Taxi to Benidorm? All hail the Lancashire Lads

We made it!  The Lancashire lads Ian Fraser, Chris Hogan, John Harrison, Mark Wolstenholme, Mark Fitzpatrick, Paul Ashworth, Ian Dawes and Steve Fagan  celebrate on the beach front after completing their epic Benidorm or Bust trip.
We made it! The Lancashire lads Ian Fraser, Chris Hogan, John Harrison, Mark Wolstenholme, Mark Fitzpatrick, Paul Ashworth, Ian Dawes and Steve Fagan celebrate on the beach front after completing their epic Benidorm or Bust trip.
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A fractured finger and a near miss arrest were the only mishaps on an epic journey in two customised London cabs for a group of eight colleagues.

And the Benidorm or Bust trip was hailed a great success by the eight who took part in the challenge and have raised the magnificent total of £2,500 for charity.

A pit stop in the Pyrenees for some of the Lancashire Lads in their Benidorm or Bust challenge.

A pit stop in the Pyrenees for some of the Lancashire Lads in their Benidorm or Bust challenge.

Ian Fraser, who organised the banger rally, and roped in his workmates from Nelson's Graham Engineering, said: "What a challenge, but we did it.

"All the planning, time and effort that went into this was so worth it in the end.

"We didn't know if the cabs would make it but they did and we had a fantastic experience."

The 1,400 mile trip from Lancashire to Benidorm began in Dover when disaster struck at the starting line for team member Steve Fagan when the taxi door was slammed on his hand by accident, fracturing one of his fingers.

He was then forced to travel the rest of the journey with it strapped up!

And the teams, who travelled in a Clarets taxi decked out in Burnley FC colours and a Grease style cab complete with flames painted on the front and side, ran into a spot of bother in Zaragoza in Spain when armed police officers pulled one of the vehicles over when they spotted one of the team not wearing a seatbelt.

Ian said: "It was a bit of a scary moment to see police officers with machine guns. they came up to the cab and were threatening to make arrests.

"But we managed to avoid that and paid the 100 euro fine between us."

Driving through Rouen and Bordeaux, Ian said one of the highlights of the trip was seeing so much stunning countryside and beautiful cities.

He said: "I never realised how stunning Bordeaux was, it was breathtaking and I would love to make a return visit there."

The lads were also thrilled to meet up with Benidorm star Tim Healy before they left the UK. He requested to meet with them when he heard about their amazing challenge.

The eye catching cabs certainly drew some admiring glances from passers-by and other drivers, keen to have their photographs taken with them.

The Clarets taxi was snapped up by an eager buyer when the lads arrived in Benidorm but the Grease cab will be returning to the UK as so many requests have been made for it as a novelty form of transport for a variety of events.

The eight, who are from Burnley and Pendle, were among 190 cars taking part in the banger rally where the challenge was to drive in a customised car costing no more than £500.

Calling themselves the Lancashire Lads, the GEM Appeal, which provides research and treatment for incurable genetic diseases in children, was their chosen charity. And it is a cause close to their hearts for over the past few years they have raised around £30,000 for the charity.

All the guys are members of The Welding Institute and the society hosts an annual fund rising dinner for the appeal. The friends have organised race nights and also a regular sponsored bike ride to Blackpool.