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More than 80 lorries turn out for truck rally to Leysdown fundraiser in aid of five-year-old cancer sufferer Oliver Smith

By Andy Gray

A convoy of 85 lorries trundled to the Island for the Oliver Smith Truck Rally on Saturday.

It was a novel and noisy fundraiser for Oliver, the five-year-old from Minster who has the cancer neuroblastoma.

It made for a spectacular sight with drivers pulling up in laybys and people lining roads en route to take a picture of the mile-long parade.

The convoy taking part in the Oliver Smith Truck Rally

The vehicles, which came from all over the south east, started at Medway Services on the M2 and journeyed to Leysdown where a fun day was being held in aid of the youngster’s appeal.

Rally organiser Gavin Shearing, an HGV driver, from Second Avenue, Rushenden, said: “It was absolutely fantastic.

“I was driving the lead truck with Oliver alongside me in the front and, as we arrived at Cowstead Corner, we looked behind us and the line of trucks stretched right back to the Sheppey Crossing.

Some of the lorries taking part in the Oliver Smith Truck Rally

“It was an awesome sight and, although we had a couple of complaints because traffic was held up a little, the response was generally good.”

Gavin said he and fellow truckers raised nearly £1,000 from the outing, which ended at the boot fair ground off Leysdown Road where Karina’s Big Event was being held.

Organised by Island lawyer Karina Chetwynd it included a dog show, face painting, horse rides, and a creepy crawly tent where youngsters could get a closer look at less-cuddly creatures.

Lorries taking part in the Oliver Smith Truck Rally

More than 500 people are estimated to have attended, giving a boost to Oliver’s fund.

His family are hoping to raise £500,000 for treatment he could need abroad if his condition worsens. The total so far stands at about £90,000.

Oliver’s mum, Natalie, said: “It was an absolutely fantastic weekend. The trucks were a real show-stopper and it’s the first time I’ve seen Oliver speechless.

“I’d like to thank Gavin and Karina for all their help.”

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