TRACTORS of all shapes, sizes and ages descended on Lauder and its surrounding area on Sunday, in aid of Doddie Weir’s foundation to fund research into Motor Neuron Disease (MND).

The machines, which ranged from a 1940s Grey Fergie to state-of-the-art giants, gathered at Thirlestane Castle before a spectacular ‘Grand Parade of Tractors’ set off around the local area.

Hundreds of onlookers lined the streets along the route to watch the 178 tractors rumble past. Each entrant had donated a minimum of £50 to take part in the day, which was organised by Ross Montague for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

After a three-hour tour of Lauderdale, the farmers and other drivers returned to Thirlestane for a special lunch provided by Dining by Doreen.

A further £8,000 was raised with the auction of a vintage John Deere Model A tractor, donated by a local farmer.

Organiser Ross Montague said: “The vintage tractors were great to see and a credit to their owners, when combined with the big modern machines, row after row of them at the castle and then heading as a parade through Lauder. It was absolutely amazing to see.

“Huge thanks to the drivers, the local tractor dealers and the farmers and contractors and tractor enthusiasts who took part and made the parade such a fantastic spectacle.

“There are so many people I must thank for helping to make this happen. Edward and Sarah Maitland-Carew for allowing us to use their fantastic venue of Thirlestane Castle, all of the stewards who helped arrange the parade, our sponsors NFU Mutual and all of the raffle and auction lot donors, the Fullerton family and Dining with Doreen for keeping everyone fed and watered and above all, my wife, Moira for putting so much work into this.

“We’re not ready to announce the total raised as yet, as more has been pledged, but it looks like Doddie’s foundation will be receiving a very substantial cheque.”

Doddie announced earlier this year that he had been diagnosed with the debilitating motor neurone disease. One of the Scottish Borders’ greatest ever rugby players, he won 61 caps for Scotland during a distinguished career.