Pulling together to raise charity cash

Clive Smedley and Alan King
Clive Smedley and Alan King

MORE than 100 charitable townsfolk will be pulling together this weekend in a bid to shift a seven-tonne steam engine nearly two-and-a-half miles across Ilkeston.

The organisers of the mammoth charity event – like one never before seen in Ilkeston – are hoping to raise hundreds of pounds for prostate cancer research as they pull the classic Tiger engine from Tesco in Rutland Street to the Festival Inn in Trowell via the Market Place.

Steam engine enthusiasts Clive Smedley, 49, and Alan King, 66, came up with the idea for the engine pull after learning that four men in their group, which organises the annual Coppice Steam Rally in Trowell, have been treated for prostate cancer in the past.

“We are absolutely buzzing,” said Clive.

“I’ve lived in Ilkeston all my life and I didn’t quite realise how steep Bath Street actually is.

“It’s going to be a challenge but we’ve been absolutely stunned by the support from the public and from Erewash and Broxtowe councils, the police and the fire brigade.”

Clive and Alan had hoped for 50 people to pull the engine but say they have had about 100 offers to help.

There will now be 50 people pulling, 20 reserves, and dozens of bucket collectors and marshalls wearing hi-visibility lining the route along Rutland Street, Bath Street and Nottingham Road, starting at 11am and finishing – they hope – at 2pm.

There will be road closures which can be viewed at www.erewash.gov.uk and vehicles with flashing beacons will travel in front and behind the steam engine along the whole route.

All proceeds are going to the Royal Derby Hospital’s Urology and Oncology Charitable Trust.

Look out for pictures next week.