HOW about this for a pukka send off? Fleetwood man Darren Abey has come up with a novel funeral hearse which is completely unique.
Darren, 45, of Oxford Road, already owned a yellow three wheeler Reliant Regal van, one of several used in classic sitcom Only Fools And Horses.
Then last year he hit upon a lovely jubbly idea after he obtained a yellow Reliant trailer to pull behind it for charity fund-raising missions.
Darren is a massive fan of the TV comedy series about wheeler dealer Del Boy who owns an old yellow Reliant, and he told the Weekly News: “Someone joked that I could use the van for funerals, and I thought it was a brilliant idea.
“And ever since then I have spent a lot of time and money making it happen.
“I had the trailer extended, re-painted and have worked with some of the best local craftsmen in the area to create a beautiful hearse.
“I have spent £13,000 altogether, but I think it’s worth every penny.
“These days some people seem to want their coffins and funerals to be more light-hearted, so I think there will be a lot of interest in this. It will bring a smile to loved ones’ faces.
“Only Fools and Horses is probably the most popular British sitcom ever, and there isn’t a hearse like this anywhere in the world.”
HGV driver Darren is all set to hire the vehicle out for funerals on the Fylde coast and all over the country, and has aptly called the business Only Fools and Hearses.
He has also set up a website to explain what’s on offer, and had the idea copyrighted.
He added: “I couldn’t have done this without the help and advice of Fleetwood undertaker Jason Dell and also monumental mason John Wilson, of Wyre Memorials. They have given me lots of advice about the funeral business.
“Similarly, local firms like joiners C & G Joinery and Northern Express Glass worked on the interior and windows to a massively high quality.”
Darren has already raised lots of money for charity Help For Heroes through the Reliant van, which he bought for £2,000 five years ago. Now the 1972 vehicle and the beautifully upholstered trailer are all ready to start a new career.
For details, visit www.onlyfoolsandhearses.com.