By Rachael Grealish – featured image by Mike McKenzie
An ‘appreciation tour’ convoy of over 100 vehicles, organised by the Facebook group Copeland Community Tour, will no longer be travelling through the towns of Copeland on Thursday’s after the ‘clap for carers’.
The announcement was made today, Saturday, May 16, on Facebook when organisers called out a ‘small minority of people’ for the cause of the cancellation.
In the post to the Copeland Community Tour page, it said: “It’s with an extremely heavy heart that we have had to make the very difficult decision that last Thursday’s tour was the last. Whilst the Police have never condoned the tour, they have been extremely supportive throughtout.
“With the tour getting bigger and the roads getting busier we knew we were going to have to make a plan but unfortunately this decision was taken out of our hands by the very small minded minority who just couldn’t see the bigger picture, they didn’t see the smiles we’ve seen.
“They haven’t read the messages we’ve been sent and they didn’t see the hope it brought to so many people’s lives. Not to mention the thousands of pounds raised in these strange times.
“There’s never a truer word spoken that bad news travels faster than good and in this case that small minded minority have ruined it for thousands of people. Never have we ever been as proud to say we love the community we serve.”
In previous weeks the convoy had gathered over 100 vehicles which were originally organised by Clemmy Mossop after the loss of his relative, Linda Mossop, to COVID-19.
Clemmy explained how the convoy had started with him lining his trucks up in his yard, then it grew when Graham Cartwright from Forth contacted him to be part of it and it’s grown ever since.
He said: “Every week just got bigger and better. It was a great feeling seeing so many people smiling and happy in these difficult times.
“And also raising money for our local hospital. It’s very emotional its came to an end as so many people love this it’s all people have to look forward to. I really didn’t want it to stop.”
Over the weeks the convoy’s ‘appreciation tour’ – dedicated to key workers, NHS staff and carers – raised over £5,000 via the tours Just Giving page.
Many businesses took part in the convoy, dressing up their vehicles with flowers, teddy bears and banners to show their support for the NHS staff, carers and key workers on the front line during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The convoy tour had gained a lot of support and many people will be sad to see it end, as one person commented on the post: “Gutted it was brilliant seeing the community showing their support for others it was the highlight of the week.”
However, after The Herdwick posted a video of the convoy on social media, the tour did receive some criticism due to the amount of people that came out to see the convoy and for the vehicles not travelling ‘essentially’.
One person commented: “That doesn’t look like essential travel to me.”
Another said: “Trust all those vehicles are making essential journeys?”
Cumbria Police has been contacted for a comment.