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Cheshire Crispy Duckers 1,500-mile charity road trip

Buddies including four councillors and an ex-fire service boss in crazy mission

The Crispy Duckers are a slightly ‘quackers’ team driving to the South of France in a yellow hackney cab to raise money for two very deserving charities.

Adventurers are councillor buddies Mark Williams, Howard Greenwood, Mike Jones, Graham Spencer and John Salt who aim to generate cash for the Hospice of the Good Shepherd at Backford and the North West Air Ambulance.

The Crispy Duckers are so-called because they belong to an informal social club of that name who meet for a Chinese meal every quarter.

Team members will take it in turns to drive about 300 miles each in the 1,500-mile specially organised charity road trip called The Two Ball Banger Rally featuring a total of 60 teams.

The rules state that each vehicle must cost no more than £567.

And the trip, which begins from the hospice on Thursday (August 17), will take in nine countries over five days including Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Italy, with a finish in Nice, France.

Graham Spencer, from Utkinton, a Tattenhall parish councillor, said: “It’s going to be tough. It’s a lot of hours driving but at the end of the day we’ll have a bit of fun and somebody will benefit from it and that’s it.

The Crispy Duckers team include councillor buddies Howard Greenwood, Mark Williams and Graham Spencer who aim to raise lots of money for the Hospice of the Good Shepherd at Backford and the North West Air Ambulance. Pictured here outside The Grosvenor Arms, Aldford.

“With the air ambulance, that is an organisation that isn’t publicly-funded so it’s very dependent on people giving. Now when the air ambulance goes out, somebody has got a real problem and they save lives. So we’ve got a regional one and a local connection.”

Mark Williams, Tory member for Huntington ward on Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC), gave some details about the diesel-engined former taxi – which still runs ‘beautifully’ despite having half a million miles on the clock – and is fitted with a CB radio to keep in touch with the other teams.

“It’s an old Preston taxi, it’s 18 years old. We’ve hand-painted it in ‘banana dream’. It was black originally. It took us a day on bank holiday Monday,” explained Mark, who has a very personal reason for supporting the hospice movement as his mum Beryl Williams died in a hospice in Mansfield five years ago.

Mark said the team will stay in a hotel each night. “We had a choice – sleep in the cab or get a hotel!” said Mark with a wry smile.

Howard Greenwood, the CWaC Tory member for Farndon, who lives near Malpas, said: “It’s a fun thing. It’s a good cause for the hospice and North West Air Ambulance. It’s nice to get involved with some chaps and do these sorts of things. I’m looking forward to doing the trip.”

Howard said the air ambulance was ‘a Godsend in the rural area’ he calls home and also represents.

The taxi won’t be coming home from Nice and faces going to the scrapheap in the sky although the lads have said anybody prepared to fly out and collect it, who makes a donation, can drive away with their very own yellow hackney carriage.

“It would be a shame to scrap it,“ said Howard, with the thought that a young couple may fancy a memorable trip with a difference.

To support the hospice click here or text CDUK99 with the amount to 70070. To support the air ambulance click here or text CDUK88 with amount to 70070.

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