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Lorry procession helps to pay tribute to Fakenham family man

PUBLISHED: 17:11 01 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:11 01 May 2020

The procession of Jack Richards & Son lorries used for the funeral of Fakenham man, David Wheeler. Picture: Andrew Brasier

The procession of Jack Richards & Son lorries used for the funeral of Fakenham man, David Wheeler. Picture: Andrew Brasier

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The people of Fakenham paid their respects to a local lorry driver as a procession of trucks made its way to his funeral.

The Procession of Fakenham man, David Wheeler. Picture: Andrew BrasierThe Procession of Fakenham man, David Wheeler. Picture: Andrew Brasier

David Wheeler, 74, from Fakenham passed away last month due to heart failure. Described as a quiet family man, many looked up to him as a father figure.

He was also known as one of the best in his trade, spending 35 years driving lorries for Jack Richards & Son.

“It brought a lump to our throat watching the procession,” said son-in-law, Andrew Brasier.

“People stopped what they were doing, including a group of people who were doing road works, who all bowed their heads. It was so nice and respectful.”

David Wheeler with his wife Jean. Picture: Andrew BrasierDavid Wheeler with his wife Jean. Picture: Andrew Brasier

In honour of him, the company offered to escort Mr Wheeler from Fakenham, through the work yard and onto Cromer crematorium with four lorries.

Once they arrived, lorry drivers were offered inside to watch the service alongside the family, but making sure they stuck closely to the social distancing guidelines.

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There were 20 people inside watching the service, with others in the car park listening on the speakers and extended family from across the country watching it on a video link.

One of the Jack Richards & Son lorries used for the Procession of Fakenham man, David Wheeler. Picture: Andrew BrasierOne of the Jack Richards & Son lorries used for the Procession of Fakenham man, David Wheeler. Picture: Andrew Brasier

Jean Wheeler, his widow, said: “I don’t know what he would have said, maybe ‘what’s all this fuss about?’”

The family paid tribute to everyone involved in helping the funeral come together, including the lorry drivers and the funeral directors.

Mrs Wheeler said: “He actually thought that when his funeral happened he wouldn’t have more than six people turn up.

“It made me feel really proud that we could organise this even with the current restrictions.

One of the Jack Richards & Son lorries used for the Procession of Fakenham man, David Wheeler. Picture: Andrew BrasierOne of the Jack Richards & Son lorries used for the Procession of Fakenham man, David Wheeler. Picture: Andrew Brasier

“It was a good send off and I think he would be proud of us.”

Tributes for the lorry driver have been pouring in, with messages on social media and cards to the family.

As they could not hold a wake after the service, the family are now planning a celebration of Mr Wheeler’s life when the restrictions are lifted so everyone has a chance to pay their respects and raise a glass to him.


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