Huthwaite scrap metal dealer Ben Woolleysweeps the board at Cromford Steam Rally

Ben Wooley Scrap Metal dealer wins a prize at Cromford Show for his painted wagon.
Ben Wooley Scrap Metal dealer wins a prize at Cromford Show for his painted wagon.

A well-known scrap metal dealer from Huthwaite, who restores vintage vehicles, has won a competition at a steam rally earlier this month.

Ben Woolley, of Sutton Road, took his brightly-decorated vintage lorry to the Cromford Steam Rally, held at Brackenfield near Matlock on 3rd and 4th August.

The lorry, which dates back to 1951, earned Ben the title of Best in Show and he received a trophy at the event, which is now in its 43rd year.

Although the lorry bears Ben’s name and business, he has never used it for work.

“It has always been a show piece,” he says.

“I have had it for about 10 years and I restored it and decorated it. At the rally people had different vintage things - there were steam engines and one thing and another.

“I enter every year but this is the first time I have won.

“The lorry was a wreck when I first got it.”

Dave Whittle was the main arena commentator at the steam rally and said that the quality of Ben’s lorry stood out.

“It is about the care that has gone into the finish. Ben has not only got one vehicle - he has got three or four,” he said.

“Ben has a lovely vehicle. I have got three old vehicles myself - I found one with a tree growing through the cabin.”

Dave said that Ben’s success at the rally was also down to his showmanship.

“A lot of it comes from Ben himself. He’s a great guy.”

At Cromford, vehicles are judged by other competitors.

“It means a lot more when your fellow exhibitors vote. It’s all about opinions at the end of the day but when you have got about 100 guys voting you have got a broad scope,” added Dave.