BUSES FOR SAYING GOODBYE
updated 22nd January 2013
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Departing in Style
It is with great sadness that we report that Mrs Thornton has passed away. She was a regular on our daytrips for many years and we were always pleased to see her. Despite having mobility problems and bringing along her walking frame, Mrs Thornton never complained and always participated fully in our day trip itineries. The funeral was held at Baginton Church at 2pm on Wednesday 16th January 2013. The Church was full, and with more people attending than were expected, there was shortage of service booklets.
The Vicar David Wintle conducted the service and gave an interesting life story of this very active lady, mentioning that from an early age she used Midland Red buses regularly to see her relatives in rural Herefordshire, joining Midland Red's long distance X91 bus from Coventry and being looked after by the Bus Conductor, and five hours later being met by her Aunty. In more recent years she was using our own buses and coaches on our heritage day trips as late as December! We have lost a good customer and a lovely lady. Representing Midland Red Coaches at the funeral was Conductor Chad Brown and Ashley Wakelin.
When the email and call came into the office, it was clear that there was a very clear and well thought out plan for the occasion of celebrating the life of the late James Butlin.
James Butlin was involved in many organisations, most transport-related in one way or another. This theme was celebrated vividly on the day with the only rule being that no vehicle's era involved in the procession should be younger than James himself. The Hearse from the 1930's came from Kent; a local Northampton Corporation double decker from a nearby preservation group; and other vehicles included large recovery vehicles, lorries including some steam operated vehicles - all playing a part in James' life. James was the main commentator at many local rallies and was known by thousands of people.
Our unique Charabanc followed the Hearse and the whole procession was guided through streets of Irthlingborough, Finedon and Rushden by the experts in traffic styling - the motorcyle policemen from Northampton Police. James worked for the police and played an important role in the specials.
The start and end point was The Diamond Centre at Nene Park - the place the Charabanc picked up everyone from, and the location for the overwhelming occasion of the wake where the world and his friend packed in to say goodbye and sign the book of remembrance.
On the Highway to Heaven ?
When we received the initial enquiry from Julie Water's partner, we knew a lot of thought was being given to her final journey. A bright red Midland Red D9 double decker was chosen as Julie had never liked the idea of going alone in a black traditional hearse. She even had a special "Bus Stop" sign made to stand beside the bus at each stopping point, and the bus displayed Julie's favourite number - No 4.
Julie's coffin was brilliant white with pictures featuring people from Julie's life beautifully imprinted on its sides.
First on board was Julie having pride of place at the front of the lower deck. The coffin adorned with displays of flowers including 45 red roses - one for each year of her life. Other floral tributes were placed at the rear side windows where they were visible to onlookers. At Julie's house the full busload of Mourners each with their own special commemorative bus ticket slowly boarded saying their last goodbyes to Julie.
The funeral service was held at St Chads in Sutton Coldfield where the bus was met by the Vicar. Following the service, an emotional committal ceremony was held at Streetly Crematorium, then afterwards, outside and next to the bus, the releasing of Doves. The family and friends were then taken by Midland Red bus to the wonderful New Hall Hotel in Sutton Coldfield.
For established Funeral Directors Ian Hazel of Sutton Coldfield, it was their first funeral involving a double decker bus and it created a very dignified departure from the Church, with Ian Hazel himself and Amy Hazel escorting the bus. Midland Red Coaches wish to thanks Ian Hazel Funeral Directors for their cooperation and their professionalism in the organising of this special funeral for fun-loving Mum of two Julie. We send our thoughts to partner Julie, children Megan and Frankie, and all those people missing Julie Waters.
This funeral attracted articles in The Sun, The Mirror, and Birmingham Mail.
Special Thanks to Ian Hazel Funeral Directors of Sutton Coldfield and photographer Gerry McLaughlin of GML Design of Sutton Coldfield.
Please discuss your individual ideas or wishes with us..... we can usually make it happen ! Midland Red Coaches (our email address is email@example.com)
Make it a time to Remember - Make it Special
MIDLAND RED COACHES have experience in organising both Religious and Non Religious Ceremonies and can offer help in ensuring that you have the day, the transport and the type of service that you would like to celebrate the life of your loved one.
We can help organise Venues, Musicians, Singers, Bands (Jazz or Brass), Food, and of course the classic bus and coach transport that is the unique part of our service. We work with your funeral directors if required - if you are unsure ask them to contact us.
We can even produce special "Story of Life" leaflets celebrating the life of the one close and recently departed. These simple leaflets are special momentos and are so often treasured by guests. We have vast experience in our industry over the past three decades. We use British-built buses, and our service is unique in the Midlands in providing personalised and special transport arrangements.
