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Kent jazz drummer Rod Brown from Lympne who has performed at Glastonbury racks up 500,000 miles in 1994 Ford Escort van

By Matt Leclere

The ad would read one careful owner and half-a-million miles on the clock - not that Rod Brown is looking to part with his beloved van after 20 years.

Jazz drummer Rod, who lives in Lympne, has racked up the incredible mileage in his Ford Escort van, which he bought new in October 1994.

It is equivalent to driving to the moon and back once, taking a return trip to Australia and then on to New York.

Renowned jazz drummer Rod Brown from Lympne with his trusty Ford Escort van

He travels to gigs up and down the country every week and passed the milestone this week.

He said: "I marked the spot crossing the 500,000 at Lenham on the M20.

"I was living in Sidcup in 1994 when I bought it and did 30,000 miles in the first year.

"It's been fantastic and it's the best one I've had. I've had three and I'm still in love with it after 20 years.

"I went up to Keswick on one night and foolishly decided to come back after the gig - that's probably the furthest."

"It's been fantastic and it's the best one I've had. I've had three and I'm still in love with it after 20 years..." - jazz drummer Rod Brown

Rod frequently plays at the Folkestone Jazz Club - based at the Tower Theatre in North Road - and members have affectionately nicknamed him Pat in homage to children's TV character Postman Pat, who is famous for driving his red van.

Rod has appeared on the Clare Teal show on BBC Radio 2, appearing on most of her CDs and has even taken his van to Glastonbury.

"I've had the odd kip pulled up and been woken up by the police a few times," he said. "When I get stopped, I start taking their details now.

"I was going to scrap it a few years ago but Chris Coulson [a mechanic from Dover] said 'I want to get it going'. Without him it would've been scrapped years ago - he's been incredible.

"It just seems to keep going. It's got a fabulous engine that loves a run. It's been a very special van.

"Who knows what the future holds - it will now rest in the lap of the MOT Gods, when it is due for its test in a few months. Let's see what it says."

Rod will appear at the club this month. For more information, visit www.towertheatrefolkestone.co.uk or call Derek Woodland on 01303 260330.

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