JCB send off for devoted driver Alan Yates

When Alan Yates makes his final journey he will be carried on his favourite kind of transport.

By Fiona Finch
Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 8:24 pm
Alan Yates pictured doing the job he loved
Alan Yates pictured doing the job he loved

A JCB will carry Alan's coffin from his home on Westfield Drive, Leyland to Charnock Richard crematorium.

It will be a fitting tribute to the 69 year old who died on July 10.

For Alan, who together with wife Jackie, used to run Leyland Conservative Club, had been a JCB and plant driver for many years.

Taking pride in a good catch - Alan was a keen fisherman

His former employers Blackledge Plant Hire stepped in to provide the JCB after learning of Alan's death.

Wife Jackie said: "I think it's fantastic because it was his life. He loved it.. He was well known for driving plant. He collected all the miniatures and a few weeks ago he gave all the (miniature) diggers away and he had had them for years."

Alan worked for Marland Brothers in Leyland, before joining the staff of Blackledge Plant Hire at Walton Summit.

Such was his devotion to his job and passion for diggers that his daughter arranged a special 60th birthday treat for him - a trip to the JCB factory where he was given a full tour, lunch and a special jacket.

Alan and Jackie pictured with children Craig and Julie at Alan's 50th birthday celebration

Originally from Manchester Alan was the eldest of 13 children, moving to Leyland at the age of around 10.

Alan had had three bouts of cancer, with the first when he was 38. He had a kidney removed in 2015 but a further cancer was discovered last December and despite an operation his condition deteriorated earlier this month and he opted to die at home. Jackie said: "We'd been together for 51 years and married for 48 years. He had a full life. I think it was just one battle too many. He was well liked by everybody."

Alan leaves Jackie, son Craig, daughter Julie Hogarth and two grandchildren Caitlin and Harvey.

Alan's main hobby was fishing and he enjoyed regular fishing trips with friends to Ireland.

He was a devoted grandfather and just five days before he died had taken both the grandchildren to school, as he had done regularly since retiring. Julie said: "He was just amazing. Dad was unique in his own special way."

The service sheet will contain a photo showing a grandchild holding a special cup the family had decorated with a saying of Alan's. It carries the words he used to say when the grandchildren interrupted him when he was having a rest: "Grandad isn't sleeping he's just resting his eyes."

The funeral will take place at 12.30 pm on July 29 at Charnock Richard crematorium.

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