A Last Journey or Final Wish
Unique arrangements for someone special
Midland Red is a name that is synonymous with quality and service and is a name well respected over many years - it conjures up a particular place and time.
We make that time very special.
Our heritage fleet of classic British made
buses and coaches and our experienced staff with uniformed Drivers, all go to
make funeral transport with Midland Red a most memorable day.
Please discuss your individual ideas with us..... we can usually make it happen !
Memories are made of this
It sounds strange, but there is nothing more linked to life than death. How we commemorate Death is very varied - some are solemn affairs, others respectful reflections of life, and some quite brash, bright and cheerful occasions, but all remembering someone special.
It's an often avoided subject, yet the ways in which people are commemorated are all around us every day - statues, street names, monuments, park benches, trees etc. Someone close often retains a special artifact, or a lock of hair in a brooch. In history, Queen Victoria had Mourning Cards to celebrate her passing.
Everyone copes with death in a different and individual way. We all have something to enable us to cope with death, whether beliefs, customs or friends, but it all leaves us with memories to be treasured for all time.
In the majority of cases you will need to consider getting the mourners to the ceremony on time, and transport by Midland Red will ensure they all arrive together. We can arrange for Order of Service leaflets to be distributed on the bus and help in any other way we can.
We can personalise the front destination board or blinds of the bus to show the names of the person being remembered - this has proved a very welcomed 'extra' if you plan to use the bus as a backdrop to any memorable photographs taken by mourners. We can also include the date of the funeral day on a second blind too.
We do understand that you may only have short notice to make your plans and arrangements, so do contact us as soon as you can so that we can help you make the wishes and plans come true.
This unique Midland Red service is also very suitable for Memorial Services, Remembrance Services, and traditional burial or cremation ceremonies.
Please talk to us about helping to make this day a memorable one - Here are some tips to consider:
When you email us or call with your enquiry, please give us as much detailed information as you can. At this stage of your enquiry is just that, and we want to gather all the information together of what you would like to happen to make the day work best, and to get you an accurate cost based against the information you give to us.
Please give us the following information - it helps us to get costings and details worked out accurately for you without having to trouble you too much for more information.
Please remember - at this stage there is no obligation. We will then
send to you our Email of Costing document (if you don't have email - then we
will respond the quickest way possible at the time). This will detail your
requirements as we understand them,
show costings for the vehicle of your choice or vehicle(s) available at the time, and give you information
on How to Make a Reservation. If you decide to go ahead with your plans, you return the
document to us signed, along with payment, and then your booking is accepted and
your chosen vehicle is held
against your booking date and times. A straightforward, and
fail-safe system which will ensure that your arrangements are provided and that
any special wishes are respected..
Before you email us with an enquiry or booking, please check our fleet list on the Our Vehicles page and let us know which vehicle you feel to be most suitable. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Funerals and Transport for Remembrance Ceremonies
Red's stylish vehicles for those who are looking to provide something unique to
remember that special person in your life.
We are no ordinary bus and coach company. We organise a wide range of special transport services for Funerals and Remembrance Services. Our classic vehicles decked in black ribbons and with our arrangement of white Lilies make for a most respectful and memorable celebration of life.
Please discuss your individual ideas or wishes with us..... we can usually make it happen !
We have experience in the organising of both Religious and Non Religious Ceremonies and can offer help in ensuring that you can have the type of service that you would like.
We can help organise Venues, Musicians, Singers, Bands (Jazz or Brass), Food, and of course the classic bus and coach transport that is the unique part of our service.
We can even produce special "Story of Life" leaflets celebrating the life of the one close and recently departed. These simple leaflets are special momentos and are so often treasured by guests. We have vast experience in our industry over the past three decades. We use British built buses, and our service is unique in the Midlands in providing personalised and special transport arrangements.
ASTON FIELDS MAN’S SAD DEATH
Behind the funeral of an Aston Fields bus conductor, which took place at Bromsgrove on Wednesday, there lies the story of a Tardebigge war-time romance that has now come to an exceedingly tragic end.
Richard Daniel Sibley, a tall and well-built young London man, joined The 2nd Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment in the early days of the war, and after being twice wounded in France, he was invalided out in 1918, having gained the rank of corporal. Tardebigge Village Hall during the days of the hostilities was converted into a military hospital, and it was there that Sibley was restored to health.
At that time Mr and Mrs Wade were the caretakers of the Hall, and a friendship was formed between Miss Wade and Corporal Sibley. Seven months after the cessation of hostilities, on June 25th 1919 to be exact, the two were married at Tardebigge Church. For some time during recent years Mr and Mrs Sibley made their home at 8, Rigby Lane, Aston Fields, and there is a family of three young children, the youngest of whom is a baby 5 months old, and the eldest 8 years.
