Press

Here is a selection of press articles reporting on the efforts of current and previous entrants on the rally. If you have an article you’d like added to this page please let us know!

Father taking part in Barcelona Bangers rally
20th May 2013 – Grimsby Telegraph

A FATHER whose daughter was born three months early is revving up support for Grimsby’s neonatal unit.

Rob Preston, 33, of Grimsby and his friend Simon Stephenson, 35, are taking part in this year’s Barcelona Bangers rally.

For Rob, the event is a way to raise money for the unit at Grimsby’s Diana, Princess Of Wales Hospital (DPOW), that cared for his daughter Lauren Preston.

On August 26, 2010, his partner Sarah went into labour at just 25 weeks – her due date was not until December 6.

Lauren, who weighed 1lb 15.5oz, was transferred to Jessops neonatal unit at Sheffield Children’s Hospital 12 hours after birth, where she remained for four weeks.

She returned to the neonatal unit at DPOW for a further eight weeks to be cared for.

Rob said: “It was a daunting time for us both and as Lauren is our first child we were not sure what to do.

“The staff at both hospitals were fantastic but we wanted to give back to Grimsby especially because it is our home town.”

Although two-year-old Lauren has chronic lung disease, she is still a lively toddler.

Rob said: “So far we haven raised just under £2,000 through sponsorship and donations which is great.”

The men will drive across Europe in a 1998 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, that they have customised in the theme of Pac-Man.

On Wednesday they will set off from Grimsby and head to Calais where they will meet others taking part in the event.

This is the first time they have entered into the Barcelona Bangers rally and are hoping to have a lot of fun.

Simon, of Cleethorpes, says they are both mad about cars and bikes so the event seemed fitting.

He said: “The idea is to purchase a car for no more than £250 – we were really lucky and Cars Of Grimsby gave us a cheque for this amount. Then we designed it and did it up at minimal costs for the event.

“Again we have had a lot of help from businesses and Grimsby Signs have done all the labeling as a donation.

“I am looking forward to driving to Barcelona, it will be a new experience as I have never done it before.

“We have given ourselves a team name ‘In Cod We Trust’, taking Grimsby with us on the journey.

“I have stuck the football club’s crest to the car to support the town across Europe.”

To sponsor Rob and Simon, visit www.grimsbyneonatalunit.wix.com/gybarcybangers2013.

Alternatively visit their Facebook page where Rob’s dad has pledged to donate £1 for every like the page gets, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grimsby-Neonatal-Unit-Barcelona-Bangers-2013/306157062839134

Glasgow fundraisers to travel 3000 miles in £200 banger
17th May 2013 – Evening Times

FOUR intrepid Glasgow men are about to drive more than 3000 miles in a car worth less than £200.

The Bangers to Barcelona challenge will see Marc Todd, Colin Proven, Pat Sweeney and Neil McCutcheon drive to the northern Spanish city from Glasgow to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

The quartet will next Thursday head off in a 1997 Mercedes C Class which they picked up on eBay for less than £200, in a bid to raise £4000 for the cause.

And they think the jalopy can make it to the Mediterranean coast in just three days … just as long as it doesn’t fall apart.

The team, all from Barlanark in the East End, describe themselves as “car daft” but they have all chosen to support Marie Curie Cancer Care because they have each had family members who have benefited from its care.

Pat’s grandparents Alex and Betty Wylie both died of cancer, and were supported in their illness with the vital care of Marie Curie nurses.

Pat, 35, said: “Having all had experience of Marie Curie, the choice of which charity would benefit was made easy.

“The work that they do impacts on so many people’s lives and we wanted to show our appreciation for the many things they have done for our family and friends.

“Barcelona Bangers is not your average charity challenge and that’s what we liked about it, the fact that we get to have fun travelling from the UK to Spain, see some of the best sites in Europe, while raising money for charity is just brilliant.”

The team is named in memory of Colin’s dad Ronnie, who died after a long illness and ‘Ronnie’s Road Runners’ are one of 70 taking part in the challenge from across the UK.

And to create an unusual colour scheme for their banger, the boys asked for help from pupils at Barlanark’s Our Lady of Peace Primary school.

More than 200 pupils entered the competition, won by P3 pupil Eva Kamtchouang.

