Crook trucker who braved world's most dangerous roads en route to Baghdad dies aged 73

A TRUCKER whose adventures en route to the Middle East were immortalised in a book has died at the age of 73. Kevin Noble, from Crook[1], braved some of the world’s most dangerous roads delivering coach engines to Baghdad, Iraq, in the 1970s. It was a journey that took him across Europe, with his travels through countries such as Belgium, Germany, Austria, and Turkey introducing him to vastly different landscapes, climates and cultures.

There were some hairy moments too, not least when his truck was stopped not long after crossing the Turkish border. Out of the darkness, a heavily built man pointed a gun in Mr Noble’s face and demanded to see his passport and cargo. Fearing for his life, the terrified trucker elbowed the man in the face and sped off in his Mercedes 1632 truck.

His pursuer, who turned out to be an undercover police officer, caught up with him a few miles later and it took an intervention from the British Embassy before he was allowed on his way. A born adventurer Mr Noble described his time on the road as “the most exciting time of my life.” And in 2007, he immortalised his travel tales in a book, Baghdad Trucker. Co-written with his publisher, Chris Foote-Wood, of Northern Writers, it became the best selling trucker book in the country.

His death, on December 7, has saddened the trucking community and left a hole in the lives of his friends and family, including his beloved wife, Susan, who he met in 1983. His brother, Leo Noble, said: “He was a man with an adventurous spirit who followed his heart. He was fascinated by history and geography and loved anything mechanical.”

Mr Noble was born in Crook in 1944 and attended St Cuthbert’s RC Primary School and later St Leonard’s RC School in Durham. He trained as a mechanic, before emigrating to Australia at the age of 21, working as a car mechanic and then on the railways. On returning to England two years later, Mr Noble set up a coach company which he ran until the late 1970s.

It was then he ran into local haulier Taffy Davies who offered him what was to become the job of his dreams. Mr Noble’s love of trucks never diminished and in latter years he reconditioned and sold engines. He also restored a Volvo F88 truck in his back garden for fun.

His funeral takes place at Durham Crematorium at 11am on Wednesday.

Donations to Dementia UK.


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