A FARMER is making his way through the region on his horse-drawn cart as he travels more than 650 miles from Gloucestershire to Scotland.

James Alcock is undertaking the 40-day trip to raise money for Police Care UK and The Fire Fighters Charity, in memory of his brother PC John Alcock, who was involved in a serious collision while on duty and died 14 years later, having never regained consciousness.

The 55-year-old and his shire horse William have been making his way through North Yorkshire this week, arriving in Darlington today, passing through Hurworth on his way to spend the night near Piercebridge.

He had changed the route to avoid the busy A167 after encountering problems with fast traffic passing too close, as well as the occupants of one car throwing rubbish at them, causing William to bolt.

He will continue his journey North tomorrow, and will arrive at Beamish Museum in time for an event at the weekend.

Mr Alcock, who usually uses his shire horses for farm work. said: "Everybody has been so generous and it has been raising far more money than I expected.

"I've never done anything like this before. I'm a farmer so its hard to get two months off the farm."

He added: "I've been travelling through some beautiful countryside. People are so friendly and the further North I travel, the friendlier they become. This is a great part of the world."

Northumbria Police's mounted division is expected to attend the event at Beamish, which will also feature the museum's horse drawn fire engine.

To find out more about his journey and to track his progress visit https://www.coldcroftshires.co.uk/the-charity-drive

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