We’d seen queues of stationary cars sat across Scammonden dam whilst we were driving home. Our usually deserted road up the Deanhead valley was busy with vehicles, all desperate to get west.
A wall of wagons greeted us when we pulled into the yard, thankfully they’d all turned their engines off and were sat staring blankly ahead, resigned to hours of queuing.
Heading down towards Milnrow on the dark side of the border, a lorry carrying many gallons of Carling beer, had caught fire causing an afternoon and evening of chaos on the westbound carriageway.
The heat of the fire had caused extensive damage to the carriageway and crash barrier meaning emergency repairs were necessary. John-William and I went about our chores, feeling distinctly uncomfortable with all the curious eyes watching us.
The eastbound carriageway, meanwhile, was moving as norm so it came as quite a shock to see someone casually sauntering down the verge right next to the fast lane. The two terror Teckels shot across the field. Barking frantically they skidded to a halt by the highway fence and proceeded to leap up and down, becoming more vocal, hackles up.
“Are you alright?” I shouted. It seemed a ridiculously absurd question fired at someone wandering down the fast lane of the M62.
“Just trying to get to my wagon,” he yelled.
My eyes followed his pointing arm to the multitude of vehicles all sat outside our little farm. Over the noise of the cars hurtling past, he managed to explain his predicament. He nodded in the direction of a wagon with a company logo emblazoned down its side.
The current driver had been taken unwell, how unwell I’m not sure, but the chap stood on the wrong side of the highway fence was his replacement. Unable to get to the stranded vehicle, he’d been dropped off on the hard shoulder of the opposite carriageway and told to make his way across.
His only problem, of course, was a farm smack bang in his way. I told him to climb the fence and come through our yard. He stared blankly at the tall mesh fence for quite some time before asking how to do it.
“Like getting on a bike or a horse, just put your foot in, swing your leg over, foot in the other side and jump down.”
Clearly, this was a greater challenge to him than I’d anticipated and after several wobbly attempts and getting hooked on the fence, he made it. He was dismayed to discover that there was another fence to scale, this time under the stare of hundreds of stranded motorists. More effort was put in and he almost made it look easy.
A huge cheer went up, horns started beeping amidst the cries of excitement. The lorry driver bowed, unashamedly, only to discover England had just scored against Germany.
His fence-climbing skills had gone completely unnoticed!