'Tractor' Jim is award council's Civic Award after charity events raise total of £60,000 for Bright Hope hospice

By Ashby Nub News Reporter

10th May 2024 | Local News

Ashby Mayor Cllr Avril Wilson presents Jim Hoult with the 2023 Civic Award. Photo: Ashby de la Zouch Town Council
Ashby Mayor Cllr Avril Wilson presents Jim Hoult with the 2023 Civic Award. Photo: Ashby de la Zouch Town Council

Jim Hoult has been named as Ashby de la Zouch Town Council's Civic Award for 2023.

The former Town and District councillor was presented with his certificate at the Mayor's Civic Dinner - held at Willesley Park Golf Club - by Cllr Avril Wilson in the presence of 66 invited guests

Leader of the Town Council, Cllr Chris Smith, said: "The Town Council is very pleased to be able to present the award to the successful recipient of the Civic Award for Ashby de la Zouch for 2023. The recipient of the 2023 award is 'Tractor' Jim Hoult.

"Jim is a very worthy winner of the award and he has been a great credit to the town over many years. I am delighted that we have managed to recognise his achievements with this public recognition."

As well as 16 years as a councillor, Jim has sustained a lifetime enthusiasm for all things mechanical, particularly agricultural machinery - the older the better.

Jim's Tractor Run is an annual event in Ashby. Photo: Ashby Nub News

This enthusiasm is much more than simply passive, as evidenced by the steady flow of refurbished tractors and other vintage equipment emerging from his workshop, not to mention the blue and orange Fordson kept as his pride and joy.

This enthusiasm was the inspiration for the first tractor rally - Jim's Tractor Run - held in 2010, and which has since become an annual fixture on the Bath Grounds as a free of charge family event.

But charity collections on the day have every year raised funds for Hospice Hope, now Bright Hope.

Encouraged by this success, he then gathered a team of like-minded enthusiasts to develop the next project - a steam fair.

This eventually materialised in 2014 at Moira Furnace and, from 2018, at the Alpaca Farm at Boundary.

From its modest beginning, it has grown year on year into a major, not for profit, event with increasing numbers of steam traction engines, other steam-driven vehicles and fairground attractions.

Ashby Steam is held each year on the Charnwood Alpaca Farm in Boundary. Photo: Ashby Nub News

These two events have given, and will continue to give, huge pleasure to many thousands of families.

In addition, aside from the collections at the Tractor Run, the Steam Rally has been able to donate £30,000 to Bright Hope and a further similar amount to other local charities – some £60,000 in total.

The Town Council Civic Award is presented annually to a member of the public who, in the opinion of the council, has made a significant contribution to the town and the parish.

This could be through a combination of a number of factors involving the promotion of the town, enhancing its reputation, initiatives to improve quality of life for residents or a sustained contribution to a particular issue, which has wide-reaching benefits for Ashby de la Zouch.


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