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Where to watch the East Coast Truckers convoy and why it matters to people

PUBLISHED: 13:07 24 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:07 24 August 2018

East Coast Truckers convoy through Yarmouth.

East Coast Truckers convoy through Yarmouth.

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More than 80 trucks will be setting off on an annual charity journey across parts Norfolk and Suffolk that brings joy to disabled and disadvantaged children and draws out large crowds of wellwishers.

The map of the East Coast Truckers route and a guide of when they may be travelling past you. Photo: East Coast Truckers/Norfolk ConstabularyThe map of the East Coast Truckers route and a guide of when they may be travelling past you. Photo: East Coast Truckers/Norfolk Constabulary

On Sunday the 33rd annual East Coast Truckers convoy of 83 truckers will set off from County Hall in Norwich and make its way to Great Yarmouth via Pleasurewood Hills at Lowestoft.

Each truck will be carrying a disabled or disadvantaged youngster who will enjoy an afternoon of fun at Pleasurewood Hills as well enjoying the spectacle of thousands of wellwishers waving to them from various vantage points.

They are due to set off from County Hall at 10am and hit Great Yarmouth’s Golden Mile at about 6pm where massed ranks of people will welcome them.

For organisers and the small army of truckers the convoy is an emotional affair as they witness children’s faces light up during the day as they become the centre of attention.

The map of the East Coast Truckers route and a guide of when they may be travelling past you. Photo: East Coast Truckers/Norfolk ConstabularyThe map of the East Coast Truckers route and a guide of when they may be travelling past you. Photo: East Coast Truckers/Norfolk Constabulary

And it is that feeling of helping others that continues to drive on the charity and the truckers every year.

Ian Mackie, chairman of the East Coast Truckers, said: “When you see the smiles on the children’s faces it does bring a lump to your throat and it shows it has all been worthwhile.

“We have some big and strong truckers and they do get emotional during the day.”

Mr Mackie got involved in the charity after watching a convoy 30 years ago and has been its chairman for the last three years.

The East Coast Truckers set off from County Hall on their charity convoy.The East Coast Truckers set off from County Hall on their charity convoy.

Another reason why organisers such as Mr Mackie get involved is seeing the large numbers of people turn out in force to see the convoy make its way through cheering communities.

He said: “At Thorpe green we have had the church congregation and choir out cheering us on and the same at a church in Gorleston. It is always great to see people waving us on.

“On the bridges you see so many people and the cars waiting for us to pass beep their horns.”

Mr Mackie wanted to thank all the companies involved in supporting the day, all the drivers taking part and Norfolk Police.

The East Coast Truckers set off from County Hall on their charity convoy.The East Coast Truckers set off from County Hall on their charity convoy.

Approximate timetable for the convoy

10:00- Leave County Hall, Norwich

10:30 - Acle Roundabout

The East Coast Truckers are on their way. Pic: Sonya Duncan.The East Coast Truckers are on their way. Pic: Sonya Duncan.

11:00 - Great Yarmouth (Gapton Hall Roundabout)

11:15 - Gorleston

12:00 - Arrive Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park.

17:15 - Leave Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park.

18:00 - Marine Parade (Seafront), Great Yarmouth.

19:45 - Arrive at County Hall, Norwich.

Recommended observation areas

A47 Blofield McDonalds:

Bridge over at Blofield and Acle

Layby opposite the White Horse Pub Horse: There is a wide grass verge.

Acle roundabout and garage: Wide grass verge with roadside barriers.

Vauuxhall Holiday Park, Great Yarmouth: Large grass area well back from the road.

A47 Gapton and Harfreys roundabout: Footpaths and barriers for protection.

Bridge over Harfreys roundabout: Ideal spot.

Area around James Paget University Hospital: Good paths.

Blundeston roundabout: Grass area back from road.

Corton roundabout: North-bound side has large grass areas.

Corton/Lowestoft roundabouts: Grass areas with some barriers.

For the return journey in the evening, as above, plus bridge over A47 at Postwick and two laybys.

These are set well back from the road and provide good views of the returning convoy.

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