Award winning young Mini restorer set to cycle 100 miles for hospice charity

Young Restorer of the Year 2018, Josh Smith of Sleaford, pictured with his Mini that he is restoring. He is now embarking on a new, fundraising challenge. EMN-191107-135356001
Young Restorer of the Year 2018, Josh Smith of Sleaford, pictured with his Mini that he is restoring. He is now embarking on a new, fundraising challenge. EMN-191107-135356001

A Sleaford teenager who won a national award for his efforts to restore a classic British Mini is embarking on his latest challenge - this time on two wheels.

Josh Smith, 16, spent over two years restoring his classic Mini City E, documenting his progress on Youtube as he learnt techniques to carry out the work.

His dedication earned him the title of the UK’s Young Preservationist of the Year 2018 and visited the historic Brooklands motoring museum last month to receive his award from Prince Michael of Kent, a patron of The Transport Trust, which runs the awards.

He taught himself to weld, grind and install electrical wiring in his spare time from school. Josh received a certificate of recognition and £500 towards his restoration work, although he has donated some of the cash to charity in memory of a family friend, Robin James, who died seven years ago and partly inspired him to carry out the project.

Josh said “I have put some of the money towards my next restoration project, but the rest has gone to charity. When I got home from the ceremony I thought I could do more and so I have decided to cycle 100 miles on Saturday from Sleaford to Skegness and back.

“I wanted to raise at least £250 for the Spaldking Hospice Foundation, but I have raised £470 so far to go to the hospice in Spalding where our family friend stayed.”

Josh, who used to do quite a bit of cycling but had to give up after knee problems, has dusted off his bike and will set off at 7am this Saturday, with his uncle, Tom Reader, driving behind in support, and expects to reach Skegness in four hours.

Josh, who will not be legally allowed to drive until November, is already onto his next restoration project - a rare Mini pick-up truck from 1968 that he tracked down in a builder’s yard in London.

He said: “I have stripped it down and all that is left is the cab. The engine has rotted to the front sub-frame, but I know more about how to go about it now and so I plan to keep this one too.”

Josh has just finished at St George’s Academy and is due to start an apprenticeship as an electrician with Butlers while attending college.

To donate go to: https://ca.gofundme.com/1ndhhk25w0