Published: 10 July 2023

A Mid Wales Truckers event has raised nearly £11,000 for the Wales Air Ambulance.

The two day event saw more than 250 trucks descend on Welshpool Livestock Sales (WLS) for the first time, bringing hundreds of truck enthusiasts to the area.  

Truck Overload was organised by Newtown trucker Paul Williams, who originally hoped the event would attract around 50 vehicles. However, the event grew so large he had to find a new and bigger venue for the charity event. 

Paul said: “I wanted to raise money for the Air Ambulance, and I put the event on Facebook thinking I would have 50 trucks to tag onto another car show in the area. It was overwhelming the number of people who wanted to attend, and I was so grateful to the Welshpool Livestock Sales (WLS) for offering us the site for the weekend.

“We ended up with around 265 working trucks, 90 percent of which were from the Mid Wales and bordering areas. Owens Transport in Llanelli also brought a few of their trucks.

“I have never organised anything before, so it was quite a task, and I was quite emotional handing over the cheque for £10,967.95 at the Wales Air Ambulance’s Welshpool base. It took a while for it to sink in. I never expected the event to attract so much interest, especially as I didn’t have much time to organise it.”

The event, which took place over Whitsun bank holiday, saw vintage trucks, show trucks as well as a Smokey and the Bandit truck. A truck push took place as well as a ‘Show and Shine’ where the best vehicles and their drivers were awarded trophies on the day, as well as roping and sheeting competitions.

Spectators were treated to entertainment by Brecon band, International Translators and a DJ, and refreshments were available throughout, plus a bouncy castle for the children.

Event sponsors included West Pendine Trucks, T Alun Jones, G. Owen & Sons and Whiterig.

Grandfather-of-five Paul, who has been a driver for 37 years, comes from a family of truckers and works for G. Owens & Sons.

He said: “My father was a trucker and so was my brother. It’s the only thing I know how to do and I have so many good memories over the years. There has always been a good trucking community. I was overwhelmed by the response that we had from the drivers and the public. People are already asking if there will be another Truck Overload event next year. We will see, watch this space!”

Money from the event was raised from truck bookings, as well as a raffle, which raised around £1,000 for the Wales Air Ambulance.

The all-Wales Charity needs to raise £8 million every year to operate its lifesaving service and relies on generous donations from its loyal supporters.    

Since its inception on March 1, 2001, the Charity has carried out more than 45,000missions and provides vital 24/7 emergency cover for those who face life-threatening illness or injuries.

Helen Pruett, Wales Air Ambulance’s Community Fundraiser, said: “Paul and his wife Andrea should be immensely proud of themselves for organising such a successful charity event in such a short space of time.

“To raise nearly £11,000 is incredible, and their tremendous donation will help us to continue to be there for the people of Wales when they need us most, whether that is by air or by road. Your support is very much appreciated.”