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Unusual car powers charity
Strathspey Herald

05 August, 2009

The village of Aviemore has witnessed many spectacles of all shapes and sizes over the years, but this week saw a first when a custom-built steam-powered car, on an historic charity drive from John O'Groats to Lands End, called in.

Steam enthusiasts Dean Rogers and Steve Baldock are driving the 991 miles in a specially built Lykamobile, based on the famous Locomobiles of the early 1900s, and are doing the run in support of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

The charity trains dogs to alert their deaf owners to everyday sounds like doorbells, oven timers and telephones, and also emergency noises like smoke alarms.

Mr Rogers said: "After meeting one of the hearing dogs, I was so impressed with the whole idea of using dogs to help deaf people that I just wanted to help, so I built a plan, and a steam car!

"I have been so surprised by how few people have heard about the hearing dogs and I want to raise a significant amount of money for it."

Pictured with the steam-powered car (from left) are James McLeod (12), Tiree Rodden (6), driver Dean Rogers, Mrs Jean Cassidy, Gerry McGee (seated), chief executive of the Macdonald Highland Resort, Aviemore, with King Charles spaniel Bobby, Jean's Hearing for the Deaf Dog. Front, right is six-year-old Lucy Taylor.

By co-incidence, newly qualified hearing dog owner Jean Cassidy is celebrating her 40th wedding anniversary on holiday in Aviemore.

She said: "Bobby my hearing dog has made such a difference to my life as he goes everywhere with me. He has given me tremendous confidence in knowing that if anything happens he will alert me, not only at home, to the doorbell, phone and smoke alarm, but outside as well.

"I wish I had applied years ago instead of struggling along as in the past seven months Bobby has enriched my life and my husband's who says that he has been trying for 40 years to get me up in the morning and Bobby has done it from day one."

Dean and Steve also welcomed children from the National Deaf Children's Society in the area, who gave the car a safe send-off from the Macdonald Four Seasons Hotel in Aviemore on Monday.

The Lykamobile has an average speed of 10 to 15 miles per hour, with a top speed of just 37 miles per hour. It has to stop once every hour to take on more water, and it has to be topped up with diesel twice a day. There will also be stops en-route for fundraising and special events.

The car will be a star attraction at several steam rallies, and people can donate money in return for a ride.

Dean and Steve's company, Steam Traction World, a UK firm specialising in making large-scale models of steam cars that people then assemble at home, is bearing the costs of the trip.

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Steam Traction World
Large Scale Fully Machined Kits
Contact us via email: info@steamtractionworld.co.uk
33 Alvis Way, Daventry, NN11 8PG. England
Tel: +44 (0)1327 301030 Fax: +44 (0)1327 300808

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