‘Amazing offer’ of 18-tonne lorry to transport good to Calais refugee camps

A generous offer from North Devon's fishing industry saw a lorry load of urgently-needed supplies set off on Monday for the Calais refugee camps.

When Tony Rutherford of TT Shellfish Ltd at Appledore Fish Dock saw last week's Gazette story appealing for help to ship goods to France, he immediately offered the free use of an 18-tonne lorry and driver.

Tony and the North Devon Fishermen's Association have agreed to jointly fund the trip, including Channel Tunnel crossing, fuel and accommodation.

Hadyn Gresty, who has been co-ordinating the collection of food, clothing and supplies at Grosvenor Church in Barnstaple, said it would allow them to take what would normally be about seven or eight van loads.

The larger lorry means they can also pick up a load of bedding from Taunton on the way.

"His generosity is amazing and we're so pleased," said Hadyn.

"We were running out of funding and it has come at the right time - now we will be able to clear most of what we have."

Tony said a donation by the ladies of Fremington Methodist Church in May, when the fishermen were going through hard times, had prompted him to try and give something back.

"The community helped us when we were down and when you see pictures of the children on television it's heartbreaking," he said.

"I'd like to think some of the bigger truck operators in North Devon might also be able to help."