Every day thousands of long distance lorry drivers leave their beds, their loved ones and their family homes to go to work.
Their hard, physically demanding and sometimes dangerous work makes an unsung and yet vital contribution to the maintenance of the British economy and the lives of its millions of inhabitants.

Many drivers cover over 100,000 miles a year on the road network with some being required to stay away from home for many days or weeks at a time. An increased demand for mobility of labour and flexible workers within modern economies has resulted in a huge growth in the number of people required to work away from their homes and their nearest and dearest.

As more and more long distance workers and their families experience these frequent but necessary separations, they must also work out coping strategies to deal with the feelings of missing somebody, waiting for them to come back and the difficulties they experience when alone. How is it for those left behind? How is it to miss someone terribly? And how important is it that someone is waiting for you? That someone wants you and longs for your return?


The journey

Take Me With You began to take shape in early 2010 following a series of meetings with Val Carman the Public Arts coordinator at Junction Arts.

In September 2010, following an Arts Council Grants for the Arts award, Mat met Lorry side Media expert Richard from HaulinAds to find a suitable Haulier to host the project.
Richard and Mat then visited Savages Haulage where they met the Transport Coordinator Stacey and Paul, one of the drivers.

Mat invited three other drivers from Savage's (Ramos, Andy & Lindsey) and their families to take part.
Mat and photographer Manuel flew to March for a series of portraits sessions resulting in the images that you see on the Take Me With You trailers.

During the portrait sessions Mat talked to the drivers and their families about how they coped with the driver working away and how they all dealt with absence and missing.

Children from eight Derbyshire schools attended workshops led by poet Andy where they wrote poems based on themes of absence and longing.
These poems formed the source material for the text featured on the back panels of the Take Me With You lorries.

In December 2010 / January 2011 Mat and Manuel chose the eight portraits and text for the trailers and sent them to RGVA vehicle branding specialists to prepare for print and installation.

On January 15th 2011 the Take Me With You lorries rolled out of Savages yard to start a three month period on the roads.

Mat & Ramos

Richard, Stacey & Paul


Ramos, Andy, Lindsey, Paul and their families without whom Take Me With You could not have happened. Thank you.
Val & Tina at Junction Arts for unswerving support and sound project management
Manuel for his perfectionism
Andy for creative text generation
The schools for participating
The children for saying it how it is
Ben for elegant design
Richard at Haulinads for meeting the challenge and finding the perfect partners
Martyn & Stacey at Savage Haulage for flexibility, openness and hospitality
Julia at RGVA for getting the job done on time
Arts Council England for financial support
Sarah for listening, helping and having faith in the project from the beginning
Mary & Terry for insight and roadside fare

Mary & Terry

All images © Mat Hand & Manuel Reinartz