Screwball Charity Banger Rally

On just another day working in the COMMCEN at Al Udeid whilst being Out Of Area in November 2010, Cpl Jim Collins and SAC Tristan Smith decided to do some research into Banger Rallies for the New Year. Unfortunate circumstances arose when Tristan’s Dad (having had long term prostate cancer) took a turn for the worse and sadly passed away.

This turn of events confirmed our decision to take part in a Charity Banger Rally in the New Year, with the obvious beneficiary being Cancer Research, who do fantastic work to find a cure for this illness. So started the task of finding a Banger Rally to join and raise money, and whilst doing a search of the internet I found “Screwball Rally”. Reading the Route around Europe, we discovered it would cover 1,600 miles and pass through the following countries:

• Day 1 -Dover (England) to Mannheim (Germany)
• Day 2 – Mannheim (Germany) to Plzen/Pilsen (Czech Rep)
• Day 3 – Plzen (Czech Rep) to Hannover (Germany)
• Day 4 -Hannover (Germany) to Amsterdam (Holland)
• Day 5 -Amsterdam (Holland) to Calais (France)

This was a big ask for any car let alone a banger under £500! So the challenge for four ICT Tech’s from Trade Group 4 had begun, and now the itinerary had been found, we needed a team and, more importantly a car!Another team mate was sourced by Tristan (Salt Lake Site Cyprus), SAC Stuart Jackson. Luckily he is an avid motor head who knows his way around an engine, which was handy. Initially we were kindly donated a car at DCAE Cosford, however, upon taking the car for a check before the MOT, it was found that the repairs required would be too much! Sadly the car went for scrap and the search continued once I was posted to Air Command RAF High Wycombe.

Upon arrival at COMMCEN High Wycombe, it didn’t take long to find an additional driver – SAC Andy Parry, who also wanted to come along on the adventure! Searching eBay and Auto Trader we soon found the machine which would take us on this epic journey around Europe and hopefully raise awareness and much needed funds – a ‘97 Vauxhall Astra Estate Diesel on the forecourt of Quarry Motoring Centre in Headington Oxford.

We decorated the car in the theme of the Los Angeles Police Department! A simple yet effective.The event was a great success, look out for our write up in the next edition.

By Cpl Jim Collins, Commcen

If you would like to Donate to this Challenge (in aid of Cancer Research) please either contact: Cpl Jim Collins – DESISS Commcen Supervisor, Ext: 4522. SAC Andy Parry – DESISS Commcen Operator, Ext: 4522. Or see my Just Giving website at the following address: Visit our Website to view our progress during the rally at: