Speeding downhill on homemade soapbox to raise funds for charity

Farmer Neil Tait in the Glendale Agricultural Society soapbox.
Farmer Neil Tait in the Glendale Agricultural Society soapbox.

A tranquil hillside in the Coquet Valley is set to be transformed into a high-speed race track, complete with zombies, this weekend.

The hills at Simonside in Rothbury have long been a place for people to walk, play and cycle, but now they will host people hurtling down them at speeds of up to 50mph in a homemade soapbox cart.

The inaugural Simonside Challenge, organised by Lazy Grace, a Northumberland design and marketing studio, to raise funds and the profile of the Percy Hedley Foundation, a charity supporting disabled people, will take place on Saturday.

The Percy Hedley Foundation initially threw down the gauntlet by launching the Challenge 500 campaign in January urging companies participating to use their skills to turn an initial £500 investment into as much money as they can over a six-month period.

Lazy Grace was initially going to use the money to enter the RedBull soapbox race in London, but soon realised that if London can do it, so can Rothbury and speedily set about organising the soapbox race over a twisty 1.6km course.

Each team will pay a £250 entry fee, with all money going to the Percy Hedley Foundation.

Challenge teams will consist of four people, split into two pairs.

The first two people will push the cart, at speed, up to the top of the hill and the second pair will then race it down.

Points will be awarded for creativity, performance and speed.

For more information about the event, visit the website www.simonsidechal lenge.com