A local woman has praised the ‘heartwarming’ community spirit after people came forward to help her achieve one of her dreams — to ride in a combine harvester 

Many people have a ‘bucket list’, a set of experiences they would love to achieve during their life. For some that means leaping out of a plane, thousands of feet above the ground, for others, seeing the northern lights, but for Jan Kelleher of Lifton, at the top of the list was riding a combine harvester. 

Earlier this year Jan put out a call for help online, asking local residents for their help to fulfil one of her dreams. 

“I’m getting on a bit, I live in Devon and you see all these lovely fields and you see the men working in them and I thought, my god that must be wonderful,” Jan told the Post. “So I thought, well why not, let’s put the feelers out and see if anyone would be willing to take me!” 

Now 68, Jan says this dream only developed in the last few years. 

She said: “I’ve only really thought about it this year, and I thought that it might be possible. It was a case of, if you don’t ask you don’t get!” 

Eventually Graham Kerslake, a farmer from Crediton reached out and Jan was told there might be a chance for her to tick the experience off her bucket list. 

“His wife contacted me on Facebook and that was it, it’s wonderful! I just had to wait for a convenient window weather wise.” 

The big day finally came around. 

Jan travelled to Graham’s field, where David, who was responsible for driving the combine harvester, was ready to pick her up. 

“We went out towards the Crediton area where we met up with Graham, and David, who was driving the harvester that day, parked up and in I got,” Jan explained. “I was there for an hour and we got to do three or four lengths of the field. 

“I was kind of hoping little animals would run out as we went along, like a fairytale but while that wasn’t the case, we got to see buzzards hovering. 

“It was sensational, I could do it every day! It was wonderful!” 

Jan said it was a heartwarming experience, something she will never forget and is grateful to Graham and to all those who supported her from the local community. 

However, while this experience might be ticked off, it has only boosted her desire for more, and she’s even considering getting her tractor driving license.