Unusual challenge in aid of services charity

The first of what is hoped will be a series of challenges in aid of charity will take place later this year by two men and their trusty jeep.

Ian Brown and Sim Beasley are in the middle of preparation which will see them drive almost 1,000 miles through north-west Europe in just 10 days in a bid to raise as much money as possible for the services charity Help for Heroes.

Setting off in September, the pair will travel in Mr Beasley’s Hotchkiss M201 jeep, a license-built copy of the famous Willys Jeep, which has a top speed of 40mph.

They will take in batlefields from Waterloo to those from the first and second world wars, leaving from Harwich and travelling first to the Hook of Holland.

Mr Brown, 34, a software trainer from George Road in Thetford, said the pair had been working on the challenge for the past couple of years.

“Sim was going to take his jeep around Europe and we thought we would turn it into a challenge, because it is going to be a challenge, and we thought we’d do it for charity,” he said.

“Sim’s in the forces so we decided we’d do the first one for Help for Heroes.”

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Along with a support vehicle and a mechanic, they will visit places including Arnhem, Nijmegen, Wesel, Eindhoven, La Roche-en-Ardenne and the site of the Battle of Waterloo.

Up to 70 places have also made a list of stops they would like to make on the way.

The trip will be filmed and posted online when they return, and the men will track their progress with an online GPS system for people at home to follow their route.

“The jeep is original so things like the seats and the steering wheel are the same as when it was built in the 1960s,” Mr Brown said.

“We’ve always wanted to see battle grounds because we both have in interest in this sort of thing.

“It’s really come from an interest in that era. We’re also visiting a couple of world war one sites. I think you still get that sense of atmosphere from places like that and there is very much a sense of the era of the times from it.

“It’s something interesting for us to see and hopefully something interesting for other people to see too. It’s getting close now and it’s been a long time since we started looking into it all. “I’m starting to feel very nervous about it because we’re hoping we’ll be able to do it all. We’ve worked so hard to get to this point.”

The pair, who got to know each other through their wives some 14-years-ago and who are funding the trip themselves, hope to eventually turn their Two Men One Jeep idea into a registered charity and carry out regular challenges. In this instance, people can sponsor a part of the jeep or part of the route.

For more information on the trip, or to donate, visit the website at www.2men1jeep.org.uk.