No bringing home the bacon sarnies

10th December 2004 at 00:00
In the taxonomy of popular stereotypes, the White Van Man and The Teacher are chalk and cheese. The White Van Man, if the cliches are believed, is a bull-necked, bacon-sandwich-scoffing moron whose greatest pleasures are perusing Page Three and cutting up hapless Mondeo drivers in his St George's flag-bedecked pride and joy. The Teacher, on the other hand, is a muesli-crunching, cardigan wearer who reads the Guardian and drives a Mondeo. So what strange beast would you get if you crossed these two mythical creatures?

Step forward Stuart Probart, a 40-year old primary supply teacher from Newcastle, who has decided to boost his income by transforming himself into "Teacher Man With Van". He says: "I do it at the weekends and in the evenings to supplement the money from teaching. I don't really have a price list but fellow teachers get a discount," says Probart.

His VW Transporter has ferried everything from canoes to furniture. "Last week, a teacher's husband asked me to carry two live pigs. I said no. Apart from the ethics of transporting animals, he wanted me to take the straw with me." What Probart's fellow van men would think of his keeping perfectly good bacon from their sandwiches is unclear, and then there is the matter of his reading habits: "I'm a typical Guardian and TES man, myself," he admits. Any St George's flags? "I've got a sticker that says 'Every day is a holiday' but that's about it. Anyway, I'm a Scot." The "Teacher Man With Van" can be contacted on

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