Gallery: Motorcyle enthusiast laid to rest

MOTORCYCLE enthusiast Richard Cole, who died on his 35th wedding anniversary, was taken to his resting place in a sidecar this morning. His funeral has been held St Peter s Church in March and his distinctive hearse was followed by a procession of members

MOTORCYCLE enthusiast Richard Cole, who died on his 35th wedding anniversary, was taken to his resting place in a sidecar this morning.

His funeral has been held St Peter's Church in March and his distinctive hearse was followed by a procession of members of the Wisbech and District Motorcycle Club on their bikes.

Mr Cole, who lived in Brandon Creek, was a member of the club.

He died at the age of 59 of a rare cancer, malignant mesothelioma, on September 7.

The hearse came from a company set up by the Rev Paul Sinclair who believes people's lifestyles should be reflected in their funerals.

He has Britain's only fleet of motorcycle hearses.

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Earlier this week, Mr Cole's widow Karen said: "Our daughters are thrilled that he is being taken to church in a sidecar because he loved his bikes so much."

Mr Cole was educated in Ely and the couple were both living in Littleport when they met and married. Daughters Nadine Parr and Sharna Ayres both live in March.

Karen said: "His loves in life were his family and his bikes."

The family believe Richard may have contacted the disease while serving his apprenticeship as a carpenter.

Karen said: "Of course in those days people did not have to wear masks and things got into the lungs. It can lie dormant for 40 years. Richard had only been ill for nine weeks and never got to complete his radiotherapy."

Wisbech and District Motorcycle Club member Peter Quince said: "Richard joined the club after our move to the Golden Lion. He was a quietly spoken, gentle gentleman.

"It will be Manea Gala 2009 that will remain in my memory. In spite of his illness having already taken hold, Richard came along with his family.

"Their evident love for Richard was a joy to witness and I'm sure the thoughts of all of us are with them now.

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