A SINGING lorry driver whose lockdown exploits won the hearts of his friends and family has been nominated for an Ayrshire Weekly Press Health and Key Workers Award.
Andy McLeish, who lives in Largs, travelled all over the UK and Europe making important deliveries for supermarkets to keep people fed during the coronavirus pandemic.
The 49-year-old, who overcame a motorcycle accident that left him with two broken arms to get back behind the wheel, says this year has been unlike any of the past 27 he has spent on the roads.
Andy has covered 3,500 miles per week during the pandemic, delivering everything from onions to markets in London and burger-buns for McDonalds to pieces of the new James Bond movie set to the south of Italy.
The intrepid trucker was tasked with delivering tombstones to the 007 team in Matera – but sadly didn’t get up close and personal with Bond himself.
He explained “I had two drop-offs to the south of Italy when working for Stewart Nicol Transport.
“For the first drive I took down the film set and for the second I took down the props including the tombstones all the way from Pinewood Studios in London.
“Unfortunately I never got to meet Daniel Craig as I would have loved that!
“Matera had a lot of history and was boosted to the tune of £20m as a result of the Bond movie filming there, which was timely during the coronavirus crisi.”
Andy is married to wife Lara and says he loves to escape on his motorbike when away from the steering wheel!
Andy said: “I wanted to be a lorry driver since the age of three, I just love it. It can be quite demanding but at the end of the day we are the backbone of the country. Practically everything you see in your house was delivered by lorry at some stage.
The Centurion Freight trucker added: “I always believe in politeness and providing a friendly face wherever you go. I don’t like negativity and I think it is important to put on a positive front as you are representing the name on the side of the lorry.”
Andy’s passion has even seen him set up his own Youtube channel so people can follow his exploits across Europe – including his singing behind the wheel.
He added: “I used to do stand up comedy for private parties and I love to entertain people. I’m not adverse to belting out a few romantic tunes to the camera for Lara when I’m away from home.”
Andy has a 24-year-old son, who has followed him into the driving trade, and a daughter, 17, as well as two stepdaughters.
He said: “I am just doing the job to the best of my ability and I get a buzz out of meeting people. This year has been extra special because you know all of these deliveries are keeping communities going during a really tough time when people need supplies most.”
A freak motorbike accident in 2007 kept Andy laid up for months as he recovered from two badly broken arms, but says the time off made him love his job even more.
Despite the setback, Andy has always kept a cheery persona, and said: “I always like to leave a good impression wherever I go.
“If I can make someone smile every day, then that is my goal and I am happy.”
Mother-in-law Elaine Thomson, who nominated Andy, said: “Andy works tirelessly delivering food around the UK and in Europe. He is one of the many unsung heroes we do not see or hear about who just does his job and he inspires every day blogging about his journeys.
“He has never taken time off during this whole pandemic – he has worked tirelessly to deliver food to supermarkets even when it meant he has had to stay away from his own family.
“Without people like Andy we wouldn’t have been eating through the pandemic. He is a great character and has never let the smile disappear from his face.”
Find Andy’s Youtube channel by searching ‘wingnut night flyer’ on the site.
Visit https://newsquestscotlandevents.com/events/healthandkey/?fbclid=IwAR0qz92ll7isCWdB8BWRiUnSFtVteBfk8L3icXcu6xTrZhGVEdqhVXfpWNg to nominate your health and key worker.