Mr Sibley commenced employment with the Midland Red Bus Company eight years ago, and as a conductor he proved very popular with his workmates, and gained the respect of the public for his courtesy and geniality. Last week he was unwell, but he stuck to his work – he is described by a comrade as one of the best, and one who would never let anything beat him. On Wednesday of last week, however, he became dangerously ill. After returning from an evening service route from Birmingham, he collapsed at the Bromsgrove garage of the company, and was at once relieved by a friend and neighbour of his, Mr J Allcock. Mr Sibley was conveyed to the Cottage Hospital and operated on late the same night for appendicitis. The operation was quite successful, but peritonitis set in, and he passed away early on Friday afternoon.
Mr Sibley, who was 37 years of age, was one of the most prominent members of the Bromsgrove Midland Red Social Club, being goalkeeper for the football team and wicket-keeper at cricket. He was a good billiards player, leading the busman’s side in their matches, besides which he played for Aston Fields Workmen’s Club a year or two ago.
The funeral took place on Wednesday, and was the first complete "busman’s funeral" at Bromsgrove. A "Midland Red" omnibus was used as a hearse, hung with crepe inside, with crepe draped round the doorway and over the engine and on the brasswork of the body, with its wheels blackened and showing black direction boards. Some forty of Mr Sibley’s old comrades attended and drew up in two ranks while the coffin was borne between them and passed into the body of the bus through the safety door. The bearing party were drivers L Huskins, E Jackson, D Pearson and H Dancocks, and Conductors A Holdsworth, A H Williams, J Abbott and E Mitchell. Driver A Hingley was in charge of the hearse.
The drivers in attendance were in their brown uniforms, and the officials and conductors in blue. They marched behind the coaches.
The funeral procession made its way with measured slowness along the New Road into Bromsgrove, and continued via St John’s Street to the Parish Church for the service. The mourners were Mrs Sibley (widow), Mr J Sibley (brother), Mrs Turner, Mrs Morris, Mrs White, Mrs Cole and Miss Sibley (all of London, sisters), Mrs Wade (mother-in-law), Mr and Mrs Holt (brother-in-law and sister-in-law), Miss Gale (Redditch), Mr C Ayre DCM (an old war-time comrade), and Mr J Inston (representing Driver Rose).
The Bromsgrove representatives of the Bus Company were Resident Inspector H K Howse, Foreman H Hooton and Assistant Foreman Marshall Timekeeper Botfield, Timekeeper Adams, Drivers J H Stirzaker, H Moran, E Higley, G Wise, W Lawrence, W Holdsworth, H Wilde, W Hill and S Good, Conductors G Allerton, J Whiting,
R Harris, S G Wilkes, H Greaves, E G Nash, H Rolinson, T Ackroyd, J Allcock and E Fielden. The garage staff were represented by Messrs G Hall, R Lewis, W Stanton, R Buckley, J Ward, W Halfpenny, H Cook. Inspector H Hunter came from Redditch and Inspector A C Roberts from Hartshill, while the Worcester Garage sent Resident Inspector Tipping and Conductors H Bosley, J H Attwood and W Finch.
The Curate (the Rev R W Whitehouse) conducted the funeral service.
Included in the wreaths sent were:- "His devoted Wife and Children"; Mum, Daisy and Bess; Loving Sisters Annie and May; Captain W B Scobell (of Kingwell Hall, Bath, who was Mr Sibley’s commanding officer in the army and "best man" at his wedding); Harry Blower (Wolverhampton); Mrs Cole and Myra; Mr and Mrs E A Roe (Bromsgrove);Mrs Cleaton, Doris and George; Mr and Mrs Frank Hunt and family; Jack Inston (Bromsgrove); Friends and neighbours; Bert Norris’ mother (Mrs A Kendall); Bert Norris’s sister (Mrs A Crawford); Engineering Department, Bromsgrove Garage; Traffic Department, Bromsgrove Garage; Inspector Hunter and men from Bearwood Garage working Redditch D
istrict – "respected by all"; Redditch Division, Worcestershire Constabulary; and Worcester Garage. The undertakers were Messrs T and E Grey, Bromsgrove.
We would be pleased to hear from anyone who recognises any of the names listed above - any information will be passed on to the family of the Midland Red bus conductor Richard Sibley. Updates will be given as things develop. Thank you.
Midland Red - as individual and as
special as you would like it to be
Picture 1, Special dispensation for a special Funeral. The wishes were for his last journey to be on a red double decker - and that is exactly what happened, with special permission sought to carry the coffin on board. Picture 3 shows the arrival at the Church service in City Centre Stafford. Picture 2, shows a special destination blind display for a funeral service in Coventry.
We know that we may be needed at short notice - please discuss your requirements as soon as possible and we will do all we can to help.
Call Ashley on 077 3388 4914 or 02476 633624
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