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Northern Soul fan plans Aberdeen to Hartlepool fundraiser in a Tuk Tuk

Robert Carmichael in his Tuk Tuk is setting off on a fundraising adventure to Hartlepool in the Tuk Tuk. Pic by Chris Sumner/DCT Media
Robert Carmichael in his Tuk Tuk is setting off on a fundraising adventure to Hartlepool in the Tuk Tuk. Pic by Chris Sumner/DCT Media

A Northern Soul fan who was uplifted during a cancer battle by a fellow music lover plans to take on a very slow Tuk Tuk challenge to raise money for the hospice she works in.

Offshore worker Robert Carmichael, 53, from Aberdeen is planning a run out in his vehicle for the Alice House Hospice, in Hartlepool.

The 284-mile B-road journey will take him down to northern England at top speeds of 45mph.

Mr Carmichael said he is taking on the challenge after a fellow Northern Soul fan, Jan Dunn of The Supporters Club, talked him through some of the darkest days after his prostate cancer diagnosis.

He said: “I have been a fan of Northern Soul and Motown since I was 13 and growing up in Aberdeen.

She helped by being positive

Robert Carmichael (front) with Granite City Scooter Club. Picture by Scott Baxter.

“We had all the gear, our white cardigans, our pressed trousers – down to our DM shoes. We went to Robert Ray’s for our flight jackets. We were Northern Soul fans and Mods.

“I have followed Northern Soul for a long time. And over the years I have made friends up and down the country. Because of Covid, Northern Soul has become even more popular, especially at venues in northern England where club night take place.

“So there are lots of friends. One of those people is Jan Dunn who is a care worker in a hospice in Hartlepool.”

Mr Carmichael, who also owns tour company Aberdeen Scooter Club Tuk Tuk, said he went to the doctors in December after a friend told him he was looking “really ill”.

After a series of blood tests and scans it was discovered that he had an aggressive form of prostate cancer, and underwent an operation in May.

He said: “I have never had an operation so I didn’t know how it would be, I had lots of questions and I was nervous. Jan helped me by being positive.

“She would say things like ‘[after your operation] you are in recovery you are not ill, you are a young man you are fit’ or ‘you are going to be OK, it is keyhole surgery – you will heal’. Her honesty was so important to me feeling better.”

Five weeks on from surgery, and still healing, he said: “My Northern Soul friends are asking me when I am going to be doing spins again.

Robert Carmichael is looking forward to the adventure. Pic by Chris Sumner/DCT Media

Soon be doing the spins again

“I’ll get there, but I need to get my bladder under control again first.”

Mr Carmichael is planning to head out from Great Western Road on Friday at 10am, waved off by the Coffee and Cake Scooter Club.

He will then travel by Tuk Tuk to Carnoustie for a Northern Soul night, staying in Dundee. From there he will travel to Edinburgh, then Newcastle to Sunderland and to the Alice House Hospice in Hartlepool on Sunday morning.

Along the B-routes he will meet with fellow Northern Soul, scooter and Motown enthusiasts – and he will collect money to give a donation to the hospice when he arrives.

He hopes to raise £1,000.

Anyone who would like to donate should contact Mr Carmichael by e-mail on robcar1969@msn.com

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