A respected businessman was given a unique send off by being carried to his funeral on the family’s forklift truck.
By Mark Payne
The coffin of Tony Carr, of Wheatley Hill, was taken through the village to All Saints Church on the vehicle used in the family timber merchant business which he started.
It was driven by his son Jeremy as his family walked behind.
Tony passed away on Boxing Day aged 88 after suffering health issues including cancer.
Tony Carr being carried to his funeral at All Saints Church, Wheatley Hill.
Jeremy said: “He was a well respected man in the village. Everyone knew him.
"He bought the truck in 1980. About two or three years ago I said jokingly to him ‘when you go I’m going to take you to your funeral in it’.
"I stuck to my word.”
Born Herbert, his mother Edith changed his name to Tony as everyone called him ‘little Herbie’.
As a young man Tony showed a natural talent for construction quickly becoming an accomplished woodworker.
He started his first business Woodcrafts with only £27 from a small shop making doors, windows, sheds and greenhouses, building a good reputation in Wheatley Hill and surrounding villages.
He later built his own joinery manufacturing and machinist workshop renaming the business T. Carr Timber Merchants.
In 1961 he married the love of his life Rita after a five-year courtship and built their own home Warden Lodge.
Funurel of Tony Carr at All Saints Church, Wheatley Hill.
They had three children; the late Amanda, Jeremy and Victoria.
Recognising the trend in DIY he later acquired premises in Wheatley Hill and Horden turning them into shops employing over 20 people and working alongside some of his family.
He often donated time, money or materials to schools and community centres.
As co-founder and a key member of 2nd Wheatley Hill old scouts, Tony supplied and helped build what was to be the first scout headquarters in the country to have a licensed bar.
As he got older he took up golf and he and Rita enjoyed many holidays abroad.
They also loved spending time with their grandchildren Amy, the late Richard, Toni, Abbie, Emily and Charlotte, and great-grandchildren.
In his later years Tony liked nothing more than pottering about at Warden Lodge where there was always something to do.
Granddaughter Emily said: “However, his greatest joy in his last years was being beside his wife Rita.”