The Beach Bums: Trevor Watts (left), Ray Crandell and Phil Batson.
The Beach Bums: Trevor Watts (left), Ray Crandell and Phil Batson.

Bash will bring boys home

Two Byron Shire teams are gearing up for this year’s NSW Variety Bash in August which will see them start in Sydney and bring them back ‘home’ to Byron Bay nine days later.


For Bruce Maxwell, it will be his 20th Bash and with him in his Ford F100 will be Aussie rock legend John Paul Young.


Trevor Watts will be lining up for his 11th Bash and he will be joined by his old Beach Bum mates, Phil Batson and Ray Crandell in their modified 1970 Holden HT wagon.


For both teams, it will be a novelty finishing a Bash so close to home with previous events leaving them with a return journey of up to 5000km.


“It will be good to bring the Bash through here,” said Ray.


“We’ve had so much support from local businesses, but they never get to see what it is we do.


“When they see all the amazing old cars cruise into town, I’m sure they’ll all be thrilled.”


The Bash, which raises money for kids in need, starts in Sydney on August 22 and will go through some of NSW’s most remote regions including Cobar, Bourke and crossing the border into Goondiwindi and Toowoomba before completing the 3557km journey to Byron Bay on Monday, August 30.


Ray Crandell became involved in the Bash after sponsoring Bruce Maxwell for some years.


“He’d always come back telling stories of how great it all was,” he said.


“Then my 16-year-old daughter was diagnosed with lymph node cancer and pulled through and it was then that I decided to get involved and raise some money for kids who really need it.”


Through their long involvement with Variety, Bruce Maxwell and John Paul Young have both received individual presidential citations from the international board of Variety and Bruce has also been immortalised in the Bash Hall of Fame.


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