THE trucking community provides the backbone of the transport industry in Northern Ireland.
And a new book created by an Annaclone truck driver aims to provide a unique history to the many family-run firms who rule the roads.
Michael Wallace with the help of truck fanatic James Lismore has compiled ‘Trucks of Northern Ireland: Through the Lens’ which will be launched at Causeway Coast Truck Fest later this month.
Michael (30), a design graduate, has been driving a lorry with his family’s business Wallace Bros Haulage for the past three years ago.
“It’s a job that grows on you, I suppose. It’s interesting work. In the morning you don’t know where the day will take you. You could be in Scotland by dinnertime.
“You certainly aren’t clock-watching in this job!”
In spring 2017, Michael met James Lismore from Belfast, a truck enthusiast and photographer.
“He showed me some of his photographs which included nearly every haulage business in Northern Ireland, and I believed that more people needed to see these, so the idea for a book was born.
“We have photographs of over 100 trucks with a short history on each. Most of the haulage firms in Northern Ireland have been passed down through the generations and about 80 per cent are still family-run businesses.
“We might even have a second volume as there has been a phenomenal amount of interest in what we’re doing.”
“Our objectives were not only to preserve and uncover the history of the haulage firms in Northern Ireland but also to raise funds for the Cancer Fund for Children Northern Ireland.”
Michael’s cousin, Emily Wallace from Corbet is currently in remission after battling leukaemia from she was 10.
Philip Martin of Martin HIAB Haulage from Katesbridge in front of Harland and Wolff’s iconic twin shipbuilding gantry cranes, Samson and Goliath.
“The charity really did great things for Emily, Sean, Stefanie and the family. Sean has been doing a lot of work for them and I think he has raised £45,000 for the charity.
“Emily is doing well now and I just wanted to do something to support the charity.”
Michael was helped by his wife Annmarie who proofread the draft copy.
This book is Michael’s second publication. His first book ‘Every Sayin’ Under the Sun’ included common expressions used in Northern Ireland.
“However, this book was special for me as I was able to combine both my passions which are trucks and book design. I think it is important to preserve the history of our haulage firms and the photos of the old trucks we used to drive.
“A book of this nature has never been done before and it will provide everyone with a detailed history of the firms behind the movement of all goods around our province.”
Michael is also working on another book with Annaclone historians, Kieran Heenan and Pauline McCrory called ‘Ghost Stories of Ulster’ due for release in time for Halloween.
Meanwhile, the ‘Trucks of Northern Ireland’ book with an initial print run of 1,000 copies is to be launched at the Causeway Coast Truck Fest on 19 August priced at £20 each.
“A portion of the profits will go to the Cancer Fund for Children NI who help provide respite for children and their families. Their facilities like Daisy Lodge in Newcastle are great at ensuring no family goes through cancer alone.”
If anyone would like to pre-order a copy of the book they can do so by contacting Michael on 07808800909.