More than 54 tractors paraded across Great Asby scar in honour of a pillar of the local community who is seriously ill with cancer at the age of 62.
As the mix of tractors weaved down country lanes, at the head of the procession was the man himself, Philip Saul, in his vintage 1964 Massey Ferguson 135.
Philip’s mother Marina, 86, with whom he lives in Great Asby, has also been diagnosed with the disease.
With this in mind, organisers used the event to raise more than £1,200 for Cancer Research UK, with donations still coming in.
Asked by his friends Kenny Bainbridge and Matthew Campbell if there was anything he would like to do before his chemotherapy treatment began, Philip mentioned a tractor rally.
So, in just over a week, Kenny and Matthew organised one of Great Asby’s largest ever events.
Determined to remain positive despite his diagnosis, Philip said: “I did enjoy the ride but it was just nice to see so many faces.
“I didn’t expect so many people to turn out — there were a lot of people I’ve not seen in years. Someone even told me it was the most people they’ve ever seen in Asby at any time at all.”
The sun shone down all day across the 20-mile circuit from Great Asby to Kings Meaburn, Crosby Ravensworth, Orton and back via Sunbiggin Tarn.
The tractors drove for about an hour-and-a-half later to a barbecue selling burgers and sausages — the profits of which were donated to charity.
A similar rally was trialled two years ago in the hopes of creating an annual event but with the pandemic preventing large gatherings from taking place the organisers lost momentum.
Matthew hopes now to run it every year and keep the fundraising going.
He said: “It went really well; it was far better than anyone expected. A lot of people stayed all day and had a bit of crack about the tractors.
“I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone that came and everyone who has donated.”
People can still donate to the cause by dropping off cash to Matthew at Campbell’s Garage in Great Asby.
On Thursday Philip had his first round of chemotherapy, which will be repeated every three weeks.
After the doctors had told Philip about his condition and ran him through the treatment, they asked him if he had any questions.
His first response was to ask when he could get back to dry stone walling. He has been walling professionally since he was 17 years old and said he still loves it today.
Many of those who attended the rally were farmers and their sons who Philip has walled for in the past.
Philip did joke that while the farmers all had their vintage tractors most of the younger lads came in huge newer models that dwarfed their older counterparts.
He said: “We’re just trying to live life as best as we can. I’d really like to thank all the staff at hospitals in Carlisle, Lancaster, Kendal, and Kirkby Stephen who are looking after us so well.
“They’re giving us super care and I just can’t thank them enough. It hasn’t got me down at all.”