More than 800 expected at funeral of well-known Romany gypsy Arthur Kidd
- Credit: Archant
Tributes have been paid to Romany gypsy Arthur Kidd after he died of prostate cancer at the age of 79.
More than 800 people are expected to attend the funeral on Friday of a man, known throughout Britain, who used to often walk into pubs with a horse.
Mr Kidd was born in a railway carriage in Saxthorpe, near Aylsham, and has lived in houses and caravans in Sheringham, Saxthorpe, Norwich and Briston.
Mr Kidd was given his name after the then landlord of The Three Horse Shoes pub in Saxthorpe, named Arthur, promised Mr Kidd's father Sidney that he would buy a round of drinks for everyone if he named his boy after him.
Mr Kidd travelled all over the country to gypsy fairs.
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He worked in partnership with his brother Douglas, who is now 75 and living in Fakenham.
Mr Kidd's daughter Richenda Graves said: 'There were not many places you could go where someone didn't know Arthur.
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'Once he was on a cruise near Australia and he was recognised by an auctioneer.
'He was so well-known because he was such a huge character. It was said that he could sell sand to the Arabs and snow to the Eskimos.
'He mainly dealt with horses and trailers but he sold pretty much anything from lawn mowers to land, and he was very good at it.
'His family was very important to him and he regularly joked that he would sell anything but his three children.
'He often walked into pubs with a horse. He got away with it because he had the gift of the gab.'
She added: 'Arthur was always smartly dressed in a suit and tie and he was respectful to everyone – no matter if you were a gypsy or the Queen herself, he would treat you the same way.
'He was larger than life itself and loved a good party.'
Mr Kidd died surrounded by his family on October 15 in his daughter Richenda's Briston home.
He is being kept there in a coffin until the day of the funeral, when he will be buried with his first wife Jennifer, with whom he had three children – Joe, Teresa and Richenda.
Mr Kidd's family said he always enjoyed being surrounded by people in life so they are ensuring that somebody is always by his side.
After Mr Kidd's first wife Jennifer died, he married Lorraine.
As well has his three children he had eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
The funeral is open to all who knew Mr Kidd.
There will be a procession from Mrs Graves' home at 36 Reepham Road, Briston, to St Andrew's Church in Saxthorpe. The procession is due to start at 1.30pm and the funeral will be followed by a wake at Briston Sports and Social Club where everyone is welcome to join Mr Kidd's family in celebrating his life.