A trip to the top of a well-known Scottish landmark has earned 71 year old retired farmer William Blair a brand new, top quality John Deere mountain bike worth £442.
Mr Blair was born with spina bifida and is also an amputee. Rather than walk up Norman's Law in Fife, which reaches 274m (900ft) above sea level, he was able to reach the summit in 45 minutes riding his 24hp John Deere X748 Ultimate lawn tractor.
The photograph taken at the top by his son Chris, an experienced hill climber who guided his father up the rough track, won first prize in John Deere's 2008 Keep Green newsletter competition. The summit provides magnificent views of six counties in Central Scotland, the Southern Highlands and the Grampian Mountains, and the Blair's 220 acre family farm at Pittachope, Luthrie, near Cupar can be seen to the right.
"This was the first time I've been up Norman's Law for 25 years, and it must be the first time a tractor's ever been up there," says Willie. "I did it just for the hell of it, really, and I certainly needed the tractor's four-wheel drive to help get me all the way to the top. It was actually more difficult coming down than going up!"
Willie Blair retired 11 years ago, but has lived on the farm since he was three years old. He uses the X748 in the garden and neighbouring paddock for grass cutting and chopping up leaves, and also drives an 80hp John Deere 5515 tractor that he occasionally uses for cutting his own and his neighbours' hedges.
The X748 is the latest in a long line of John Deere tractors Willie has bought from Cupar dealer The Double A Trading Co, including a couple of compact models as well as a series of lawn tractors.
"I've been a customer of theirs for about 10 years now, and you couldn't find a better dealer," says Willie. "All the staff are very helpful and friendly, and it's always a pleasure doing business there. It was a very nice surprise when I heard I'd won the competition - it's the first thing I've ever won in my life. My nine year old grandson Nicky will get the use of the bicycle when he comes to stay, although if it was a trike I'd ride it myself!"