A truck and tractor run is set to take place in Scarva this weekend in memory of local man Andy Nicholl who lost his battle with cancer this year.
Andy passed away in May and was the father of Will and Ellie – two young pupils of Scarva Primary School, which is involved in the running of the event.
As Andy was a former pupil at the school and a member of the school community, a family involved in Scarva Primary suggested a fundraising event be carried out in his memory.
He was a lorry driver, with family links to the rally scene, so it was decided that the Andy Nicholl Memorial Truck & Tractor Run would be held on Saturday, November 25, with funds to be shared equally between the Cancer Fund for Children and Scarva Primary School.
Andy had been diagnosed with cancer in the spring of 2022 and began a hard battle against the disease, initially making strong progress. However, the cancer took hold and Andy sadly lost his battle on May 28.
Andy’s widow Susan chose the Cancer Fund for Children as one of the recipients due to the care the family received in the days after Andy died.
The run will be led by Andy’s Dad, Eric Nicholl, in a lorry. All other lorries, rally cars and camper vans will follow on.
Tractors will then join by making their way along an internal lane in Buller’s estate grounds and join the main road directly beside the Community Hall.
Registration on the day will begin at 11am, with the run commencing at 1:30pm. The entry fee will be £10 per vehicle and will include a hot dog or a burger.
There will also be live music, a bouncy castle, a raffle, food and lots more entertainment for the whole community.
Raffle tickets are also available for purchase, with a huge range of prizes on offer. These can be obtained by contacting Victoria Gass on 07515512556.
Russell Anderson, one of the organisers, says that the main focus behind the event is to “show support for the Nicholl and McKinstry families”.
Susan’s father Kenny McKinstry, of McKinstry Motorsport fame in Banbridge, has also been heavily involved in organising the event.
Russell continued that the response to the event so far has been “absolutely overwhelming”.
He said: “The raffle prizes in particular have been absolutely fantastic. We probably have over 60 prizes. Any companies we’ve reached out to, everybody has been straight in with support and help. We’ve been amazed.”
Added Russell: “Scarva Primary is not a big school. We only have between 60 and 70 pupils but almost all the families are involved in some way in the organising.”
While urging all who are free to come along and support the event, Russell is keen to stress the importance of the event running as smoothly as possible, noting that recent roadworks in the area will have cleared up by the weekend.
“We’ve tried not to go through too many residential areas. We really appreciate local residents’ understanding if the roads are slightly delayed.”
It’s also a bitter-sweet moment for the organisers, with the hope for a successful event coinciding with Andy’s passing.
“We are extremely excited, but I would say, as organisers, every time we do get excited by it we realise that we wish it didn’t have to happen at all, as that would mean Andy would still be with us.
“He was well-known, well-liked and well-respected. It’s really taken off as big as we hoped it might be.”
You can find out more information, including parking and route details, on the Andy Nicholl Memorial Truck & Tractor Run Facebook page.