Skip to main content
Upper Eden Rotary Club in Africa

Mr Dumpy Helps To Dump Polio
Purple4Polio Rotary Grand Tour

The Blog

This inspiring 4-day road trip across Great Britain and Ireland ran from 21st–24th May 2018. Participants visited as many Rotary districts as was safely possible and raised money for the End Polio Now campaign. The Rotary Club of Upper Eden participated in the form of a joint venture with Appleby Rotary Club. The clubs were represented by the Murmansk 4, John Taylor and Alan McViety of Appleby and Arthur Littlefair and Roger Frank of Upper Eden. £1,600 was raised, which together with a matching £3,200 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation made a grand total of £4,800.

5th June 2018 A footnote to the Blog

Just a footnote to round things off by recording the Dump Truck has been stripped back to its former self and sold. It’s left now for new pastures in the north-east complete with siren noise and all. Our trip raised £1600 towards eradicating polio... the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match it with £3200 more.

24th May 2018 4pm

So that's it then. Arriving in Halifax, having checked in at every Rotary district in Britain en-route, we've made the finish. Here, meeting up with the other 50 rally participants at the Halifax Minster, we can switch off our navigational instincts and relax exchanging stories. We'll stay here overnight to swop more tales of great enterprise before trundling home tomorrow. Our own enterprise will have seen us account for nigh on 1900 miles taking 40 hours actual driving time averaging 47.5 mph. As a bonus, the sale of the truck is already agreed and the profit will be added to the rest of the donations received in support of dumping Polio... eradicating it forever. We thank you for them. So that's it then... that's us signing off after 4 days of good crack.
Roger, John, Alan and Arthur.

We got there. Halifax

mr dumpy refurbishment

Dumpy wins award for best vehicle

mr dumpy refurbishment

New hair do!

mr dumpy refurbishment

It's catching on!

mr dumpy refurbishment

24th May 2018 10am

Up, out and away by 7.30. Saving time a bacon butty, in hand to go, replaced a formal breakfast. The early golfers were teeing off their rounds through a deavy dew as we stamped our card in the Scores Hotel across from the Royal and Ancient's clubhouse. There's debate in the cab. Our instructions state the Forth Road Bridge is our next target but we've now a choice of two... but which? All resolved by crossing the new one and tucking down into South Queensferry by the Hawes Hotel, the precise checkpoint, under the older rail bridge. Deserted in the early morning, this is a splendid place offering fine views of all three crossings... and that of the redundant ferry. Here we encountered Dennis Spiller, our RIBI national president, and his two pals cruising the rally in his VW Beetle. They too have signed the panels of our truck... good crack. Clearing a knot of new roads unknown to our satnavs we've by-passed Edinburgh and are now making our way down the A1 aiming for the finish in Halifax this afternoon. Beamish checkpoint en-route, still some 100 miles distant, will break the journey. We're bossing it.

RIBI President Denis Spiller signing Dumpy at the Forth Bridge

mr dumpy refurbishment

Beamish last stop before Halifax

mr dumpy refurbishment

23rd May 2018 6pm

So that's it then... but for Beamish checkpoint tomorrow that's England sorted before we finish in Halifax tomorrow afternoon. Our course north up the Great North Road that is the A1 saw us check-in at the Old Bell Inn, Retford for a rather decent sandwich and fine welcome by members of their Rotary club. A touch surreal... Scotch Corner and the A66 found us back on home ground as we paused briefly in Brough for a swift 4 minute photocall. Topping up in Kirkby Thore Filling Station we were able to express our thanks and appreciation for being more than generous in support of our fuel costs. 1300 miles on the clock as we cover the ground norh up the M74 heading for St Andrews via the closed doors of Glasgow's Transport Museum... not everybody does that. Booking-in on the go, will we arrive by 9.30 in time for food? Inspecting, en-route, an adult iron lung on display at Rotary's Alcester HQ and that of a child at the Toddington checkpoint we are reinforced in our support for wiping out Polio... dumping it. Only 8 cases to date this year is splendid news... it's just so close... but it needs to be zero to be safe... a lot of work still to be done. Congratulations to the Bill Gates Foundation for double matching everything Rotary raises worldwide in support of this massive endevour. For every pound raised by Rotary he will donate two more. Just so close.

Passing through Brough

mr dumpy refurbishment

23rd May 2018 8am

We made our target to be north of the Thames, stopping in Thurrock overnight. Overcast and cooler. We're away from our Premier Inn by 7.30am. A simple tally indicates that with two of our four days behind us we've collected 14 of the 24 checkpoints - one for each of the Rotary districts in Britain. With 1000 miles coming up on the dial we're over halfway there. Right now it's another crawl on the M25... most of London must be out on these roads. Once clear, it will be away to Scotland for us via stops including Kings College Chapel, Cambridge. St Andrews beckons. Dare I say that, but for the constant company of our friend the siren, the Dump Truck is performing remarkably well. We shall retain the memory of its ceasless whine as a reminder of our efforts to publicise the eradication of, the dumping of polio!

