Monday, 21 January 2019 05:33

Vintage fire engine carries coffin of former Malmesbury firefighter in funeral procession Featured

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Former firefighter the late Roy Evans was carried to his funeral in Sherston on a 1943 Austin fire engine on Friday.

Matthews funeral director James Beesley walked ahead of the vintage fire engine, which was followed by the family cars and then fire appliances from Malmesbury, Tetbury and Cricklade. The procession began at Malmesbury fire station, passed along Park Road and through Parklands on its way to Holy Cross church in Sherston.

Well-wishers paid stood by the side of the road to pay their respects, bowing heads and tipping hats as the wicker coffin went passed.

Firefighters lined the path to form a guard of honour as the coffin was taken into the church, and when it was taken out again after the funeral service.

Malmesbury watch manager Chris Harvey said the church was packed. He described Roy as "a real Malmesbury hero."

Roy died on December 31 after a 12-month battle with cancer.

He was born on December 16 1958 in Malmesbury Hospital and grew up and went to school in Sherston. School was not his favourite pastime and he much preferred to be outside in the fields or fishing and enjoying country life.

His first job was working on the family farm as a farm labourer before progressing onto driving straw lorries down to Cornwall.

Roy had a real love for motorbikes and was fearless in the way he rode them. He would frequently attend motorbike days out, riding all over the country.

He joined Ranalagh Gates in the late 1970s, where he started his lifelong wielding career during which time he became a father to his son Chris. In 1993 Roy joined Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service as a retained firefighter, a position he held for almost 19 years. During Roy’s time with the Fire Service he fell in love with a female colleague Juliette, and the couple married in 2007.

Roy was made redundant when Ranalagh Gates closed and worked for a short time for the neighbouring company Sweetenham & Bradley, before starting up his own business The Iron Works & Gate Company with his son Chris. His work can be found in many locations around the town including the town gates and Malmesbury Fire Station's firefighters' memorial bench.

Read this article on the Gazette and Herald here...

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