Tractor enthusiasts ride out in memory of Wee Oscar

Lauren Doak, William Gamble, Nigel Gamble, Campbell Lyttle, Amy Wilson, Emma Gamble and Marc Gamble at the vintage tractor run. INNT 32-505CON
Lauren Doak, William Gamble, Nigel Gamble, Campbell Lyttle, Amy Wilson, Emma Gamble and Marc Gamble at the vintage tractor run. INNT 32-505CON
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Fifty vintage tractors took to the roads around Ballyclare on Saturday, July 26 for a special four-wheel fundraiser in memory of Glengormley boy Oscar Knox.

Five-year-old Oscar passed away in May this year following a two-and-a-half-year battle with neuroblastoma - an aggressive form of cancer.

The vintage tractor run, in aid of the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, was organised by Ballynure teenagers and tractor enthusiasts, Marc and Emma Gamble.

The tractors set off from the headquarters of Dennison Commercials on the Hillhead Road in Ballyclare at one o’clock and continued along the Carntall Road, Irish Hill Road, through Straid, along the Carrick Road and finishing at Ballynure Presbyterian Church.

Despite the turn in the weather at last minute, all those who took part were in good spirits and proud to be there to show their support.

Oscar’s grandfather, Brian Knox, has worked for Dennison Commercials for almost 40 years, hence the company’s association with the Oscar Knox Appeal. Dennisons previously organised their own truck pull fundraising event in 2012 to raise funds for Oscar.

‘Wee Oscar’, as he became affectionately known, was the inspiration for Marc and Emma, the son and daughter of Rhonda Gamble, also an employee of Dennison Commercials, to act and make a difference.

When asked what had prompted her son and daughter to organise the event, Rhonda said that Oscar had touched their hearts.

“He brought everyone together and gave both Marc and Emma the strength and determination to never give up on anything,” she commented.

With more money still to come in, the tractor run has already raised the grand sum of £1,250.

The event was supported by a number of Dennison employees, including vintage automotive enthusiast Raymond Beggs.

Raymond, affectionately known as ‘Bear’ within the company, has worked for Dennisons for over 25 years and is also involved in organising the annual Parkgate Vintage Tractor Rally.

The Gamble family has said a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who entered a tractor in the event and to all of those who supported the fundraiser, including Dennison Commercials, Ian Fleck, Arco and Ballynure Presbyterian Church. Their thanks were also extended to Ian McIlroy for photographing the event. Prints can be purchased from Ian’s photo gallery at www.photoboxgallery.com/hospicetractors, with at least half of the cost of any prints purchased being donated to the Children’s Hospice.