Eyecatching pink tribute set for show

PUBLISHED: 09:32 22 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:04 22 October 2010

Its shocking pink exterior shines out among the usual greens - a fitting tribute to an extraordinary woman whose grit kept lung cancer at bay for more than three years.

Its shocking pink exterior shines out among the usual greens - a fitting tribute to an extraordinary woman whose grit kept lung cancer at bay for more than three years.

The one-of-a-kind pink oil tank is Tony French's way of remembering his wife and business partner Ruth who died in March aged 51.

Together the pair set up Tank Replacement Services in Wendling, near Dereham, in 1995 and built up the company into one of the largest oil tank suppliers in Norfolk.

The tank will be dazzling passers-by at the company's stand at next week's Royal Norfolk Show as a symbol of her courage and to raise money for Breast Cancer Care.

Mr French said the vibrant colour echoed his wife's feisty no-nonsense personality.

"She was a very determined character, she fought off lung cancer for three-and-a-half years," he said.

"A lot of the success of the business was down to her pushing me. Behind every good business there is a good wife.

"I think she would be very proud if she could see what we have done. She was always up for any fundraising."

Mr French added: "Anybody you speak to knows somebody who has suffered with cancer and it is something which touches everybody.

"Hopefully it makes people realise there are other people going through the same thing and it will give them strength.

"We received wonderful support during her illness, and we hope our efforts and the generosity of the public will help Breast Cancer Care to improve treatments and find a cure.

"I remember when we went up to Sandringham Hospital in King's Lynn for Ruth's treatment for the first time and there was a guy there being treated with chemotherapy and how much it helped talking to him.

"It has been a very difficult time for us and if I can help somebody else get through this then it is worth it.

"I miss her desperately but she would not want me moping, if I was having a bad day she would tell me to get out there and get on with it."

Mr French hopes to raise more than £1,000 during the show with the customised tank which has a manhole cover in the top for people to donate money.

It is not the first memorial that Mr French has commissioned to Ruth, with him also naming one of the company's delivery vehicles Ruth Elizabeth in her honour.

TRS supplies oil tanks to businesses, industry and homes within a 50-mile radius of Dereham.

Mr French said that TRS will remain a family company with sons Simon, 23, and Mark, 26, enjoying major roles - continuing a tradition of working in the oil industry that started with their grandfather.

If you would like to make a donation to Breast Cancer Care you can visit TRS and their pink oil tank at stand number 324 at the Royal Norfolk Show next Wednesday and Thursday. It will also be at other shows in the coming months.

For more information call TRS on 01362 687144 or visit their website at

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