Community spirit by the tank load

Cambridge’s Lisa Payne fills up


Victoria was a bridge too far for Cambridge’s Lisa Payne.

Last week as she drove daughter Ruby over Victoria Bridge to school from Leamington when she ran out of fuel.

“I wasn’t even halfway across – I jumped out of my car and ran to the lady who was directly behind me to apologise,” she recalled

“I never normally even go that way to take Ruby to school, but on this day I needed to get her some new shoes from The Warehouse.

Despite the commuter queue she inadvertently headed, there wasn’t a sign of road rage to be seen. A group of people came  “out of nowhere” to push her car off the bridge, and she put a call in to husband Brad – who duly headed off to buy some fuel.

Passer by Claudia Barclay took Ruby to school so she wasn’t late.

And a man Lisa didn’t know at the time, then put enough fuel in her car to help her make it to the nearest petrol station.

“I even offered to pay him, but he wouldn’t let me,” Lisa said.

Lisa later learned the anonymous top up came from Smythe and McCoard Panel & Paint owner operator Daryl McCoard.

After crossing the bridge to the Leamington side and seeing Lisa’s predicament, he dropped off the customer and returned to his work place to pick up the fuel.

“Oh look, something nice is the least I can do,” he said.

“It’s amazing that so many people came to help – that’s part of what makes Cambridge such a wonderful town,” Lisa said.

When Brad later posted on the Cambridge Grapevine page thanking their community for its help and support, the post received over 750 likes and multiple comments.

The end of his post summed up the sentiment of the day perfectly.

“Great town, great people.”

The couple’s other daughter, Sophie, took the bus to school that day and was initially unaware of her mum’s unforeseen adventures.

“It was actually her teacher who told Sophie what had happened to me before I could,” Lisa said.

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