Pub staff have returned home 'exhausted but thrilled' after participating in a European car rally.

Tenant of The Black Bull in Haltwhistle Martin Campbell and several staff members competed in 'Monte Carlo or bust' - a 950-mile Europe rally, which involved travelling through six countries within three days in a car costing less than £500.

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"After finding our vehicle, which was an old ambulance, for the rally, we saw it had many problems," said Martin, who has entered the rally twice before.

"The gearbox was dropped three times, a new clutch fitted, master-slave unit thingy and several other parts being replaced all in a short time and it all being a tad shambolic, it seemed perfect to call the car Shambulance."

Hexham Courant:

After fixing the car, the team left Haltwhistle on July 13 to get the ferry to Amsterdam and start their journey.

"It was quite a long journey as Thursday was a drive down through Holland and Belgium to St Quinten in France for the registration," Martin said.

"This was where all vehicle documentation is checked to ensure we are all legal.

"On day one we had to drive from St Quinten to Dijon; everything was fine until we developed an engine problem.

"It turns out we were only firing on three cylinders; despite multiple stops at various auto part shops, the problem remained unresolved.

"The next day the car did not look good so we thought we would have to scrap it but a chosen clip was found and secured so the Shambulance sprung back to life with all four cylinders.

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"On the last day we woke up two minutes after registration started so we departed for Monte Carlo taking the motorway to try and catch up on time.

"Luckily we managed to arrive in Monte Carlo only to find the finish line in Casino Square but it was closed due to an Alicia Keys concert so we headed off to Nice for the last night's gathering - where Shambulance won the best-dressed car.

"It was such good fun. We are planning to do Barcelona or Bust in September."Hexham Courant: