Music fan pulling mini-truck from Bolton to Blackpool's Waterloo Music Bar
A supporter of Blackpool's Waterloo Music Bar is set to pull a mini-truck all the way from Bolton to the resort to raise funds for the venue.
Music fan Phil Frain, 51, of Tong Moore in Bolton has visited the Waterloo, on the corner of Central Drive and Waterloo Road, many times in recent years because of its vibrant live music scene.
So when he heard that the venue was struggling, he decided to do something about it - and hit upon the Running Wild Waterloo Truck Pull challenge, backed by a GoFundMe page and a target of £5,000.
He spent months constructing the miniature, 5ft 6 ins tall Volvo truck from a kit and has now resolved to pull it to Blackpool - a distance of almost 40 miles on foot - with teams of supporters.
The Waterloo nearly closed down due to the coronavirus lockdowns and although an earlier fundraising initiative, started by the Music Centre Trust, raised a magnificent £45,000 , bar owner Ian Fletcher says vital external work is still desperately needed.
Ian says he has also missed out on key Government grants due to red tape.
Phil, a driver for the NHS, said: "I love the Waterloo, it's where memories are made, it is like the holy grail to rock.
"It was terrible to hear that Ian was so close to losing everything he and his team had worked for over the last five years.
"I could have just given some money to the fund but this truck means more than that.
"The truck means hope, it's a symbol that they can't take away our rock and roll!"
Phil says the idea of making the truck came to him in a dream and, thanks to his handiwork, the unusual vehicle is now a reality.
He has even created a figure of Lemmy, the late singer of rock band Motorhead, to sit in the front seat.
Wife Denise, 51, is right behind him and said: "The Waterloo is brilliant - I'm disabled and I've always felt safe there and Ian and his team have done a brilliant job. We just wanted to help."
The truck pull itself will take place on Saturday July 31 when Phil will be joined by teams pulling the truck from Bolton to Preston, and then Preston to Blackpool.
Ian said: "It's phenomenal that Phil wants to support us in this way."
So far £900 has been raised.
To support the fundraising campaign, visit https://gofund.me/71d1fb1f