A pair of determined grans who are taking on a 1,000 mile drive to Rome in an old banger – they covered in KNITTING.
Pat Wilson, 60, and Gill Burford, 62, are setting off as Grans On The Run on their marathon journey today (Sat), in a car brightly covered in patchwork knitting.
The annual charity drive is in aid of Martha’s Trust, a Kent and East Sussex-based respite centre for people with learning difficulties, and so far the grannies have raised a whopping £5000.
After becoming a viral hit for knitting politicians during last year’s general election, Pat went on to knit window displays, and saw knitting the car cover as a “natural progression”.
The fundraiser has been a huge community effort in Deal, Kent, where both grans live, with everyone from the local craft shop to car dealerships pitching in to help.
Pat said: “We started out advertising on a Facebook group for people’s odd bits of knitting, and were completely deluged with it.
“It was collected by our local craft shop, who kept texting us saying they had more and more bags of stuff.
“A group of our friends helped us to assemble it – it took two weeks of solid effort.
“It’s nice that all the squares have a different story – one woman gave us squares she’d knitted whilst recovering from an operation, and the pier attendant contributed too.
“We’ve had lots of other help, too – Perry’s Vauxhall dealer in Dover gave us a new wing mirror and some bulbs for free.”
The unique car cover has Rome on one side, Deal on the other, and the Martha Trust logo emblazoned on the bonnet.
The team won’t be driving with the cover on the car, but will display it proudly when they stop along the way.
Their 1997 Vauxhall Astra, Bessie, cost them just £200, and will hopefully take the Kent pair from Deal to Dover, then across the channel through France, before finishing in Rome on Monday afternoon.
The duo are the only team who have used the car itself as their fundraiser, but it’s been a hit at every event they’ve taken it to.
Pat and Gill’s fundraising efforts have already raised £4,700, but they are hoping to smash through the £5,000 barrier before they go.
Gill managed to raise £800 by hosting a quiz, they have been sponsored around £200 by local businesses, and have raised over £1,500 by shaking buckets at events including a classic car show and picnic on the local green.
Pat said people have been both intrigued and amazed by the eye-catching tapestry.
She added: “People have loved seeing their squares on the quilt and have been really proud of them.
“Our grandchildren are still quite young but they think it’s really cool.
“We were at a fete the other day and the young boys loved it – some of them kept coming back to touch it.”