FUNDRAISING Peter Matheson has learned a valuable lesson.

If you’re driving a historic tractor without a cab and an HGV is going past you after a heavy downpour, make sure you shut your mouth.

It’s one of a few adventures the former Colchester police man has had since he left John O’Groats, near his adopted Scottish home, more than two weeks ago.

He stopped off in Colchester on his way to Lands End.

From there, he will drive to Dover, to catch the ferry to France and drive to north Norway to see the Northern Lights.

From there, he will return to John O’Groats, via Dover and Lands End.

The 8,000-mile trip will take him about four months to complete, but it’s all for a good cause.

The 50-year-old is raising money for the Tom Bowdidge Foundation, which was set up in memory of the inspirational teenager who died battling an aggressive stomach cancer in October having raised more than £100,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Mr Matheson said: “It has been horrendous so far, especially through southern Scotland.

“I’ve learned a few lessons, not least knowing you should shut your mouth when an HGV drives past after a torrential downpour.”

He added: “The support from people has been good.

“My thinking is people are so busy rushing around in their busy lives that getting stuck behind me doing 13mph gives them a chance to think and settle down and perhaps donate to a good cause.”

The former cop is also hoping for volunteers to drive a support vehicle throughout his journey.

Anyone who can help should go to or search Facebook for Tractor Bumble 2014.

Mr Matheson was the guest of honour at an event at Sainsbury’s, in Tollgate, on Thursday.

The store has selected the foundation as its charity if the year.

Charlotte Draper, Sainsbury’s ambassador, said: “It’s great to continue to raise awareness for The Tom Bowdidge Foundation through various events that all our colleagues and customers can get involved in.”

It was the second event held at the store. More than £6,500 has been raised so far.

Nikki Bowdidge, Tom’s mum, said: “The support has been unbelievable.

“Everybody keeps coming up with different ideas and none of them have been humdrum, they are ideas which have captured people’s attention.

“With Peter and his Tractor Bumble, Tom would have loved it, he would have been getting time off to drive the thing himself.”