To sponsor the group’s fundraising efforts visit http://www.justgiving.com/Glasgow-to-Barcelona-with-Barcelona-Bangers

Old banger set for big race across Pyrenees
9th May 2013 – Leigh Journal

CrashBangWallop article
Barmouth to Barcelona to raise cash for Emmy
17th November 2011 – Cambrian News

TWO friends plan to drive from Barmouth to Barcelona in a “banger” to raise money for Emmy Taylor, who was badly burned in a caravan fire earlier this year.

Shaun James, who is a fire fighter in the town, was on call on 1 June this year when a fire ripped through the caravan Emmy was staying in with her family.

The blaze killed her grandfather Robert Taylor and uncle Andrew. Two-year-old Emmy suffered 65 per cent burns and is still receiving treatment at Alder Hey Hospital, in Liverpool but it is hoped she will be home for Christmas.

Shaun, and his friend, Chris Knight, both 22, hope to raise over £5,000 and send Emmy and her family to Disneyland, Florida. Shaun said: “It was my first real call out in June at the caravan fire.
“I think it left an impression on all of us. “Me and Chris were talking about this rally and when it came to who we should raise money for, Emmy came to me.

“I have spoken to the family to get their permission to raise money.

“We have raised £1,000 so far just by having a collection bucket at Sunny Sands caravan park.”

Shaun and Chris have bought an old Rover which they hope will get them the 1,500 miles to Barcelona in May next year.

Cars taking part in the Barcelona Banger rally are tradionally decorated in bright colours and the boys hope local businesses will help sponsor them and carry their logo on the car.

Weymouth friends take part in the ultimate banger race in Barcelona
30th May 2011 – Dorset Echo

TWO friends from the armed forces battled it out in the ultimate banger race – in a car worth less than £200.

Senior aircraftsman John Mason and Cpl Karl Bartlett, both from Weymouth, lined up against 68 other teams to take part in the Barcelona Bangers rally for charity.

SAC Mason, serving in the RAF at MOD Stafford, and Cpl Bartlett, an army chef in the 47 Regiment Royal Artillery based at Portsmouth, have been friends since their schooldays at Radipole Primary and Wey Valley.

They were joined on the 3,500-mile round-trip from England to Spain by RAF colleagues SAC Paul Clark, also based at Stafford, and SAC William Paul, based in Holland.

On their six-day trip they packed themselves and their luggage into an 18-year-old Volkswagen Polo.

While most teams ditched their cars at Barcelona, the four men travelled back to the UK in their banger, which they bought for £162 on the internet.

SAC Mason, 27, said: “The days were hard up and down the mountains but we managed to get there. I was expecting to break down so I was quite happy we made it.”

The car was covered in bubble wrap and the logo of their chosen charity, The Big Salute, which supports five forces’ charities – BLESMA (British Limbless Ex Service Men’s Association), St Dunstan’s for blind ex-servicemen and women, Combat Stress, Veterans Aid, and FAB (Families’ Activities Breaks).

SAC Mason, who is starting a second tour of duty in Afghanistan soon, raises money for charity every year.

The team has so far raised £1,435 for The Big Salute and sponsorship is still open at justgiving.com/upsetskipper.

Beach Bums are ‘Surfing’ down to Barcelona
25th May 2011 – Fenland Citizen

A TEAM of “beach bums” has taken part in this year’s Barcelona Bangers rally in a 13-year-old car bought for just £240.

After travelling 1,500 miles in three days, they hope to raise more than £2,000 for Diabetes UK.

Their vehicle was a 13-year-old Skoda Felicia which had clocked up some 160,000 miles before they even embarked on the three-day road trip across France to northern Spain.

The car’s optimistic occupants also hope to drive back home and then sell the car to raise even more money for the charity.

The self-styled ‘Beach Bums’ team comprises Adrian Simpson (39), of Terrington St John, Wayne Gibson (33), of Marshland St James, Adam Clark (19), of Tilney St Lawrence, and Stuart Miller (36), of Newmarket.

Adrian said: “We thought it would be a fun thing for the four of us to do.

“Then someone suggested we could do it for charity and we chose Diabetes UK because I am diabetic and so is my mother.”

The car was bought from Peterborough via the Internet “because it was cheap, a diesel and an estate.”

Its distinguishing features include a surfboard on the roof.

Adrian said: “We have had a few small mechanical issues and we had to do a bit of work on the car to keep it going.”

On the way to Spain, they will be relying on the mechanical skills of Wayne.

