Update and photo gallery: An emotional farewell to Jack Richards - Norfolk’s king of the road

A vintage Jack Richards 1954 Bedford S type lorry carrying Jack Richard's coffin on his final journey around Fakenham. Picture: Matthew Usher. A vintage Jack Richards 1954 Bedford S type lorry carrying Jack Richard's coffin on his final journey around Fakenham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
7:23 PM

It was a poignant final journey for Norfolk’s king of the road.

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Family’s pride at final farewell

Jack Richards’ son described today as “an amazing day” which will be remembered in Fakenham for many years.

Anthony Richards said: “It has been an amazing day, I’m just sorry dad couldn’t be here to see it.

“The procession through the town made me very proud. I’m sure it will be remembered in Fakenham for a long time.

“Fakenham Town Band’s performance at the thanksgiving service was amazing and it really has been a beautiful send-off.”

He added: “It has been a very emotional day for the family. Gladys (Jack’s widow) had a bad fall during the week and we weren’t sure that she was going to make it today but she’s been incredible.

“Today gives us great comfort as a family. It has been very humbling to read in the newspaper all the kind things people have had to say.

“I wasn’t aware that Fakenham held my father in such high regard.”

It was a poignant final journey for Norfolk’s king of the road.

Applause rang out in Fakenham today as the town bade farewell to haulage entrepreneur Jack Richards.

Ahead of his funeral in King’s Lynn, Mr Richards’ coffin was driven around Fakenham on one of his company’s vintage 1954 Bedford S type lorries.

This was followed by a parade of the unmistakable golden yellow lorries which his company, Jack Richards and Son, has used over the years right up to the present day.

More than 200 people gathered in Fakenham Market Place to witness Mr Richards’ final journey and many clapped in appreciation of his service to the town.

Mr Richards came to Fakenham 43 years ago with five vehicles and built up a multi-million pound road transport company,

Mr Richards, the former president of the Fakenham and District Branch of the Royal British Legion and Fakenham Town Band, died last month following a period of ill health.

After the funeral, hundreds of people filled Fakenham Parish Church for an emotional service of thanksgiving.

The rector of Fakenham, rev Adrian Bell said: “Jack’s wonderful smiling face was seen everywhere in Fakenham and he touched so many lives.

“He did so many things for this town with great skill and he always had a great sense of people skills.”

Referring to the fire which gutted the former Aldiss building, just metres from the church nine days before, Mr Bell said: “We almost weren’t able to hold this service here today and I’m sure Jack would have been the first person to thank the fire-fighters for their bravery.”

During the service, Mr Richards’ granddaughter Lisa Richards, said: “If I had to sum up my memories of my grandfather in one word it would be ‘pride.’

“He felt it was important to be proud of who you are and to take pride in everything you do.”

Denny Harvey, 77, a friend of Mr Richards for 30 years, who was known as his right hand man, said afterwards: “Jack has been given a really great send-off.

“I know Jack, himself, would have been very pleased with it.”

How do you think Fakenham should honour Mr Richards’ memory? E mail adam.lazzari@archant.co.uk

1 comment

  • A true gent this man.Pleasure to take on holiday by coach was always lookin out for his men!!Be sadly missed.R.I.P Jack.Topman.

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    padster

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

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