A group of pub friends has raised more than £20,000 for a breast cancer charity by going on a tour of French towns with boob-related names.
Ten middle-aged men dubbed the Tour De Lard donned pink wigs for the week-long lads’ roadtrip from Bristol to Brest, Northern France, and back.
They drove 1,600 miles across France in bright pink cars passing through as many towns and villages with breast related names in aid of Breast Cancer Now.
Organiser Charles Gutteridge, 46, who dyed his beard and hair pink, said: “We had an absolute blast, raising money for something we believe in and needs our help.
“I would hate it to come across as only a lad’s road trip but there were a few funny stories.
“It was a big team effort, it was not just me, and without the group of guys it would not have happened.
“We bought three old bangers for £300 each and I spent weeks working on them. Another one of the lads spent weeks organising the route, and another booked all the campsites.
“We drove down the back roads and there were a series of challenges we had to do. On the ferry over we had to find anyone who was wearing pink and take a picture with them.
“We had to push start one of the cars for a couple of days because of a faulty battery. We did 1,600 miles in total across the week.
“I probably pulled in £1,000 from people pulling up next to me and saying, ‘oh my good and what are you doing why have got pink hair?’
“It gives you a massive feelgood factor.”
But the team only found three place names related to mammaries on their route – a house called “Titholme”, a road sign for the River Seine – the French word for breast is Sein – and the city of Brest.
Charles, from Rushden, Herts., said: “It sounded like a great plan at the beginning but harder to get into practice.
“When we were talking about it in the pub we said we will find all the French names with boobies in it but we found France doesn’t have any.”
They completed a series of challenges set by their wives instead – including writing “naughty” poetry and sand sculptures of the “ideal woman”.
The Tour de Lard started in Bristol with the group then driving down to Dover to catch a ferry, before returning to their local Moon and Stars pub in Buntingford, Herts., on Saturday, June 10.
Charles, a Mercedes technician, who also fitted the trailer of his old truck with a “lad’s den” wooden shed called Nork’s Hall, said: “Everybody knows someone who has been affected by breast cancer.
“Unfortunately it’s diagnosed too often and we want to make a difference. The only way to do that is to fund research into preventing and treating the disease.”
The Brest or bust challenge was the third time that the Tour de Lard has raised money for charity, having previously raised £26,000 for Jubilee House Care Trust in 2015 driving in Reliant Robbins through the French Alps.
“It was a bit easier than the other two challenges because we were in cars instead of mopeds or Reliant Robbins,” Charles said.
Charles said the Tour De Lard – a joke on the members’ weights – was born when the regulars the Moon and Stars pub deciding to carry out challenges for charity.
Jonathan Duke, senior community manager at Breast Cancer Now, said: “We are so grateful for Charles and the rest of Tour de Lard’s incredible support.
“Breast cancer is a devastating disease which cuts short the lives of around 11,500 women each year.
“With supporters like Charles and the members of Tour de Lard by our side, we can continue to fund vital research and stop breast cancer taking the lives of those we love.”
Donations can still be made to the Tour de Lard via their online fundraising page mydonate.bt.com/teams/tourdelard3