Couple conquer 2,000-mile drive around Britain in 1974 Triumph
- Credit: Mary Hawkins
An intrepid couple have successfully completed a 2,000-mile drive around Britain for charity in their beloved Triumph.
Aubrey and Mary Hawkins took on the Round Britain Reliability Run, which sees participants journey the length and breadth of the country.
The event, run by Club Triumph, must be completed in 48 hours with no overnight stops.
Last year's instalment was postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic, leaving around 130 entrants raring to go earlier this month in various Triumphs from across the world.
Among them were Mr and Mrs Hawkins, from Bylaugh, who departed from Knebworth House in their 1974 Triumph Stag on Friday, October 1.
And exactly two days later, the couple arrived back in Hertfordshire having passed through dozens of counties across England, Scotland and Wales.
Asked to describe the Herculean effort, Mrs Hawkins simply called it "gruelling".
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She added: "The drive is fantastic because of the roads the organisers choose and the scenery you get to see - it is lovely.
"But if you cannot sleep, it does make it very difficult.
"I managed a total of around four hours' sleep which is not enough, but Aubrey only managed abut one minute. It's the adrenaline; he was just too excited.
"Looking back I maybe wouldn't call it good fun, but it's a good achievement."
In addition to their lack of sleep, Mr and Mrs Hawkins had to negotiate a faulty window wiper and northern Scotland's tricky A836.
But the Stag powered on, clocking up 38 hours in driving time and averaging 30 miles to the gallon.
The Triumph enthusiasts even managed to steer clear of the spiralling fuel crisis, as well as the travel sickness which forced them to pull out when they took part in the 2018 edition of the reliability run.
What's more, their efforts have seen them raise more than £1,500 for this year's chosen charity, the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA).
"We are really surprised but so pleased about our fundraising," said Mrs Hawkins.
"We were not expecting it and we are just so grateful we have been able to contribute."
In all, the Round Britain Reliability Run 2021 has raised more than £90,000 for the MNDA.