It's business time at trolley derby

00:32, Feb 25 2014
Nelson Trolley Derby
ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE: Driver and Ford's owner Gary Ford, Tim Bayley of the Nelson Trolley Derby Club, left, and Lambretta's owner Rhys Odey, right, with one of the purpose-built plywood trolleys.

This year's official Robertson's Trolley Derby will be partially funded by another derby run especially for businesses.

Yesterday, representatives from Ford's restaurant and Lambretta's cafe had a practise race down the street in front of Nelson's church steps in two replica Formula One racing trolleys made out of plywood.

Derby club president Tim Bayley said the trolleys were two of 12 identical racers sponsored by Mitre 10, who organised 30 sheets of plywood to be donated through their suppliers.

Joinery company Cooper Webbley used their laser cutting machine to turn the sheets into "jigsaw pieces", and motorcycle dealership Filco Farm and Sport provided steel that derby club members used to make into chassis. The wheels were imported from China.

"We've made them so they won't be the fastest trolleys on the course, but they'll be nice and solid," said Mr Bayley. "They should be pretty well identical speeds because they're all made the same, and [businesses] can't change them at all apart from a few little tweaks."

He said the 12 trolleys would be sold or leased to corporate buyers, saying income from the project would pay for around one third of the open derby's total cost. Mr Bayley estimated this would top $15,000, saying that although the derby had a lot of services provided for free, the bills added up.

The Mitre 10 F1 Corporate Challenge will be held on March 15, the same day as the open derby. Ten of the trolleys have been snapped up already. Those interested in taking on the remaining two can contact the club through its website at