

Members of the Hamsterley Vintage Tractor Club are expecting more than 100 tractors to join the annual ride, which this year, is raising funds for the charities Samaritans North East and the If U Care Share Foundation, in Chester-le-Street.

The funds will go towards suicide awareness projects, following the death of Butterknowle 21-year-old, Robert Thompson, last summer.

Club chairman, Joe Dobson, said the club always raises funds for North-East charities but he particularly wanted to hold this year’s event to pay tribute to Mr Thompson, who was well-known in the area and worked on his family’s farm.

Mr Dobson will lead the ride with Mr Thompson’s tractor – at his family’s request – on Good Friday.

“It’s a privilege,” he said.

Mr Dobson, 49, said the club had had fantastic support from local residents and groups and had been particularly well received by the Young Farmers’ Association with groups coming from across the North-East to take part.

The vehicles, which will include everything from vintage tractors to modern day machinery, will follow a route around Teesdale beginning at The Cross Keys pub, in Hamsterley, at 10am.

The convoy will then drive through villages such as Esperley, Cockfield and Woodland, before passing Mr Thompson’s home farm as tribute to him.

The group will stop for refreshments in Hamsterley Forest.

Entry is £10 per tractor and £5 for a hog roast, which can be paid on the day. Registration is from 9.30am. Mr Dobson said anyone was welcome to join the ride on the day but participants should be there in plenty of time.

For more information search for the club’s Facebook page or call Mr Dobson on 07841 11172, Tony Elstob on 07890 078005 or Rachel Anderson on 07532 072852.