Staffordshire Young Farmers Clubs are planning to hold a spring Tractor Run on Sunday 27th March, in memory of Mr John Meakin. Emily and Isobelle Meakin, John’s daughters who were both past members of Chase Young Farmers approached Staffordshire YFC to help them honour their dad’s memory, as he sadly passed away in March 2021 following a short and aggressive battle with cancer.
John loved tractor runs and ploughing matches from a very young age and during this time as a member of Staffordshire YFC, he loved to attend these kinds of events as well as always getting stuck in at the County Show, particularly with the YFC Show Floats Competition. The JW Meakin Tractor Run, will raise funds to be equally split between Staffordshire YFC and Katharine House Hospice, who looked after John during his illness. Emily and Isobelle are hoping that friends and family who were unable to attend John’s funeral due to the covid restrictions at the time, will be able to come along and share stories, celebrating their dad’s life in a way that goes some way to repay the kindness given by the hospice. Emily and Isobelle said “The doctors, nurses and home care team were incredible at Katharine House Hospice. They went above and beyond to help Isobelle and myself manage Dad’s condition at home, and more importantly they made sure Dad could enjoy his final months, remaining comfortable. They provided a hospital bed at the farm, by the aga so Dad could see all his friends and make the most of his final months and days, for which we will be forever grateful. No amount of money raised would be enough to repay Katharine House Hospice for the special moments we got to have due to their imperative hard work, and organisation, so it’s an honour to help towards their cause.”
The Tractor Run will start from Far Coley Farm, Little Haywood and takes a route passing through the villages of Little Haywood, Great Haywood, Hixon, Dapple Heath, Blithfield Reservoir, Admaston and Bishton. The finalised route will be confirmed working with the local authorities with signage confirming this two weeks beforehand and it is hoped that 50 tractors will take part. Farmers and friends of the family and Staffordshire YFC are invited to book in their tractor for the run, which for £20 includes a Bacon Bap and hot drink before setting off and a hog roast social afterwards.
Julia Taylor, County Organiser for Staffordshire YFC said “Organising this tractor run will be a pleasure to help the Meakin family remember John in such a special way. Knowing how popular tractor runs are in the area, we hope that the event will be a huge success for everyone and are very grateful that some of the funds will be raised for Staffordshire YFC as well as Katharine House Hospice.”
There is also a GoFundMe page opened by Staffordshire YFC to take online payments, which will also be equally distributed between the two charities. Details about the event and how to book your tractor in can be found on www.staffsyoungfarmers.org.uk/calendar/j-w-meakin-tractor-run . Anyone who would like more information about the tractor run, please contact Julia Taylor, County Organiser on 01785 248645 or email email@example.com
Find out more about why Emily and Isobelle wish to hold this event. We spoke to the girls and here’s what they said:
Why hold a tractor run?
Tractor Runs were a huge part of Dad’s life in his later days, where he would venture out with some of his pals and go and follow. He could tell you every tractor, the year make and model just by looking at it. Him and his friends would compare notes and stories just from the trigger of seeing a certain tractor in its vintage state. We saw this later in The Yorkshire Shepherd – when the son was doing up an old tractor in one of the episodes. Dad was actually bed bound at this stage but would love watching and more stories and details would follow, it was like a child at Christmas watching Santa clause, gripped with fascination. The picture on the poster of Dad was also taken at Young Farmers Ploughing Match showing his love and passion for tractors and farming right from his early days.
What are you looking forward to?
A huge part of this for us, is knowing that Dad would absolutely love this event! He would be so happy knowing that the tractor run was starting from the Farm, and that we will be putting on a celebration of his life! Due to COVID Restrictions, back on April 14th at Dad’s Funeral we couldn’t have a large gathering, so it seems fitting to do this now, and what better to do so, by gathering Staffordshire Farmers for a great cause.
Why raise funds for Staffs YFC and Katherine House?
Dad was part of Staffordshire Young Farmers from his early childhood, doing Ploughing Matches, and there are plenty of funny stories from Staffordshire Show, with the main ring floats, and water fights! He was a real agriculture man, so loved Young Farmers, and loved helping the next generation of Farmers, so they hold a big pace place in his and our hearts! Katherine House Hospice have been incredible to us all over the past year whilst Dad was ill, and even after to Isobelle and myself offering Counselling. The doctors nurses and home care team were incredible, and went above and beyond to help Isobelle and myself manage Dad’s condition at home, and more importantly they made sure Dad could enjoy his final months, and was comfortable. we had a hospital bed at the farm, by the aga so he could see all of his friends and make the most of his final months and days, which we will be forever grateful. no amount of money raised would be enough to repay them for the special moments we got to have due their imperative hard work, and organisation, so its an honour to help to their cause.
What can anyone do to help you?
Everyone who knew Dad is someway shape or form is welcome to join us at The Tractor Run, and we would love to share stories, even if they don’t know Isobelle and myself. We need some help stewarding the event, which Julia Taylor is managing, please contact her for any more information on how to help and please donate lots! We shall be setting up a GoFundMe Page for donations if anyone is unable to make it too.
Memories of your dad?
Some beautiful memories of Dad at the County Showground when we were young children (3years old) showing our calves in the young handlers and Dad helped us show our calves in the main ring. The Dad would love to help The Elkin’s buck rake the silage, he loved working with Annie Elkin, who was a young farmer at the time. Thanks to Katherine House Hospice, we got to enjoy Cheltenham Gold Cup as Dad was in his bed, but the local farmers came round, and we had tea and scones and did lots of betting, Dad loved this. Our last day out was at Cobwebs Cafe, at Abbotts Bromley where Isobelle and myself rode there on our bikes and Dad went with his carers. We had cake and coffee (with a glug in it), and Dad got Vegetables from the Farm Shop there, Meat from the Butchers, and saw owner Nick Philips who is a long-standing family friend, and Nicks Mother Rosemary’s handmakes all the cakes sold at Cobwebs, a lady Dad knows well from his childhood, this day will stay with Isobelle and myself forever.