Driving up and down motorways for work can be a boring experience; long journeys with the family can be even more fraught. As a diversion nothing could compare with Wake Up To Wogan. I can still remember that first mention on his breakfast show. Someone emailed in to announce that they had heard a cuckoo as a harbinger of spring. Then another listener contacted Terry to say they had seen their first “Stobart” of the year.
Once he had passed on the full story, you couldn’t avoid watching out for the pristine clean trucks, all with girls’ names, and smartly-dressed drivers who waved back to you.
A few weeks later, on our way to the Lake District for the weekend, I cheerfully waved at a stranger. I then realised that my dear wife and beloved children were staring at me with even more sad astonishment than usual. So I felt the need to pass the story on. Soon, any suggestion of a game of I spy during a journey was old hat and had been replaced by “Spot a Stobart”. Bonus points were awarded to the first spotter of the “name”.
Oh the joy was unbounded when my teenage lad discovered there was an Eddie Stobart Shop. His attitude moved to one bordering on uncontrolled ecstasy when he discovered that there was a chance of owning a model of their famous Volvo Fridge Trailer. I’d always imagined that a feeling of dread and withering age would hit me when, walking through my door one evening, I would be told by an increasingly deep-voiced son: “Hi dad this is Emma Jane”. However, I approve of this one!
Funnily enough though, my attempts to slide a favourite “country trucker” album into the car’s CD player still meets with head shaking disapproval.