First stop of the day at 7.30am

Mini Iron Lung, Bedfordshire

mr dumpy refurbishment

Cambridgeshire

mr dumpy refurbishment

22nd May 2018 6pm

The M4. M49. M5. M27. M3. A329M and M25 (in rush hour) all part of our trek today. The passing of Trebors and Penguins, melted almost past the point of use, is a high point of our passage along these routes. Yeovil. Exeter. Poole. Wantage checkpoints are in the bag as will be Brooklnds and Brands Hatch just 44 miles away when we've worked our pedantic way through this traffic. By contrast the Somerst Levels, Mendip and Blackdown Hills, the Dorset Downs, New Forest and South Downs National Parks, the North Wessex Downs, the Lambourn Downs and Chiltern Hills have been a delight as we undulated through them. A swift glimpse of the Channel between the hills of the Jurrassic Coast confirmed we are near the South coast. We saw no more of it. We're moving more quickly again... John happier.

Penelope

mr dumpy refurbishment

Mercedes World

mr dumpy refurbishment

Haynes Motor Museum

mr dumpy refurbishment

Williams Cars

mr dumpy refurbishment

Lunch break

mr dumpy refurbishment

Brooklands Museum

mr dumpy refurbishment

22nd May 2018 8am

On the road again by 7.45am Leaving the Hungary Horse where "mighty meal deals" are offered in 1980's teak brown chic. Another fine day in prospect as we take to the M5 heading for Yoevil and the south-west. Alan's taken to driving and I'm delegated to navigate both of us 'under supervision'... the sat nav on the dash supplemented by regular advice from the back-benches. There's the sign for Cheddar Gorge floating past... but we're not going there. Our business is elsewhere. The Sun's burnt through the haze of cloud and progress is being made.

21st May 2018 6pm

Progress is without doubt being made, with checkpoints at Barton Grange, Manchester Airport, Llandudno where there be dragons, Stoke And Coventry Motor Museum behind us we called in at the Alcester head office of RIBI for a welcome mug of tea. Passing Eavsham and Ross on Wye we're now heading to Monmouth for our next check-in before picking one at Ebbw Vale...more dragons. Hot enough it is in this unventilated cabin where the rear windows don't open. A shower of rain has helped a tad. Of greater assistance are the ear plugs we brought along to ease the discomfort of the constant whine from the rear axle. It's like travelling with an air-raid siren as a companion. I'm doubling up with ear defenders as well... though it does rather limit conversation. We're aiming the be back this side of the Severn before seeking beer and a bed for the night away from those dragons. Good crack all round.

21st May 2018 4pm

Stopped off at Trentham Gardens

mr dumpy refurbishment

21st May 2018 7am

Left home at 7.00 this fine morning we're on our way now from the first checkpoint at Barton Grange on the A6 fuelled by bacon butter and coffee. With Roger at the wheel our next stop's at Manchester Airport and generally south intending to make Monmouth before nightfall.

mr dumpy refurbishment

16th May 2018

Hey up we’re nearly there with the dumpy truck and ready for the off on Monday morning. The truck has been given a through trial in the Appleby Rotary Cub vintage car rally last Saturday and is pronounced by Roger as ready to go. Signatures of support cover the rear panel and all that remains is for the four of us to pack our kit and set off.. Four days of tough travel await us as we seek to visit every Rotary district in Britain. It hardly seems possible.

Mid April 2018

Refurbishment of Mr Dumpy completed. Road tests to begin shortly.

mr dumpy refurbishment mr dumpy refurbishment

Early April 2018

Good progress with rear axle overhaul and construction of the roll top.

mr dumpy refurbishment

Late February 2018

Dumping Polio Team Photo
Left to right: John Taylor (Appleby), Arthur Littlefair (Upper Eden), Roger Frank (Upper Eden), Alan McViety (Appleby).

mr dumpy refurbishment

Roll top under construction.

mr dumpy refurbishment

Looking more like a pick-up again.

mr dumpy refurbishment

Early February 2018

De-rusting and painting the roof. Re-assembling the cab interior.

mr dumpy refurbishment

January 2018

Work on the cab involves de-rusting and interior cleaning.

mr dumpy cab refurbishment

A Note from Roger Frank, UERC Participant

Obviously a simple banger would not fit our past record which has always involved a transit. So a suitable old, timed out transit tipper truck has been acquired and work has just started in converting it to a suitable entry which will be called Mr Dumpy - the Ice Cream van was Mr Drippy. Our team name is Dumping Polio.

Take part in an event that you’re never going to forget and experience the legendary blend of fun and friendship that only Rotary can provide and raise funds for one of the most significant life-changing projects the world has ever seen.

Link to End Polio Now website

Link to Purple4Polio Grand Tour website

A Note from the Organisers