Harveys dray cart surprises Haywards Heath man

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A terminally ill dad with a passion for beer and heavy horses thought he was dreaming after a dray cart drew up outside his house.

Fred Garwood, 84, of Hazelgrove Road, Haywards Heath, was surprised by his three children when they organised the Harvey’s Brewery dray cart to drop by.

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Mr Garwood is a familiar face around Mid Sussex, having worked behind the bar in a number of pubs in the area.

Sarah Stapley, Mr Garwood’s daughter said: “My dad has been housebound since Christmas due to terminal illness.

“When I heard that the Harvey’s Brewery Dray Cart was coming to town I contacted them explaining my dad’s situation and that he has a passion for heavy horses and loves Harvey’s beer.”

“He has always worked in the local pubs in the area, including The Duck, The Sussex, The Heath and The White Horse in Lindfield to name a few.”

Sarah, who lives in Sussex Road, said she was excited when the brewery responded to her, saying Mr Garwood would be able to meet the horses when it came to Haywards Heath on Saturday.

“I could not believe it when Harveys and The Maple Leaf Carriage Company got back to me and said they would pay a special visit to see dad so he didn’t miss out,” she told the Middy.

“My family rallied around to hire a wheel chair so we could get dad outside, all the time managing to keep it a secret.”

But Mr Garwood’s surprise didn’t end there.

Sarah said: “Not only did they let me ride with them to dad’s flat but when we got there they gave dad a presentation box of beer. My dad just kept patting the horses and saying he must be dreaming. He even asked to be pinched.

“This meant so much to Dad and our family.”

Sarah described the visit as a ‘true act of kindness’ by the two companies, adding that the visit had left her an ‘emotional wreck’.

The dray cart belongs to Maple Leaf Carriages, who provide and drive the heavy horses – Monty and Winston.

Harveys Brewery, which has been based in Lewes for 200 years, tweeted Sarah at the end of the visit saying they were glad Mr Garwood enjoyed the visit.