Yesterday was Jem Marsh’s funeral, down at Bradford-on-Avon. It was a sad day of course, but also a great celebration of his life & achievements. I took the day off & set off from Manchester about 0645 hours,aiming to meet up at 1130 hours in Frome with a few other owners who were bringing their cars along too. Jem’s wife Lynn had asked if we would join the funeral cortege & give Jem a suitably noisy send off through BoA. Trip there & back was faultless from the car, however driver error meaning I over shot the turnoff on the M4 (too busy enjoying the music to hear the SatNav :oops:) so the last 15 miles were definitely the scenic route… Anyway I made it with half an hour to spare & had only been beaten to the pub car park meet point by Jay in his fantastic fliptone converted Mantis Challenge car. We were joined by another six Marcos cars of various eras, & had a good chat before jumping into the driving seats to await the passing of the hearse & family car.
This was a bit premature & we had relaxed again (& immobilisers had timed in 😅) when the funeral cars suddenly arrived around the bend in road!
An old school Le Mans style start ensued & I ended up immediately behind the family car, leading the Marcos convoy. I have to say that I’m very proud to have done this – a great honour & privilege. We wended our way through the lanes & into BoA, miraculously keeping all the cars together despite various junctions & traffic lights. Other drivers were very considerate, & we made our way through several single lane pinch points in the town without having to stop, before pulling up away from the houses into the final furlong. The cars carrying the family & Jem turned into the cemetery, leaving the Marcos cars peeling away to head back into BoA where we parked up before descending on a handy pub for non-alcholic refreshment.
At 1400 we walked round to Holy Trinity Church which was packed out. An amazing setting by the river, with perfect blue sky & some unexpected spring warmth from the sun. The service itself was lovely with very affectionate & often amusing takes on Jem’s life. Afterwards we walked back to the the station car park to jump in the cars and drive up to the golf club for nibbles & a last catch up before we went our separate ways.
I got back about 2100 having recorded a couple of 20+ mpg figures (comparing favourably to 12 mpg this week when commuting! 😰). A long day but well worth the trip. No car trouble but best of all fantastic to see a lot of other Marcos owners & reminisce a little about Jem. He & his cars have made our lives all the more interesting. RIP Jem Marsh.