When you find your usually busy truck and drivers at an an enforced standstill, what better thing to do than to offer your spare capacity to those on the frontlines.
Like everyone else in mid-March, our stage and transport team were grounded at the start of lockdown and confined to base. Touring was cancelled, and there were no concerts or sessions to which to drive instruments and equipment. Usually at this time of year our team are driving thousands of miles across Europe, or working with complicated carnet requirements and shipping our gear around the world, setting everything up in venues and then striking it all again and driving onto the next place. Trips to Paris, Vienna, New York, Barcelona, Madrid and Brighton were called off. Alan, Nathan and George and our wonderful truck "Lennie" were suddenly hunkered down at our warehouse until further notice.
But doing nothing is not in our nature, so we put the call out that we had an 18-ton truck to spare and nowhere to go – would it be useful to anyone dealing with the Covid crisis on the frontlines of this global emergency? Could we assist with moving supplies around the country? Thankfully we could. So on Tuesday 7 July, George set off for Kent, where the St John Ambulance logistics team needed help moving some of their equipment over to Wiltshire.
400 miles later, and after navigating some Wiltshire country roads of the sort that our truck hasn't seen in a long time, everything was safely delivered. After such a long lay off, George says it was fun working with the St John team and a great pleasure for everyone to be back doing what they do best.
"Can I just say on behalf of St John and the logistics team, thank you, to you all, at the London Symphony Orchestra. Your collaboration with us in this, has made a significant impact to being able to get this job done."
Thank you to St John Ambulance for the great privilege of playing a small part in keeping everything moving during this difficult time.