Town gives guard of honour to "loving" Ben, 20, as he makes his final journey through Bamber Bridge

Bamber Bridge came to a standstill this morning as Ben Smith made his final journey through the town.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 2:16 pm
Updated Friday, 5th March 2021, 2:46 pm

Because of Covid restrictions at Charnock Richard Crematorium, dozens of his friends instead lined Station Road with flowers, balloons and pictures of Ben, 20, who died following a road incident there on February 11.

Joining the procession was a group of motorcyclists - a nod to Ben’s love of speed.

At the crematorium, Ben’s wicker coffin was taken in to Marvin Gaye’s ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’, and had a motorbike helmet and a hairdryer on top.

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Friends of Ben showing their love for him on the roadside

Celebrant Alison Sandham spoke of Ben’s love of warming himself with a hairdryer or hot showers, and playfully remarked in her closing speech: “May your soul be forever warmed by the heavenly hairdryer of peace”.

She also spoke of Ben’s “beautiful blue eyes”, his “infectious smile” and his devotion to family, especially his four-year-old daughter.

She said: “There is no doubt, despite his young age, that he burned so very, very brightly through his life and this will shine on for all time.”

The congregation laughed as she spoke of Ben being “a nightmare” as a child, and how he loved designer clothes and pulling wheelies on his bikes.

Balloons were released after his courtege passed

She also said how popular, polite and well-mannered he was, and how he’d enjoyed an apprenticeship in carpentry and joinery.

A statement read aloud, written by Ben's parents Paula and Martin said: “Of all the special gifts in life, great or small, to have you as our son was the greatest gift of all.”

His funeral ended with a reading of The Brightest Star and the Motown song Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.

Ms Sandham said Ben would "party on into eternity with the angels".

Bikers who knew Ben joined the procession
The town paid it's respects
Floral tributes were left in Station Road, close to where he died
Covid regulations stopped more than 30 people attending the funeral