Poignant send-off for Nelson motorcycle enthusiast

Funeral of Kevin Browne at Burnley Crematorium
Funeral of Kevin Browne at Burnley Crematorium

A motorcyle enthusiast from Nelson was given a poignant send-off as his body was transported by a Harley-Davidson to Burnley Crematorium.

The coffin of Kevin Browne (72) was taken from Helliwells Funeral Service Ltd, in Burnley Road, Colne, in the motorcycle’s sidecar.

The driver of the Harley Davidson was joined by Mr Browne’s son Steven, who wanted to be with his dad on his final ride.

Background noise from TT Races, which Mr Browne used to attend, was playing upon the arrival of a congregation of about 80.

The words to the former mill worker’s favourite song “Mr Tambourine Man” were also read during the service by his three children - Jane, Lisa and Steven. And an envelope full of forget me not seeds were given to all of Kevin’s family and friends.

The service was followed by a gathering at Carters and Motormen’s Club, in Leeds Road, Nelson. Lisa (41), of Valley Close, Nelson, said: “There was really good turn-out at the funeral. And when we arrived it just felt like we were at the TT Races, with bikes whizzing past.”

Mr Browne, who was also a grandfather of five and great-grandfather of two, died of pneumonia, after suffering a stroke around eight months previously.

Following his stroke he moved into Andrew Smith House, having previously lived in Valley Close.

Throughout his life, Mr Browne had a variety of jobs, including working in mills, as a telephone engineer and as a porter at Burnley General Hospital.

He also joined the merchant navy in 1959, after completing his training in Gloucester.

The former Whitefield Modern Secondary School student had motorcycles from being a teenager, and enjoyed attending and keeping up to date with races.

He was also a part of the Nelson branch of the Samaritans for 13 years and spent time as the secretary of Pendle Motorcycle Club. And the former member of Marsden Cross Football Team also enjoyed spending time at working men’s clubs in Nelson and Carleton.

Paying tribute Lisa added: “He was a very clever man and very quick-witted. He was just a really good friend to everyone.

“He was very young at heart - about 10 years ago he lied about his age so that he could do a bungee jump for charity at the Great Marsden. Wherever he could help he would. He will be greatly missed.”