Thousands turn out to cheer truckers' convoy
Thousands of people turned out yesterday to cheer and wave as the annual East Coast Truckers' children's convoy went on their magical journey.Some 87 lorries left from County Hall in Norwich to treat disadvantaged youngsters to a trip in a truck and a day to remember at Pleasurewood Hills theme park at Corton, near Lowestoft.
Thousands of people turned out yesterday to cheer and wave as the annual East Coast Truckers' children's convoy went on their magical journey.
Some 87 lorries left from County Hall in Norwich to treat disadvantaged youngsters to a trip in a truck and a day to remember at Pleasurewood Hills theme park at Corton, near Lowestoft.
The event is now in its 24th year and sees each child adopted for the day by the driver's family.
Organisers of the event said they are always taken by surprise by the huge turnout of well-wishers who line the roads along the journey.
Convoy director Glenn Johnson, who founded the event, said: 'It is always amazing to see the crowds of people who come out to support us. There were big gatherings at County Hall, at Acle roundabout and we saw hundreds of people on Blofield bridge.
'When we go back in the evening they have to close off Yarmouth's Golden Mile because we get such a big turn-out there.'
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Mr Johnson said it was impossible to say why the truckers take part in the event every year and why they do it, but he added: 'We get as much out of it as the children do. Another really nice thing about it is that it does give a beleaguered industry a bit of a leg up.'
Assistant convoy director Rob Billman said the convoy is always treated exceptionally well when they go to Pleasurewood Hills. 'Nothing is ever too much trouble,' he said. 'They really make it a fantastic day out.'
The gleaming lorries arrived at the theme park to a cacophony of tooting horns.
Denise Thompson, commercial and public relations manager at Pleasurewood Hills, said that staff always feel emotional when they hear the lorries are on their way.
'We all get emotional because the tooting of the horns means they are nearly here,' she said.
'The visit is a highlight for the children themselves and for Pleasurewood Hills, to be actively helping disabled children and putting on the event for them. It is something the staff really enjoy. They love to see the youngsters' faces light up when they see Woody Bear. The children are treated like VIPs and are given priority on the rides. When they get here it is always a lovely atmosphere and the sun is shining which makes it even better.'