The team left West Norfolk from the William Day Centre in Tilney St Lawrence on Thursday (May 19).

Adam’s mother, Sherralyn, is the manager of the centre and members held a raffle which raised £100 to help the team on their way.

Nearly 70 bangers took part in the rally, which set off on Friday from Calais.

Teams then headed off to Tours, crossed the spectacular Millau viaduct on the way to Nimes in southern France and crossed the Pyrenees via Andorra before descending to Barcelona on Sunday.

To support the team, please email: barcelonabeachbums@gmail.com or go to www.diabeteschallenge.org.uk/challenge/beachbums

Top tips for charity race
11th March 2011 – Swindon Advertiser

TWO amateur racers will try to cross France in a pair of cheap second-hand cars – and will then leave the vehicles as a tip for a waiter.

The bizarre charity bid will see Aaron Phull and rival Carl Jackson lead rally teams from Calais in northern France to Barcelona in northern Spain, in aid of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.

The three-day rally will see them travel around 660 miles, across the Pyrenees, while completing a series of “Top Gear-esque” challenges.

Between them, the objective is to raise around £5,000 to fight the condition.

And Mr Jackson has a very personal reason for getting involved.

The 30-year-old businessman, of St Austell Way, Church Ward, said: “My younger brother is a sufferer of it. It’s a muscular wasting disorder which bound him to a wheelchair from an early age.

“From our point of view it’ll be a good experience, so there’s a selfish angle.

“We do all care for my little brother, and there are a lot of families out there who aren’t as well off to be able to look after them. These funds go towards supporting people as well as research for a cure.”

He said the disease will “dramatically shorten life”, and leaves sufferers like his 28-year-old brother Ben so weak they cannot even lift their pint on a trip to the pub.

On the fundraising rally, taking place in May 19 Mr Jackson is taking charge of two teams, and Mr Phull is taking one.

But as part of their challenge, they have had to purchase their vehicles for less than £500.

Mr Phull, 26 and from Somerdale Close, Westlea, has opted for a Volvo bought from Ebay for his team, which he has dubbed Top Goon.

He said the rally will involve daily challenges, such as having to find and photograph 20 old French churches.

And at the end they will have a surprise for some cafe staff – leaving the car as a tip.

He said: “It was a toss up between that and the cost of the fuel and the tolls to get it back. It would be almost not worth it.

“A lot of teams just dump their cars or scrap them.

“But I think it’d be a nice gesture, just to give it away.

“It’s got to be someone who’s polite, and looks like they could do with a break; someone who’d appreciate the gift.”

He advised anyone wanting to donate to their fundraising efforts go to justgiving.com/teamtopgoon.

Pair embark on 1,000-mile drive to Barcelona for neo-natal unit
22nd October 2010 – Scunthorpe Telegraph

TWO brothers are gearing up to drive hundreds of miles in a beaten-up banger.

Brothers John and Steve Batty are preparing to take part in the Barcelona Bangers Rally for the second year running.

The driving duo will travel about 1,000 miles to raise money for the neo-natal intensive care unit at Scunthorpe General Hospital.

The rally runs from Calais to Barcelona, and all participants must drive it in a car costing no more than £200.

And the two men will drive to their destination dressed as film star musicians the Blues Brothers.

John and Steve are relying on the same car they used last year, a 16-year-old BMW 316 which they have re-decorated in preparation for the event. In the previous rally, they were raising money for the Help For Heroes campaign, and painted their car in the charity’s colours.

This time around they have gone for a Blues Brothers theme, decorating the car in the style of a classic American police car.

John, 42, and Steve, 40, are working extremely hard to raise money for the neo-natal unit at the hospital because it is one area they say gets very little fundraising.

Steve said: “We have some close friends whose children were taken into the unit shortly after they were born, so it’s a cause that is very close to home.

“When you see the babies there first-hand, some of them are small enough to fit on your palm.

“Seeing that made us keen to raise money for the unit, because they don’t receive as much help as some other wards.”

John added: “An incubator costs £15,000, so everything we raise will help.”

Lin Batty, 26, has been working hard with the siblings to gather as much money as possible, and is responsible for a lot of the fundraising organisation.

She has organised a family fun-day at the Beacon Hotel in Scunthorpe for Saturday, November 6.

The brothers are also both car enthusiasts and love the experience of driving across the continent.

