Search

Redbridge bin truck spotted... in Malta

13:33 21 February 2013

The truck doing the rounds

The truck doing the rounds

Archant

A leisurely walk in Maltese hills facing the Mediterranean, a faint whiff of garbage and a glimpse of a blue and cream-coloured rubbish truck would not normally send you into deep reverie.

Malta facts

• Malta’s population is 452,000 – 0.7 per cent of the UK’s

• The island has never produced a summer or winter Olympic medallist

• London is almost 1,300 miles away from the Maltese capital Valetta

• Malta gained independence from the UK in September 1964

• Eurovision Song Contest entrants for Malta have twice finished runner-up.

But while holidaying in one of the oldest towns in the southern European island group, a chance encounter with a garbage van transported David Boorman, 66, 30 years back to South Woodford.

The truck’s colours first aroused his suspicions and then a look at the insignia embossed on the truck confirmed it – a London Borough of Redbridge truck was doing the rubbish round in the hilltop town of Gharghurar.

Mr Boorman, who was visiting his daughter Trudy, 39, with his wife of 44 years, Diane, said: “An ex-Redbridge refuse vehicle still working, still in the same colours, 1,400 miles away.

“How’s that for recycling?”

Having lived in South Woodford for 36 years until 1982, he’d had plenty of time for the shape and colour of the truck to embed itself in his memory.

His curiosity piqued, he decided to interrupt his early-morning walk with his daughter’s dog and go and speak to the Maltese driver and his North African mate.

Mr Boorman remembered: “The Maltese are lovely people, they’re very warm. He gave me a dirty great handshake. “He said ‘you must come and see my truck’. He was delighted to show it off.”

The bizarre bonding exercise ended with Mr Boorman, who lived in Walpole Road and Stanley Road, before moving to Essex, sharing a brief ride in the truck’s front seat, despite it stinking to “high heaven”.

From then on, he got a toot on the horn from his new friend whenever he passed.

Mr Boorman believed the Maltese van would have been around 15 years old, a later version of the trucks he saw while living in Redbridge.

He saw just the one Redbridge vehicle but did see rubbish trucks from other English local authorities.

Rubbish trucks and other council vehicles can often be sold in auctions, though Redbridge Council is not yet able to solve the mystery of this particular journey.

• Have you spotted any links to Redbridge while on holiday or living abroad? email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

0 comments

Latest Ilford News Stories

Yesterday, 17:30
Lag B’Omer barbecue at Wohl Ilford Jewish Primary School, Forest Road, Barkingside. Picture: Wohl Ilford Jewish Primary School

The Jewish community came together for a barbecue to celebrate Lag Ba’Omer yesterday.

Yesterday, 16:00
Wanstead Players are putting on a show at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford. It's a post war play set in Cornwall about a woman who falls in love with her son in law.

A round up of news from the borough’s clubs and societies.

Yesterday, 14:42
Tthe main entrance to Howe Barracks in Canterbury, Kent. Picture: PA/Gareth Fuller

A leading housing charity has said Redbridge Council’s plan to move 208 homeless families to Canterbury could have a ‘devastating impact on their lives’.

Yesterday, 13:42
From left to right, Raphina Williams, Leanne Mohamad, London Fire Brigade borough commander Steve Brown and Usama Shazad. Picture: Jack Petchey Foundation

A young public speaker has bagged a top prize after delivering an inspirational speech.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe