The auction yards of Rhayader and Builth played host as stop-offs on Monday and Tuesday last week respectively, in the 2,000 mile journey of the Len’s Light Tractor Relay.

The relay called in at as many markets as as possible on its way to Land’s End.

The event is in memory of Len Eadon, who tragically took his own life on New Year’s Day 2022. It is being undertaken by his parents, Andy and Lynda Eadon, starting from John O’ Groats to Land’s End as part of the “Len’s Light” campaign, launched to shed light on mental health struggles within rural communities.

Rhayader on Monday evening saw a collection of classic and modern tractors line the Smithfield to welcome the convoy, together with members of Rhayader Young Farmers Club, Tractor Enthusiasts of Nantmel and NFU Cymru members. NFU representative, Robert Lewis welcomed the Relay to the town before Andy Eadon made a speech explaining the reasons for mental health awareness in the farming community. It brought the curtain down on a long day visiting and spreading the word in Oswestry, Bala and Welshpool markets.

Tuesday morning saw the convoy call in at Builth auction yard, where children from the high school and the primary school made a guard of honour holding sunflowers to greet the John Deere tractor with the Len’s Light beacon on the front.

Len's Light at Builth Wells
The assembled schoolchildren, YFC members and tractor drivers at Builth Market (E A Bates)

Mervyn Price had organised a display of classic and modern tractors with a self-propelled forager and even a brand new John Deere tractor from local dealer Smithfield Tractors.

Also in attendance was Baldrick the giant pink elephant, part of a mental health ambassador campaign about mental health being ‘the elephant in the room’.

After the school children sang, the resident auctioneer, Richard Hyde made a welcome speech, Andy Eadon thanked everyone for the welcome and explained about Len’s Light.

Brecknock YFC had organised a display of decorated welly boots, tied with baler twine with three knots to signify "I am going to keep myself safe", "I am going to keep my friends safe," and "Whatever happens in my life I’m going to be as strong as my old boots."

Almost £1000 had been raised between the two sites for the mental health charity the DPJ Foundation - which was the Eadon family's chosen mental health charity in Wales.

Then it was time for the Relay to be off on their travels again to visit Hereford and Ross-on-Wye markets on their journey south.

Meanwhile the classic tractors are gearing up for the Tractor Enthusiasts of Nantmel’s annual tractor run on Sunday, July 23 in aid of Cancer Research UK.