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East Coast Truckers plan memorial for founder

PUBLISHED: 15:00 03 February 2010 | UPDATED: 07:54 02 July 2010

East Coast Truckers annual convoy for children in 2009

East Coast Truckers annual convoy for children in 2009

Peter Walsh

A memorial bench could be installed at one of the region's biggest tourist attractions in honour of a man who died almost 30 years after he helped set up a charity which puts a smile on the faces of disadvantaged children.

A memorial bench could be installed at one of the region's biggest tourist attractions in honour of a man who died almost 30 years after he helped set up a charity which puts a smile on the faces of disadvantaged children.

Andy Tait, a father-of-three who lived in Spixworth with his wife Judy, lost his six-month battle with pancreatic cancer in October last year.

Mr Tait had been president of the East Coast Truckers, a charity he helped found in 1981, which helps raise money for disadvantaged children in the region.

And now bosses of the Attleborough-based charity want to honour his memory by installing a bench at the Pleasurewood Hills theme park, near Lowestoft, where the annual convoy used to take youngsters for the day every August.

The charity has announced that it is to hold a ball next month to help raise money for the memorial in memory of Mr Tait.

Nigel Folkard, a member of the charity, said: “The Andy Tait Memorial Ball is going to be on March 6 at the Holiday Inn, near Norwich Airport.

“His family are involved with it as well. It's for East Coast Truckers people and Andy's friends and family who want to come along and remember him.”

Tickets for the event, which starts at 7pm and will feature a meal and disco, are priced at £25 per person.

As the Evening News reported in October last year friends and family paid spoke of their pride of Mr Tait who was described as an inspirational and humorous man.

Speaking at the time Glenn Johnson, convoy director of the East Coast Truckers and another co-founder, said: “He was a very, very humorous man with a warm heart. You couldn't have known a nicer man. I've known him since the seventies and he was instrumental in the modelling of the charity from day one. He was inspirational when we converted the club into a charity and he was determined to see it progress. He was very inspirational and he has been a strong supporter of the charity ever since.”

This year will be the 25th year the charity takes its annual lorry convoy from County Hall to Pleasurewood Hills - giving disadvantaged youngsters a day they will never forget.

But as previously reported, last year's event was almost axed at the eleventh hour because of a red-tape battle over the deadline for a temporary road closure licence.

The same problem hit the Eastern Lights Motorcycle Cavalcade from Norwich to Lowestoft via Yarmouth which had to be cancelled, but fortunately, after urgent discussions with Norfolk police and Norfolk County Council, the convoy was saved.

Are you holding a memorial event in memory of a loved one? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

For more information about East Coast Truckers go to www.eastcoasttruckers.org

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