Drivers and vehicles came from near and far to support the Sheffield Volunteer Fire Brigade Mud Plug on the weekend

Firefighters in the mud

by Ann van Engelen

The Sheffield Volunteer Firebrigade Mud Plug annual fundraiser saw a full field with 45 entries and some 3,000 spectators watching the event on Saturday.

“The drivers managed their way through 12 hazards with a marshall directing them at each point,” says organiser and Sheffield chief fire officer, Nev Croy.

“We believe in getting off our backsides and working for our needs for the greater good of the community. We don’t ask the locals for money and what we raised will go toward upgrading our fire service support vehicle in the future.

“There was an auction in between where people walked away with some awesome bargains.”

Previous fundraising events helped purchase a transportation vehicle, a winter training shed, hand held radios, a defibrillator and other necessary equipment.

“We are sharing some of the proceeds with St John. I am one of 18 people working for the community — we have a great team here and really appreciate the support we get.

“We deal with fires, medical situations and motor accidents. Things have changed over the 48 years I have been involved in the fire service. Phil Shaw at Coalgate has been in the service for 50 years.

“Every other year we hold a wheels and car show. Our events are family-friendly and alcohol-free as we do not approve of mixing alcohol and motorsport. We can’t do this without the help of Derek Bull who kindly allows us the use his farmland and Ben Chamberlain with the contractors, volunteers and supporters. Entrants travel from as far as Nelson and Dunedin and our prizes are sponsored by out of town businesses.”

The overall winner was Brock Welsh in the Truck category with 290 points lost in his Jeep Wrangler, and Nathan Hammond won the Buggy Class with 530 points lost, also in a Jeep Wrangler.

“Contestants lost points for loss of forward motion, getting stuck, hitting or knocking over a peg or being towed out.

“It is the fifth year the Jeeps won it. Andrew Saverly from Nelson usually wins but was unable to attend — so someone else took the title. There were no tip-overs or bad accidents, making it even more successful because health and safety to us is a big thing.”