Truckers roll up to help arson nursery

Big-hearted truckers have raised cash for an arson-hit nursery after staging a 
display of their vehicles after reading about the fire in The News.

The Derwent Valley Working Truck Group raised £225 for Banana Moon nursery in Heanor, which was badly damaged by fire on June 8.

The truckers put on the display of lorries, largely driven by local owners, at the Coppice Steam Rally held over the weekend in Cossall, near Ilkeston.

The Wilmot Street nursery has been closed for repairs since the attack and is now set to reopen on Monday, June 24.

Deputy manager Zoe Lister said: “This is amazing! It’s overwhelming to think that people would do that. That people are there when you need them - it makes you very proud to be part of a community.”

A number of toys, books and drawings were lost in the blaze which left a classroom used by two-to-three-year-olds blackened with soot.

Police are treating the incident as arson and searching CCTV footage for clues to who was behind the attack.

Truck organiser Dave Whittle, of Lowes Hill, Ripley, said: “We read about the fire in The News and decided to help out. We took about 40 to 50 lorries. All the lads chipped in £15 and then we organised a raffle.”

The group was founded about eight years ago in Matlock as a gathering of stone lorries from the local quarries.

Dave, 67, runs the ‘loose and informal’ group which organises social events for lorry drivers, along with pals Glenn Farnsworth, Darren Lees, Matt Redfern and William Gent.

Dave owns three of his own vintage lorries - two 1936 Bedfords and a 1954 Leyland Comet. The group now boasts around 100 members and is growing every year.

They raise money for good causes, including Scotty’s Little Soldiers in King’s Lynn.