A LOCAL businessman is heading off on a 1,600 mile journey across Europe on June 30 in old Peugeot 407 modified to resemble a Lancaster Bomber plane — in honour of the brave airmen of the Dambusters raid 80 years ago.

Clive Pattison, of Drake’s Cafe at Grenofen, will be taking on the four-day Barmy to Barcelona Wacky Rally race with rally partner Ewan Miller. Starting the race in Lille, the drivers will be taking in the Swiss Alps, the rolling hills of Italy, the French Riviera, and finishing up in the Spanish Catalan capital. They have converted their car with just £500 as per wacky rally rules.

Clive said: ‘I started fundraising in 2019; this is my third time taking part in the Wacky Rally. The first year we entered as the ‘Wacky Green Army’ transforming the car into a tank with a turret which revolved and fired water, and at the end of the four-day rally, we were awarded ‘Wackiest Car’. Last year we entered as the ‘Wacky Green Navy’ and turned the vehicle into a lifeboat raising £1,500 for the RNLI in the process and winning the competition overall. ‘This year it seemed particularly fitting to continue the military theme, specifically focusing on the air force, transforming our vehicle into a Lancaster plane to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund. We are hoping to meet our target of £2,000 for the cause.’ The RAF Benevolent Fund is the RAF’s leading welfare charity, providing practical, financial, and emotional support to RAF personnel, veterans, and their partners and dependants.