Goodbye number 12 - Send off to dedicated 4x4 response member

Former 4x4 response volunteer Christopher Jones' funeral parade travelling along Marine Parade in Go

Former 4x4 response volunteer Christopher Jones' funeral parade travelling along Marine Parade in Gorleston. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

A poignant clifftop guard of honour was formed as part of tributes to a founding member of the region's 4x4 response team. 

Christopher Jones, from Gorleston, was the 12th person to join the Norfolk and Suffolk 4x4 Response Team when it started in 1999.

The charity was founded by Great Yarmouth resident Ralph Hardwick and his brother and has grown into a UK-wide service of 32 teams.

Before the funeral service at Great Yarmouth Crematorium on Wednesday, members from the 4x4 team, Norfolk Lowland Rescue and the Northamptonshire branch of the charity formed a guard of honour along the cliff top.

Volunteers from the 4x4 response team lining Marine Parade in Gorleston for former member Christophe

Volunteers from the 4x4 response team lining Marine Parade in Gorleston for former member Christopher Jones' funeral. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

The 73-year-old died on April 19 after being diagnosed with a brain tumour and has been remembered by his family as their "little rock".

Mr Jones' daughter Helen Hodgins said it was the perfect send off for her Land Rover loving dad. 

She said: "He was number 12. When they started up they were a smallish group and it has grown over the years. 

Tributes have been paid to Christopher Jones.

Tributes have been paid to Christopher Jones. - Credit: Helen Hodgins

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"He still paid his membership and would try to go to the AGM if he could. He did enjoy it.

"He always loved Land Rovers and had many over the years. He said it was nice to be able to do something with it other than drive it on the roads."

Mr Jones, known as Chris or CJ, attended school in the town and went on to work as a tradesman for all his life, working on projects until last June.

Volunteers from the 4x4 response team lining Marine Parade in Gorleston for former member Christophe

Volunteers from the 4x4 response team lining Marine Parade in Gorleston for former member Christopher Jones' funeral. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Volunteers from the 4x4 response team lining Marine Parade in Gorleston

Volunteers from the 4x4 response team lining Marine Parade in Gorleston for former member Christopher Jones' funeral. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Mrs Hodgins said: "He talked to everybody and anybody. He was honest and he would tell it as it was. 

"People have said I knew your dad and respected him, all the tradies loved him. 

"He was fun, loving, had an amazing sense of humour and kind. Both my aunt and I called him our little rock as he has been there for both of us. We would go to see him, just to have a chat and he would sort the problem out."

Former 4x4 response volunteer Christopher Jones' funeral parade travelling along Marine Parade in Go

Former 4x4 response volunteer Christopher Jones' funeral parade travelling along Marine Parade in Gorleston. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Former 4x4 response volunteer Christopher Jones' funeral parade

Former 4x4 response volunteer Christopher Jones' funeral parade travelling along Marine Parade in Gorleston. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

The keen fisherman, who picked up carpentry skills from his father, renovated his boat the Almond Queen, which he would take out to fish along the Broads. 

Luke Pell, from the Northamptonshire 4X4 response team, said: "He's a founding member of the umbrella group that supports the whole country. 

"We are able to give each other help and support our colleagues out of area that has lost one of their founding fathers."



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