· 38 Cars
· 2 Push Bikes
· 1 Motorbike
· 1 School Bus
· 1 Motor Home
· & a Police Van
All in a three day period.
The plan started 3 weeks ago when I suggested the idea to Jeannie who was behind it straight from the start. I wanted to do something that I hopped would get a lot of support (which it did) and I could do from home as I’m a little fed-up of riding around the UK on my own now.
So first thing I did was get onto the BBC Children in Need Appeal web site and order a fund raising pack. Next I designed and printed out 50 flyers. Lilie Rose helped me mail-shot every house on Wardle Road one Sunday morning. I then dropped off a flyer at Bob the Butcher, Colin at the Post Office, I took some into St James’s C of E School for the staff, and finally put one on the village notice board. I then bought 2 Fund Raising Packs from the BBC Pudsey eBay shop so I could decorate the house. Lastly I decorated up a Yellow plastic container as a collection bucket complete with sellotaped on lid. Job’s a good’n’.
Now Alan next door was an absolute star as when I told him about my idea and the fact I would need to close his gate and put an arrow on it, he was 100% up for it. He even had a sign made for me to put by the road side with all the details on. What an absolute star.
Well from the Monday before the opening I started putting the sign out to inform people where we were. Tuesday the Fund Raining packs arrived and it was time to decorate the front of the house with the balloons and bunting. It looked great and you could see the car wash from both ends of the road, result!
If you could not see this you should not be driving!
So Tuesday afternoon was final prep time and a quick nip to Halfords in Rochdale to top up on kit. 5 litres of car wash fluid, 3 litres of alloy wheel cleaner, 3 buckets, 3 sponges, 2 cloths, 1 towel, 2 wheel cleaning brushes, a power washer, hose, 2 chairs and gazebo, sorted!
At 8.30 I set up the wash in front of the garage leaving the gazebo down as the weather was fantastic, bright sun shine all be it the start of November. Opening the gates at 9.00am on the dot, how sad is that, to no one! After half an hour and still no one coming a little panic started to creep in, “What if no one comes?” I thought. It is most people’s pride and joy I’m looking at washing. They don’t know I’ve been cleaning bikes and cars for over 35 years........
Jeannie emailed Steve Penk on 96.2 The Revolution who read out the whole email and gave me a great big round of applause.
Then I had the great idea, wash Jeannie’s car............ then Lilie Roses VW......... donations in the bucket. Then finally at 11.00am my first customer Helen the mum of one of Ben’s football playing friends appeared. “Can I get my car washed?” “Certainly, drive straight on”, I was off!
Jo (no.1) car ......... coming up great
You know you must be doing something right
when you have V-Dub's as far as the eye can see
By the close of Wednesday I had washed 12 cars and Ben’s Push bike for which he made a donation, good lad, charity begins at home as they say.
The gates were opened at 8.30 with the first car arriving shortly afterwards. The day ran really smoothly with a steady stream of cars. Then out of the blue, Bob arrived from Doncaster on his BMW GS 1200 bike. My one and only motorbike bike to be washed in the three days. It was great to see a member of the IBA arrive to take advantage of the car wash, mind I did have a couple of pledges and a donation through PayPal for a virtual Bike wash (I’m still trying to sort that for you Rick) all of which went into the bucket.
Bob having a go D.I.Y. style
Bob left around 2.30pm, just after which the Vicar Mr. Howells came up the drive. “Ben may come home from school a little delicate this afternoon” he said. “Why, what’s wrong” “Sadly, Amy one of his class mates as passed away today” I have tears in my eyes as I type this and so will just say we had a very, very sad evening in the Walton Household Thursday night.
It was with a heavy heart that I set about setting up on Friday morning but knew I had committed to three days and was really hoping for a final push. We got another mention on 96.2 The Revolution radio station whishing us well for the last day of the Wardle Wash. I opened the gates at 8.00 and ended up giving Lilie Roses School Bus a blast off once she was safely on board, the children loved it. At 8.30 I had my first car on the drive, number 20. Karen one of Lilie Roses carers popped in on the way to work followed by a never ending stream of people a lot of which I have never seen ever. It was fantastic, the support was amazing. I had my first break at 2.30pm for 10 minutes then I was off again finishing at 6.15 in the pitch black. I had intended on finishing at 4.00pm as it was dark at that time that idea went out the window with me washing numerous cars in the dark using just the outside light to find my buckets.
The little ones where having a ball...
Smiles all round
Can I just say a massive thank you to every single person that trusted me with their pride and joy’s, to the cyclist who I de-gunged on his way home, neighbours who brought numerous cars round, the motor home owner who almost saw me finished for the day, the Manc Riders & IBA lads who made donations for virtual washes, the few people that had clean cars and still stopped and made donations and to Caitlin my youngest donator. You were all brilliant and I thank you so very much.
I have two thank you’s to make who, without their support I could not have run the Wardle Wash.
Firstly, Alan who loaned me his jet wash when mine decided to play around, made the Car Wash sign for the side of the road, allowed me to block off his drive and decorate his gate with balloons and arrows and for leaving his car down the road for three days so he could get in and out. You’re a star Alan, thank you.
Finally to my dear wife Jeannie who, kept me topped up with a never ending supply of hot buckets of water, coffee, toast, Alloy wheel cleaner and moral boosting chats when things where a little quite. Thank you Sweetheart x x x
I would like to dedicate this whole event to the loving memory of Amy, rest in peace Little Lady.