Heaven & Hell - Carl Day

Carl Day, CEO of Anglia Freight

Carl Day, CEO of Anglia Freight - Credit: Contributed

Having had a successful career in the supply chain and global logistics sector for over 35 years, Carl says even now he is still learning. This week alone, I have witnessed the greatness of humanity, against all odds, where Carl and his company came to the rescue of GeeWizz’s humanitarian aid.

As you’re reading this, Anchor Freight’s trucks are making their way to the Ukrainian border.

What started as a cry for help to support my brother Oliver Horsman's effort to drive three transit vans to the Romanian-Ukraine borders, and an Instagram post by my daughter Ali on her FOLK Café Instagram, snowballed. We received support from hundreds of wonderful selfless volunteers, and donations escalating to fill three vans, 14 40ft curtain-side lorries, three sprinter vans and three 7.5 tonne lorries, far exceeding our expectations.

The love, humility, and unity have been tangible on every level. Carl, who has played such an important role in the efforts, is so humble. He has no idea of the enormous difference he has made. He says his proudest moment to date was completing the 2010 London Marathon in a 6 stone (35kg) suit of armour, raising endless thousands for the British Heart Foundation. Outside of work, he has a real passion for stand-up comedy, even running his own comedy club (bigcheesecomedy.com) performing at various comedy venues, when he can find the time. The youngest of seven sons, he has a glass half full of positive attitude. 

What is your connection to East Anglia?

My great grandparents (father's side) and great uncles operated the old Thames barges (Aline, The Sextant and The May) with my grandfather born on one of them. He became a land lover, putting roots in Harwich. I was born in Colchester,  and lived my youth in Harwich, whilst most of my adult life in has been spent in Ipswich and the surrounding area.

What is your East Anglian heaven?

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I am a massive Ipswich Town fan, so my heaven is Portman Road (especially when we are winning), however, the wider parts of Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire are just amazing places to be. The People of East Anglia (in my bias opinion) are the friendliest people you will ever find. Someone will always have a good yarn to tell.

What is your East Anglian hell?

The people that fly tip or do not have the ability to use a bin, it is shocking our beautiful countryside is tarnished with litter, by those who are completely irresponsible.

Carl Day of Anglia Freight (right) preparing a truck to go out to Ukraine

Carl Day of Anglia Freight (right) preparing a truck to go out to Ukraine - Credit: Contributed

What’s your favourite East Anglian restaurant?

The region is gifted with so many fantastic pubs, restaurants, and local farm cafes, however,  top of my list has to be Le Talbooth at Dedham. They truly know how to look after their customers and cook the best perfect blue steak!

With the lifting of Covid restrictions, can you share your plans on how you’ll celebrating this momentous milestone?

I am enjoying now being able to share more time with family, friend,  appreciating it more than ever. We have all lost someone dear to us so we should all make more of effort to enjoy the company of those dear to us, whilst we can, you never know what is on the horizon.

What’s your favourite way to spend an East Anglian evening?

Chilling with my amazing wife and now our new puppy, be it at home, or out at a local pub or restaurant.

What’s your favourite local landmark?

Whenever I see the BT Tower at Martlesham, I know I am only a few minutes away from home. Having travelled for business to most countries in my 35 years in logistics, nothing beats being home.

What’s the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?

There are so many to great events to choose from. Felixstowe Fun Run is always held around the May bank Holiday, I have been doing the interactive commentary on the runners for last few years. It’s also my signpost, marking the beginning of summer.  

What's your specialist Mastermind subject?

Anything James Bond – from child to adulthood, I’m fanatical about 007!

What is always in your fridge?

Tomatoes. My wife can’t go a day without eating something that contains them, she even gets me to grow them in large volumes in our garden.

What’s your simple philosophy of life?

Laughter always makes the world a better place.

Carl Day of Anglia Freight during the 2010 London Marathon

Carl Day of Anglia Freight during the 2010 London Marathon - Credit: markhebblewhite.net

What’s your favourite film?

Although I am a huge James Bond fan (Goldfinger, Casino Royal and Skyfall are all excellent films, the best three films ever) in my opinion, other brilliant films are: Life of Brian, The Shawshank Redemption and the original black and white version of Twelve Angry Men.  Three very different films, for a plethora of reasons, I could not choose a clear favourite.

What was your first job?

Often at weekends my father would catch a variety of fish, from cod, plaice and mullet, to lobster and crab. Being the youngest of seven boys, I was the one designated to sell the overflow that our family didn’t consume. The local fish and chip shops knew me very well. As a teenager, I quickly learnt how to pocket any profit made if I managed to sell higher than the expected price set by my father.  I guess that would have made me a very young entrepreneur in my early teens.

What is your most treasured possession?

I’m the very proud owner of one of the original shirts worn in the UEFA Cup Final when Ipswich Town won; signed by all the players that participated that season. In terms of unmaterial things, its health and wellbeing, that’s top of the list in being able to enjoy a good life.

Who do you admire most?

My late mother, who faced so many challenges throughout her life, including nursing her sick brothers and sisters, with five of her siblings (she was one of nine children) lost to TB. As a teenager in Dublin, she raised her seven sons, and was the driving force, ‘core’ of our family, whilst facing cancer head on and beating it, along with coping with everything else thrown at her. She passed at the grand old age of 90. In a week that’s marked International Women’s Day, she would have been at the top of the list.

What is your biggest indulgence?

Tiramisu ! No more needs to be said.

What do you like about yourself most?

My sense of humour – can make most people laugh, even if it’s at my expense.

What’s your worst character trait?

According to my wife, I am a born natural expert at being messy/untidy. Apparently, I could be wrapped in clingfilm, inside head to toe zipped up coveralls and I would still manage to spill some food on my top– if only there was a Olympic discipline for this…

Where is your favourite holiday destination? 

Tbilisi in Georgia – amazing food, wine, people and scenery – what’s not to love?

Best day of your life?

There are many, from getting married, to the birth of my children, to Ipswich winning something (yeah, I go that far back!). The one that tops it all, was managing to get all my six brothers, from all corners of the world, together with my parents, to celebrate my mother’s 90th birthday – it was the first time we had all been in the same room together since I was three months old and I am wrong side of 50-ish.

What’s your earliest memory?

Helping my father in his garden, aged around four years old, although I’m sure I was more a hindrance then a help !

Tell us something people don’t know about you?

I played the trombone at school – badly!

Tell us why you live here and nowhere else

Through 35 years of business, I have travelled to most places in the world, the best bit about travel, is the journey home. This is my home; it is part of the fabric of me. It's who I am.

What do you want to tell our readers about most?

A massive thank you, to everyone that donated and provided help for the ongoing efforts to get humanitarian aid out to those caught up in the conflict in

Ukraine. We will endeavour to keep the supply chain open for as long as we can to ensure anything donated reaches those that need it. It’s just amazing how this small part of England can rise to the challenge and help people they may never meet and give so generously, especially when they are facing their own challenges in life. It is very humbling and we feel proud to be able ‘do our bit’, whilst working in partnership with GeeWizz Charitable Foundation Ukraine Aid effort.

You can donate to the appeal locally at geewizzcharity.com/fundraising/ukraineappeal

I am always looking for interesting people from Suffolk and Norfolk to feature in my Q&A. Please contact me at gina@hallfarmfornham.com