VOLUNTEERS who ‘muck in’ week in week out to help maintain Darwen Cemetery have received a welcome boost.

The Friends of Darwen Cemetery have bought a new ‘muck truck’ to help with restoration projects in the cemetery.

The vehicle is a remote- controlled dumper truck, meaning waste material can be moved without the need for a wheelbarrow.

The East Lancashire Masonic Charity donated £2,650 to the group in order to fund the new machine.

John East, group chairman and a Whitehall town councillor, said: “The machine is basically a little tipper truck with a remote control, so nobody has to push it.

“It will probably be able to carry about three or four wheelbarrows worth of stuff.

“It means we can move stuff from one side of the cemetery to the other and it will make the labour- intensive jobs a lot easier.

“We had been looking for one of these for a long while and then the Masons came and said they would buy one for us.

“We are so grateful for the donation, and the ‘muck truck’ will certainly make things a lot easy for the work parties.”

Terry Woods, volunteer at the East Ribble District Freemasons, said: “It gave us great pleasure to present the cheque to the Friends of Darwen Cemetery.

“We offered to do some volunteering work and support the friends with some removal of rhododendrons during our visit.”

And David Lightbown, district chairman of the East Lancashire Masons, who attended the presentation and helped the cemetery volunteers, told them: “It is clear that you all put much effort and work in.

“You should be very proud of yourselves.

“We will certainly spread the word about your work and hopefully get another work party together the near future.”