October 1, 2015:
Brian Doidge was laid to rest in the town cemetery yesterday after being pulled to the Methodist church, and later the churchyard, by his fellow Tar Barrel Committee members on a specially-built Tar Barrels sled. (CLICK THE PIC for more images). It was a historic way to mark a special life according to Dougal Stevens who originated the idea for the unique funeral carriage.
"It's never been done before," he said, "but we all agreed it was appropriate." The sled was built to the classic Hatherleigh design but with only two barrels. On top was a platform to hold Brian's casket. The funeral procession began at the Community Centre and was followed by family and friends to the packed Methodist church for the service, during which son Jason spoke movingly of his father's life and bandsman Robin Wonnacott told of his long-term friendship with Brian. At the churchyard afterwards, barrel pullers spontaneously lined the church path as the casket was carried to its final resting place in the town cemetery. Rev. Nigel Coke-Woods took the funeral service and oversaw the burial. Later there was a wake at the Cricket Club. More pictures HERE.