Ella And The Bin Men

I am delighted to offer, from Danni Milwain, my first ever guest post: ‘Ella And The Bin Men’

I’ve been asked to write a guest blog by my Uncle Derrick, what an honour! Firstly, hello to all Derricks followers I hope our story is an enjoyable read. 

Even before March 2020 when Covid saw all of our lives change Friday mornings were something we looked forward to….. Bin day! Not only because we could say goodbye to the smelly nappies which over the summer might have been cooking away for up to two weeks but also and most preciously because we could see the bin lorry and wave to the bin men. The joy on Ellas face to see the lorry coming down the road and then the bin men throwing the bins about into the big lorry and back again was the drive to make sure we were always  ready on a Friday morning to lift her up above the window cill to have the best view. The driver was the first to spot Ella and start waving and shortly after the man who collects our bin, and then in time the man who collects from the other side of the road would join in too. 

Christmas 2020, We handed the bin men a tin of biscuits each and a card addressed to “the driver”,  “our bin man” and “the other one”. They were really pleased and after doing their usual turn in the road at the dead end came back, slowed the lorry down, waved ferociously and tooted their horn.

This became the norm thereafter, on their return journey they would always pass our house slowly, wave, smile and then head off with a little toot!

We hadn’t missed one Friday morning until last Friday 30th April. Ella simply didn’t wake up in time. I was sat on the sofa drinking my tea and I heard the lorry coming, my stomach dropped with sadness that she would miss them and them her. We didn’t even have the curtains open. For a fleeting moment I thought I could drag her out of bed but that seemed silly, should I throw the curtains open and just smile and wave on my own? Well I didn’t do that either, I know it sounds silly but I really was sad. 

Ella awoke at 7:30 just in time to throw some clothes on her and chuck her in the pram to head off for nursery. When Andy opened the front door there was a gift on the doorstep, a toy bin lorry with a note that reads “From your binmen. To our lovely friend always cheering us. Thank you”.

Well we exploded with delight at this very kind gesture, Ella was of course elated with the gift and immediately had to press every button and whizz it around. We didn’t allow her to take it to nursery but when I picked her up the first thing she said was “can I play with my bin lorry”. 

I put a post on Facebook of which you can see in the image provided and to date I received over 100 likes, loves and comments. I also received calls from BBC South today and Radio Solent. I provided a short interview with Radio Solent on their afternoon show on Friday. To be honest it all seems very strange, on one hand I’m thinking, crikey it must be a really slow news day and on the other hand I’m just so pleased it has warmed so many hearts and perhaps given three bin men a small amount of the recognition they deserve for doing an outstanding job and going above and beyond their call of duty. I think the pandemic has given us all a heightened sense of community spirit and it’s stories like this that restore our faith in humanity and the simple pleasures in life.  We are very much looking forward to seeing the binmen on Friday to say thank you  and I will be dragging Ella out of bed!

Link to radio interview:   https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p09g9krv


  1. Hello, Danni and Ella, and what a perfectly lovely post!
    All through lockdown, when clapping for our Wonderful NHS, I was also mindful of all those others – our fantastic, cheery bin men, postmen and so many who kept life ticking along as much as it could when so many of us were sheltered away from others…
    Well done you and Ella for being such flag-wavers for them, and congratulations to you on your fantastic interview.
    – Share the thanks to our unsung heroes, appreciate the small everyday blessings, and spread the smiles!! 🙂

  2. OH what a wonderful Story Derrick…. We take our bin men for granted and a cheery wave and a happy smile goes a long way… Loved their return gift.. 🙂 <3

  3. A heart-warming tale well worth sharing. This has been a delightful read – thank you to Danni and, of course to Ella for charming the men and melting their hearts.

  4. A wonderful story to share. My husband drives semi and I go with him. The kids who wave or signal for us to honk make our day.

  5. What a beautiful post, Danni! I am listening to the BBC segment right now, and enjoying it very much! The bin men are awesome essential workers, too!

  6. Heartwarming, Derrick. The binmen never get the praise they deserve for just being there, week after week. It’s nice to see that Ella has worked that out for herself!!

  7. What a lovely, sweet story. I’m always amazed at the bonds between small children and the people who serve us. For us it was not the bin men (garbage men in the US — bin men is so much nicer a term!) so much as the milkman who brought us our mile each week and took us for a ride in their cold trucks! How nice that Ella has made such wonderful friends, and that they have reciprocated so nicely!

  8. What a lovely story. I remember hearing about Ella and the binmen, but now I know the complete story! Thanks. It’s great to have a story that makes you smile these days!

  9. Really nice story Danii. When she’s older she can form a band called Ella and the Binmen. Just a thought…

  10. Oh, Danni and Ella! Thank you! This got me all joy-teary-eyed! This is so wonderful! You made my day! 🙂
    My youngest grandson does the same…he cheers on the binmen and any worker or anyone using a truck, bus, heavy equipment, etc! He loves to watch them work, takes them water and snacks, and asks them a million questions! 🙂
    YAY and Thank You to your kind and hard working binmen…and for binmen, and all essential workers, everywhere! 🙂
    (((HUGS))) <3 🙂

  11. Oh, what a fabulous story! I can just picture Ella waving out the window. How the bin men must love it! Danni did a wonderful job on the post AND the interview. So good of her to share this wonderful story. I hope her bin men hear of it.

  12. How sweet. What a lovely socially-distant friendship to have come out of a strange time. I am sending Ella a wave from Lancashire.

  13. I really enjoyed your first guest post, Derrick! Such a heartwarming story from Danni. I enjoyed the radio interview, too. Enjoy your new lorry, Ella!

  14. Congratulations to adorable Ella for being a guest star in her mother’s guest post, and congratulations to you, Derrick, for featuring your first guest post with such a delightful, heartwarming story.

  15. That is such a refreshing and endearing post by Danny about little Ella and her bin-man group of friends. The post has captured the developing friendship between Danny, Ella and the Driver, Our-bin-man and Other-bin-man exceedingly well, culminating in exchange of tokens of affection. The toy lorry is super cute! I am not surprised by BBC’s attention to the remarkable story in these pandemic ravaged times. Thanks for the guest post, Derrick.

  16. Oh my, this is so lovely! The impact of small gestures of kindness can spread like ripples in a pond. From one small girl waving and cheering to smiles around the world. Thank you – Derrick, Danni, Ella and of course, the marvellous Bin Men! 😊

  17. What a wonderful happening, and makes you realise that the service people enjoy that interaction with all age groups – the gifts you gave – not one tin, but a tin of biscuits each. And then the gift for Ella – magic…

  18. I’m not crying..what a warm story. I am so grateful for our garbage men that carry away life’s detritus. Those hardworkers must be delighted by children along their route who appreciate them. It was so kind of them to give such a gift. Thanks for sharing.

  19. What a beautiful simply joy, in recognizing the working class who are often unseen, and a joyful way to build community.  Yeah Ella 

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