THE August Bank Holiday is approaching fast, the Minis are changing gear and the motorbikes are revving up because it s Grand Tour Weekend. You can almost hear their horns already. Now in its 16th year, the event has become a firm favourite with the peop

THE August Bank Holiday is approaching fast, the Minis are changing gear and the motorbikes are revving up because it's Grand Tour Weekend. You can almost hear their horns already.

Now in its 16th year, the event has become a firm favourite with the people of North Devon who come out in their thousands to watch them go by.

This amazing event is still free for the people of North Devon to see, but they can expect to see a collection bucket somewhere.

The Grand Tour is not just about Minis. It is also about motorbikes, which have become very much part of the event. So if you own a motorbike why not come along and be part of it?

We hope that the Grand Tour has given back to North Devon a lot more than it has ever taken out. Since it started, it has brought into the community over £1million and raised more than £300,000 for charity, with £250,000 going to the CHSW.

Grand Tour is not funded by any council, nor is it sponsored by anyone. It is self-supporting and is organised by a bunch of people who call themselves the North Devon Mini Register.

The Register works all year round raising money for the CHSW and organises three major events every year: The Land's End to John O'Groats Mini run, Dartington Crystal Mini Show and that thing at the end of August called the Legendary Grand Tour. It got the name Legendary from the CHSW when they saw all the Minis arrive one after the other and the children talked about it for months afterwards.

Due to Braddicks rebuilding, we lost our campsite but we are grateful for the support they have given us over the past 10 years. We wanted to keep the event in Bideford rather than see it go outside. Luckily the Register has made a few friends over the years and Rick Turner from The Big Sheep has given us a field and Phil Vanstone has been a great deal of help. There are loads of Register members taking on even more work to make sure the event and the camping is successful so people will come back.

The Register is committed to raising money for the CHSW and this year is no different. The highlight of the event must be a visit to Little Bridge House to give the children a wave. The Grand Tour fills people with so many different emotions; it will make you smile, it will make you laugh and few people come out of Little Bridge House without a tear in their eye, including the motor bikers.

You will never know how big it is until you see it, so why got come and see what all the fuss is about over the August Bank Holiday?

For further info visit www.smallcarsbighearts.co.uk e-mail Terry@smallcarsbighearts.co.uk or phone Dave Lemon Lead Biker on 07979 303141

Emma Puckey, Head of Fund-raising at Little Bridge House said:

"To say that we are proud to have the support of these intrepid little cars and their dedicated owners would not even come close to expressing our gratitude. Terry and Linda - indeed, the whole crew of the North Devon Mini Register - have become such an important part of our family. They may be small cars, but their hearts are massive. We shall be thinking of you all - keep safe, and enjoy every minute!