You might say that only fools and horses would consider a trip of more than 2,000 miles across Europe in a battered £500 Transit van yet this is exactly what two members of Porthleven Town Band had the brass to do this week.

Musical director Tom Bassett and tuba playing vice chairman Rob Smith, aka Del Boy and Rodney for six days, took part in the Pompeii or Bust 2019 banger challenge in a van decorated as though from the classic TV comedy.

Their globe trotter-ing was in aid of Porthleven Town Training Band, which has become so popular that it has run out of instruments for new members.

Falmouth Packet:

The journey took the pair from St Austell to Pompeii in Italy, via a 1,900-mile route that went from Plymouth to Roscoff by ferry, through Paris and down through the French Alps for southern Italy, where they travelled through Florence and Rome to reach their destination.

Along the way they had various challenges to complete, which were only given to them each evening as they checked in at the specified campsites. They included quizzes and a scavenger hunt for items.

At the end of six days Tom and Rob not completed the challenge but ended up finishing in second place out of 170 teams, with Rob also winning the trophy for best banger rally mechanic - although the van did not come through entirely unscathed, with a knock from the front suspension and a cracked windscreen.

Falmouth Packet:

Band trustee Lynne Lees said: "Our training band is overflowing with members and we've literally run out of instruments. This is an excellent problem to have!

"Tom and Rob's trip will therefore fund vital new instruments for our training band. They are our future.

"We are extremely grateful to Rob and Tom for giving up their time and doing so fantastically. Thank you also to all of their sponsors and donors, they have all made a real difference to Porthleven Town Band's future and to the children of the village."

The money will largely go to the Band Builders arm of the band, which provides musical training to children and young people for free, teaching them how to read and play music and providing them with an instrument to practise on.

With more than 20 young members now involved, the money will buy beginner instruments that can vary from £150 to more than £500.

So far the pair have raised more than £5,000 and donations can still be left at

As Del Boy himself might say: lovely jubbly.