Did you watch the convoy drive through? Images: Steve Thewis, manager and photographer at Studio Infinity.Did you watch the convoy drive through? Images: Steve Thewis, manager and photographer at Studio Infinity.
Did you watch the convoy drive through? Images: Steve Thewis, manager and photographer at Studio Infinity.

Thousands rally to support Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard Truck Convoy after showground event cancelled

Thousands lined the streets to support Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard Truck Convoy after its showground event was cancelled.

On Saturday morning (June 8) cheering crowds waved on the drivers, who hit the road to raise money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance and Scotty's Little Soldiers, which helps the children of fallen service personnel.

And although a waterlogged field meant that entertainment at Leighton Showground was axed, the convoy itself still managed to raise nearly £10,000 thanks to collection buckets and a GoFundMe page.

Oraganiser, Graham Munt, said: "It went off very well. Lots and lots of people were out in the streets to welcome us through and they were really generous with the buckets.

"We're going to be 50 per cent down on what we normally raise, but we have set up a GoFundMe page which is on our Facebook page. People can still donate and it will be running for the next two weeks.

"The drivers, they all enjoyed it, all the people being out in the road waving them through, the cheering. People just showing their appreciation; little kiddies with their flags, some of the veterans in care homes sitting outside with their flags. It's touching, very emotional."

The convoy is now in its ninth year, and until the weather scuppered its showground plans, Graham had been hoping to hit a £20,000 target for 2024, and an overall total of £200,000.

However, it is hoped £10,000 can be reached as online donations continue.

Graham added: "For Scotty's Little Soldiers, we can send a few kids on holiday, and we can send the air ambulance up a couple of times."

Around 2,000 people watched the convoy in Leighton Buzzard, and around 4,000 in Dunstable, with many punters sitting outside The Highwayman. The Mayor of Dunstable, Councillor Louise O’Riordan, also rode in one of the vehicles.

Graham concluded: "I was very emotional, especially because I was driving the Great War truck. My wife, Gina, was also in the truck for the first time in nine years. She was very emotional, too. She's normally helping at the showground. We would like to say thank you to our sponsors, Brian Currie, and especially to all the drivers; without them, we couldn't do it; and to everyone who came out to welcome them. That was fantastic."

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