Million miles and we still love Europe

Enthusiasts planning a long distance car rally aim for well maintained autos with low mileage but Leeds based property developer David Price is no ordinary enthusiast and his latest venture no ordinary rally.

David and four friends is setting off from Leeds this week on a pan European rally in a series of old London black cabs that between them have clocked up more than 1,000,000 miles.

David, a keen Rotarian and member of the Rotary Club of Leeds, White Rose, is hoping to reach Greece, the furthest point of the EU, by September 22 taking in as many European countries as possible and stopping en route to meet up with members of local Rotary clubs to share a typically English gin and tonic.

So far, the team have stops planned in France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia and Bulgaria before finally landing in Greece.

The aim is to raise cash for AIM Education in Armley, West Leeds plus charities supported by the Rotary clubs they meet on the way.

“Rotary is all about fellowship and improving the world in which we live both regionally, nationally and internationally,” explained David.

“We wanted to remind our fellow Rotarians across Europe that we are still part of the Rotary family and raise some cash at the same time. In previous years I have taken part in car rallies across Africa, to Asia and Australia. This is less extreme but the old black cabs add a touch of uncertainty.

The first stop will be London Westminster International Rotary club where Nadine Pemberton, a former member of the Rotary Club of Leeds, White Rose is now President and giving former friends a good send off.

“A rough route has been planned based on ‘that’s an interesting name’ and avoiding proper roads as much as possible. The only ‘definites’ are Budapest around the 15th September for a ‘We made it sort of half way party’ and fingers crossed a week later a ‘we made it party’ somewhere in Greece,” said David.

“Gin has been supplied by Jim & Co so we have a great opportunity to raise plenty of money for our chosen charities and for local good causes along the way. At a time of division, we thought it would be a novel way of spreading harmony and raising some money.”

The team will be filmed by a BBC film cameraman for a 42 minute documentary.

You can follow the adventure as it unfolds via the blog – along with all the tears, tantrums and car crashes that won’t make it into a BBC documentary. Because there might, accidentally, be a logo of some very nice people who are giving us a shed load of top quality gin to lubricate the relationships of our European cousins with in the background.