March 11 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Former haulier William Noble climbed back behind the wheel of a 44 tonne lorry at the weekend to help farmers affected by the flooding in Devon.
Mr Noble, from Littleport, was forced to retire from driving articulated lorries three years ago after a nasty accident, which left him unable to manage the long hours sat at the wheel which were required.
But, moved by the plight of farmers in the South West of the country, whose livelihoods have been shattered by recent flooding, he volunteered to take on the six-hour drive down to Star Cross, near Exeter, on Saturday.
Leaving Ely at 2am together with his partner Samantha Clifton, Mr Noble delivered a lorry-load of sugar beet to farmer Nick Burrington to help feed his animals.
The beet was donated by Broadhall Farm, based in the Fen village of Benwick, and £500 was donated to the cost of the fuel by Alex Winters and Sue Piper.
Mr Noble donated his driving services free or charge and the lorry was provided by Knowles of Wimblington, near March.
William said: “When we got past Bridgewater, we started to realise just how bad the flooding was. There are entire fields there still under water and crops have been ruined, it was terrible.
“The scale of the damage there is just phenomenal; every field of wheat looks dead. It is going to take a long time for it all to get back to normal and we were just pleased that we could do a small something to help the farmers down there.
“They were over the moon to see us when we arrived in Star Cross and the welcome we received was amazing. I would be happy to help out again.”