FAMILIES sprinted out of their homes to catch a glimpse of 50 tractors decked out in Christmas lights driving through Basildon.

The inaugural Basildon Tractor Run saw a convoy of 50 festive tractors drive through the town, looking to help raise money for St Luke’s Hospice, which provides care to those with life-limiting conditions.

Alan Beldzik, 33, who helped organise the tractor run, said: “Me and a colleague went to a Crawfords event that was done every year and we took a tractor from the plant. We thought, why are we not doing this for Basildon?”

“We produce tractors in Basildon, and we wanted to do something for the community, it couldn’t get any closer to us and a lot of employees have sadly had to use the charity themselves, so it touched a lot of people around here.

“We were from all over though, we took ten tractors from the plant, we had farmers, we had Ernest Doe in Rochford, people from Corringham and all over the shop getting involved.

“We went through Crawfords, and it was when you see the streets lined with people, there were just people lining the streets or running into the streets and dragging their children to see us.”

Kerry Chambers, community manager at St. Luke’s Hospice, said: “We were delighted and very thankful to Case New Holland for creating such a spectacular tractor run event and for choosing to support St Luke’s Hospice.

“It was such a fun and festive event that really lifted our spirits, and it was great to see so many people from the communities of Laindon, Basildon and Pitsea enjoying the evening.

“A procession of fifty tractors all decorated in Christmas lights is definitely a sight to be seen and as a charity, we are reliant on the generosity of our community to ensure the continued provision of specialist palliative and end of life care, where and when it is needed the most.”