in kosovo

lee's story

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Lee is our current charity coordinator and also a professional driver. He has driven all kinds of vehicles from HGVs, and racing cars, to heavy plant to sofas! Lee has a long-standing history with Eddie Stobart and recounts his part in the famous Kosovo aid mission.

Lee: "In 1998 I was working for Eddie Stobart when one Friday I got a phone call.

They said "Cockney geezer do you want to go on a trip over the water?" 

I said "Where?"  - thinking Belgium for some chocolate... 

They said "Pristina"

I said "Where?"

they said again "Pristina"

I said, "Where's that??"

they said "Kosovo"

I said "Kosovo!! there's a war on there!"

they said "Yes we know, we are going to give you a very fast truck! There's 6 of you going"

I said "Who's going?

they said "Scotch Dave, Terry the doctor, Steve the chef, Brummie Dave, Big John, and You!"

"When do we ship out?"

"Sunday 0800 hrs"

"OK," I said, then immediately went to the nearest toilet... in times like that, your body empties quickly!

We set off from Crick, got the channel tunnel train over to Calais and we drove along the corridor to Belgium where we stopped the first night.

We then drove through Germany, Austria, over the terrifying Brenner Pass, and into Italy where we got a ferry to Patras in Greece.

We drove through Athens during the night over the Corinth Canal - not for the faint-hearted- up into Skopje, Macedonia.

It was at times very stressful, and highly dangerous and you needed to be both nuts and level-headed! 

We had been sent by the British government on a humanitarian mission, it was on the news at the time that the UK had sent 6 trucks and I was driving one of them. There are things as with any war zone that is not pleasant to see, but I am proud to have been one of the legendary 6.

I have many wonderful memories working for Eddie but that one was a life-changer, we all came back different men after that journey. My truck was called Stephanie it was a Volvo FH12 registration number S344 RAO

I wish I recorded many of the CB radio conversations on that trip as they were hilarious! We had many hair-raising moments that would scare the c**p out of most!

After we delivered our loads, we had to drive 3 days straight to get the ferry home, it was extremely hot. 

I remember it being 120 degrees in my truck I used to lay naked with only an oscillating fan to keep me cool and a spray bottle of water to spray on myself, so as the fan came round it kept me cool enough to sleep!

There are so many memories that, to be honest people wouldn't even believe happened but the one thing I’m most proud of is – ‘That we did it’ We drove through a war zone on our own with no military support, which later on a British Army Sargent said "Those 6 Stobart blokes are the toughest and craziest blokes that I have ever met! 
It was a life-changer. "