John said: “The challenge of getting from Scunthorpe to Calais, and then Calais to Barcelona, in such an old car is exciting.

“The camaraderie on the journey spurs you on, and some of the sights are incredible. Driving along the B roads in the French Alps always provides a good view.”

To sponsor John and Steve, call 07858 735219.

It’s Barcelona or bust in old banger charity race
21st May 2010 – The Star (South Yorkshire)

FOUR friends from Sheffield have set out on a trip to Barcelona – and the 840-mile journey will be a bit of a challenge.

Instead of making their way to the airport, couple Luke Stevenson and Harriet Hensby, both aged 20, and Nathan Rider and Sarah Case, both 24, all of whom live around Dore and Totley, plan to make the whole journey in a 14-year-old Honda Civic car which cost them just £200.

They are making the trek for a good cause – to participate in the Barcelona Bangers 2010 rally between Calais and the Spanish city to raise money for charity.

The car has been decorated as a spoof American Sheriff’s car, complete with star motifs on the side and a blue light on top.

Luke, a salesman, who will be sharing the driving with fireman Nathan, said: “The banger rally is a three-day event, departing from Calais on Friday.

“It goes through cities including Lyon and Nice, and we are due to arrive in Barcelona on Sunday – as long as the car holds up. We saw it on sale on the street and bought it for £200. Staff at Peter Brooks Honda serviced the car for us.”

The Chesterfield Road garage got the P-reg vehicle ready for the challenge free of charge and Andrew Page Motor Factors, of Oak Street, Heeley, donated parts.

Tyres have been supplied by Chesterfield firm AD, based on Carrwood Road in the town.

The group have also received sponsorship from the owner of Eton men’s clothing store on Division Street in the city centre.

Luke said: “We are very grateful for the help we received preparing for the event and are appealing for sponsorship. If it wasn’t for Peter Brooks Honda and the other firms this trip would not have been possible.”

The foursome are raising money for the Make A Wish Foundation, a charity granting wishes of children and young people aged three to 17 living with life-threatening illnesses.

Barcelona or Bust for old banger lads
13th May 2010 – Middleton Guardian

Four lads are set to embark on an epic trip to Barcelona – and back – in an old banger.

The friends, all from Alkrington, will be taking part in the Barcelona Bangers race, taking them from their homes in Middleton to Spain’s second city in a car worth no more than £200.

Dave Beers, 22, of Dene Drive, will be the lead driver in the charity challenge, and it is his lifelong friend Mike Ambrose’s ongoing battle with cancer that has inspired the team to raise money for The Christie where he has received treatment.

Dave and fellow drivers, Chris Duerden and Tom Canvan, both 22, and 24-year-old John Robertshaw will set off in their 1993 Volvo Estate on May 20, in time to meet up with 64 other teams in Calais.

The trip will include an overnight stop in Lyon and then a day’s drive will take them to Nice, where they will get a final night’s kip before the final leg to their destination on May 23.

Dave, whose skills working as a mechanic are sure to be called upon during the 1, 200 mile journey, said: “We are getting really excited about it now.

“We bought the car and we have been given some money for the petrol. We were originally going to do it as a holiday but then Mike became ill and we wanted to do what we can to help. The Christie is a such a good cause.

“It is lucky me and another lad are mechanics and we will stock the boot up with spare parts just in case.

“We are determined to make it to Barcelona for Mike, even if we have to push the car over the line.”

Once they have completed the race, which in previous years has featured a car transformed into cow and one with giant lips plastered on the side, the team hopes to travel to the southern coast of Spain before embarking on the long journey home to north Manchester.

With just a few weeks to go before the drive, final preparations are being made to the car, with the team still seeking sponsors who are willing to be ‘stickered’ onto the Volvo.

Dave added: “We still have plenty of room for companies who want to sponsor us and we can put stickers on the car for them. We are ideally looking for local companies to sponsor us. Luckily, my girlfriend Alexandra Sturgess is studying graphic design and she has been helping with any promotional material and designing everything for the car. We have all booked off the week after the race and, if the car is still running, we want to see how far we can drive around Spain in the time we have, leaving four days to get back home.”

The team will be showing off their race car at a pre-race event at Alkrington Primary School on May 15 as part of the school’s summer fair in a bid to raise cash The Christie and Cancer Research UK.

