IT may have cost just a couple of hundred pounds, but a fundraiser from County Durham is hoping his battered Honda Accord will continue long enough to complete an epic journey.

Alister Ruddick, Hunwick, near Crook, is to drive the 14-year-old car, which cost just £280, from Blackpool to Benidorm to raise money for the hospice which treated his father.

Mr Ruddick, 41, will drive 1,750 miles across Europe in aid of St Cuthbert’s Hospice, in Durham, along with his friend Paul Armstrong, 40, from the Darlington MOT Centre.

There will be roughly 200 cars at the start line of the three-day rally on Wednesday, May 6 and they will have to cross the Pyrenees to finish in southern Spain.

Mr Ruddick, a sales executive for, is fundraising for the hospice as thanks for the care which staff provided to his father Ron, 92, prior to his death in October 2001.

He said: “I’m looking forward to it. We got the car off Ebay and there was no test on it. We’ve sorted that and we intend to scrap the car when we get there.

“We think that the car will be okay, but it’s been making some funny noises.

“It will be an unforgettable journey in memory of my dad.”

Mr Armstrong paid for the car and Mr Ruddick will cover hotel costs and they are to share the fuel and food bills.

Mr Ruddick said: “The hospice staff are absolutely fantastic.

“I once stood outside his room and I could hear the way the staff spoke to him – the kindness they showed to a kind man was wonderful.”

Ron Ruddick survived three sinkings as he helped man convoys to Britain as a merchant seaman in the Second World War. He was on vessel that were twice torpedoed and once dive-bombed.

The former headteacher at Kelloe School was at the hospice for a month before he died.

Jade Mcardle, from the hospice, said: “We are so grateful to Alister and Paul for what they are doing.

"It is a fantastic effort and we hope as many people as possible support them.”

The Prison Service Charitable Fund is to match fund whatever amount the duo make. Donations can be made online at