Santa’s final ride

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David Hall


We are pleased to host a series of posts, in monthly instalments, recounting the adventures of Vintage Lorry Funerals. Here’s the second.

Vintage Lorry Funerals took Santa Claus on his final journey in Bristol who was buried in his red uniform and black boots. It wasn’t Santa Claus, but a man who had played him in the local shopping malls during November & December. With his long white beard and rotund figure he was often recognised even without his red suite. He was even chosen to be Santa Claus for a party at a Spanish Hotel when young children thought he was Santa Claus on holiday whilst he was taking a well earned break in January.

As the Deceased lived by the waterfront in Bristol and had an interest in the Power Boat Races, his family bought an ‘Anchor’ as the main Floral Tribute which was displayed prominently with a chain attached to it. Every effort is taken to create an appropriate background for the main Tribute and a Family mourner remarked an Anchor isn’t an Anchor without a chain.

Two days before the funeral the Family asked if the Deceased’s Wheel Cover could be positioned against the head of the coffin. Whilst this would have been a simple task in a hearse, it was a little more complicated with the 1950 Leyland Beaver where the risk of the Wheel Cover flying off had to be eliminated.

David Hall, who owns Vintage Lorry Funerals, made a Support Structure specifically for the Wheel Cover which told everyone who was in the blue wicker coffin. The cortege stopped outside Brunels Buttery on the quayside where the Deceased had visited each day for his breakfast and his tea, which always included his favourite rock buns. It was at this location that the Deceased took ill and passed away, so many people congregated around the café.  When the lorry pulled under the canopy at South Bristol Crematorium the silence was broken by the sound of sleigh bells and the occasional ‘Ho Ho Ho’ from mourners wearing Santa Hats.

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