Lorry fan George has died

TRIBUTES have been pouring in to a man who puzzled car drivers but was well-known by truckers.

TRIBUTES have been pouring in to a man who puzzled car drivers but was well-known by truckers.

George Mills was known as “the man on the bridge” - almost every day for more than decade he stood on the Trimley interchange flyover at lunchtimes, clad in his reflective yellow jacket.

Mr Mills was a lorry-spotter, one of a growing number of HGV enthusiasts around the country.

Like his counterparts collecting train numbers on rail station platforms and those logging container ships at Felixstowe port viewing area, he just loved lorries.

The 4,000 drivers who go in and out of Felixstowe port each day knew exactly who he was, hooting their horns and waving.

Sadly Mr Mills, of Trimley St Mary, died earlier this month after collapsing with a heart attack at his god-daughter's home in Lowestoft.

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Geoff Stott, Highfields Caldecote, Cambridge, said widower Mr Mills was among his closest and dearest friends and would always cherish their friendship.

“He was due to spend the weekend with me so that we could attend a collectors' fair at Donington Park on the Sunday,” he said.

“Alas, his god-daughter, with whom he was staying at the time of his death, had the unenviable task of letting me and my family know that he would not be coming.”

Mr Stott penned an ode in memory of his friend with whom he used to visit lorry depots and go on trips to see trucks.

Part of it read:

“On Trimley's bridge he used to stand

With pen and clipboard in his hand,

Drivers they would toot and wave,

As lorry details he did save

“If there is heaven, George is there,

Collecting and spotting, without a care.

But those that are left will mourn him long

The severed friendship that was so strong.”

Neighbours said Mr Mills, 69, who was a berth operator at the port for 32 years until an accident in which his hand was crushed, was a kind-hearted man.

“He was a real character and always obliging - if you needed help, George would always be there,” said one.

Another said: “We all saw him going off every day as regular as clockwork to watch the trucks. He was such a fit man, always friendly.”

For Mr Mills, seeing the latest Eddie Stobart or Ralph Morton truck was the highlight of his day, adding another notch on his clipboard, always looking out for that gem, a rare visitor or a new truck.

He started collecting numbers in 1990 at the port near Trelawny House, but caused a lot of confusion with the foreign drivers who thought he was a customs officer so he moved to the bridge over the A14.

He spent an hour and a half on the flyover each day, walking his neighbour's dog Barney there and back.