Off to join the ‘Barcelona Bangers’
13th May 2010 – Yorkshire Post

With 127,000 miles on the clock and a price tag of just £200, reliability isn’t the main selling point of Alan Bryan-Peach’s Peugeot 406.

Nevertheless, the allotment co-ordinator at North Ridge Community School in Adwick-le-Street is planning on driving the S-reg motor all the 1,100 miles from Doncaster to Spain for the “Barcelona Bangers” contest.

Mr Bryan-Peach was entered into the challenge by his daughter Claire Bailey, 29, to mark his 60th birthday. Later this month he will set off from his home in Sykehouse with son James Bryan-Peach, 22, Chris Chattin, 27, and Clinton Bailey, 30, to drive down to Dover and board a ferry to Calais. From there, the team, called the Pied Pipers, will drive through France to Lyon, through the Alps to Nice and along the French Riviera before arriving in Barcelona. By completing the challenge, Mr Bryan-Peach aims to raise enough money for a new sensory room at North Ridge Community School.

He said: “My birthday was on March 26 so we haven’t had much time to get things together.”

Scunthorpe brothers driving old banger to Barcelona
13th April 2010 – Scunthorpe Telegraph

TWO brothers are gearing up to travel across Europe in an old banger to raise thousands of pounds for soldiers wounded by war.

John Batty, 41, and his brother Steve, 40, from Scunthorpe, are preparing for the ride of their lives in a £200 car which they are hoping will take them from Calais to Barcelona in the Barcelona Bangers Rally.

The duo are taking part in the 920-mile event in a 15-year-old BMW 316 and are aiming to raise more than £2,000 for Help for Heroes.

John, who was a soldier with the Royal Artillery, said it is going to take a lot of grit and determination to complete the three-day event.

“We are currently going through the car with a fine tooth comb to ensure it is in the best possible condition before we set off,” he said.

“The rules of the rally are that the car cannot be worth more than £200 so as you can imagine it is going to be a harsh push to reach the finish line with the car in one piece.”

John, who is a lorry driver for Cemex, said his mechanical knowledge will be put to good use along the way to ensure the newly decorated car makes it to Barcelona.

He said: “I have always been interested in mechanics and being a lorry driver I spent a lot of time on the road.

“I hope that this experience will help us along the way.

“I am really looking forward to the fantastic sights we are going to see such as the French Alps and Monte Carlo.

“The Grand Prix in Monaco coincides with our rally so it will be hilarious to see all the bangers passing through the streets along with Ferraris and Lamborghinis.”

The Barcelona banger
18th May 2009 – Sheffield Telegraph

BARCELONA or bust! Pals Stuart Heslington and Garry Bletcher are getting ready to drive an old banger from Hillsborough in Sheffield to the arty Spanish city and back in just eight days.

The friends, both aged 37, aren’t sure if their 1989 Volkswagen Scirocco will be up to the job of covering 2,500 miles – it’s been standing idle and unloved for years.

But they’ve been working hard on getting the 20-year-old car, which cost just 175, up to scratch.

And they’re determined to give the challenge for the British Heart Foundation – involving driving from Calais to Barcelona in the ‘Barcelona Bangers’ rally – a good go.

Stuart and Garry have spent months repairing the car, replacing engine parts, tyres and brakes on a shoestring.

And to make sure they make a real impact they’ve have even gone to the trouble of creating a Hawaiian theme, painting the car with palm trees and a parrot!

Dad-of-two Stuart, who works as a caretaker at Marlcliffe Primary School, was inspired to help the charity as he lost his dad Norman when he was just 43 to a heart attack.

“I heard about the challenge and it’s an ideal way to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation. I lost my dad to heart disease when I was young and wanted to help this charity save other lives at risk,” said Stuart.

“I have completed the Sheffield half marathon in the past to raise money and this time we hope to raise 500.”

Stuart and Garry became friends as 16-year-olds at college and are excited about the ‘Hawaii Oh No’ challenge ahead.

Stuart said: “The car’s done 150,000 miles which is quite a way. It sounds more like a diesel than a petrol!

“There’s quite a risk involved – it’s a long way for an old banger. But it will be nice for the old car to go out with a bang rather than being taken to the scrapyard.

“The ‘non runner’ has stood for years and, after the ‘Barcelona Bangers’ event, we will drive home in it. You will see us coming as the car, like ourselves, will be kitted out in a very visible Hawaiian theme!”