Sea Breezes reader, Glyn Fisher, was taken to Cwmbran Crematorium by Vintage Lorry Funerals’ 1950 Leyland Beaver Lorry, fulfilling Glyn’s expressed wish of not going on his final journey in a black hearse.
Glyn Fisher started his working life on the tugboats in Newport Harbour during 1959 as a deckhand on the Dunraven and Dunheron. Glyn then progressed to the Merchant Navy and one of his first sailings on the Garthfield involved taking equipment for the new Nuclear Power Station near Snowdon, docking at Porthmadog. The Garthfield was a coaster and Glyn’s ports of call included Douglas (IOM), Millom (Cumbria), Liverpool and the Clyde. However, family problems about him being away from home for long periods caused Glyn to leave the sea and he became a lorry driver.
Although Glyn earned his living behind a steering wheel, he missed his time on the water. He developed a passionate interest in tugboats, partly because Daniel Lynch who had worked with him as a deckhand on the Dunraven was now a tugmaster, working for a company which operated along the South Wales coast. Daniel supplied Glyn with tugboat magazines and his Sea Breezes Magazine each month which he avidly read in his caravan on the coast at Porthkerry. Glyn was also given the opportunities of occasional trips on tugs pulling ships into Newport with timber and Swansea with iron ore for Port Talbot Steelworks. He also had two tugboat models which accompanied him in his coffin.
When Glyn passed away his daughter was given a task of finding an option to a black hearse. Alison researched the internet and found that Vintage Lorry Funerals could personalise the final journey of a loved one using the 21ft x 7ft space on the deck of the flat-bed. Alison spoke with David Hall, who operates Vintage Lorry Funerals and told him that she was having a ‘tugboat’ as the family’s main floral tribute, along with a coffin spray. David described the scene he could create using the coffin and coffin spray as if they were an ocean going liner, which could have appeared to being eased through the harbour entrance by a ‘tugboat’. Alison thought that this concept was brilliant and provided David with the contact details of Athena Florists in Cwmbran who made the ‘tugboat’ floral tribute from a designer board using a picture which Alison provided. David built up a good working relationship with Sally at Athena Flowers and she sent him a diagram of the ‘tugboat’ so that he could make a wooden structure the same shape as the ‘Tugboat’, which would make the floral tribute appear to be floating unsupported.
Glyn was a Billy Fury fan and it was very poignant that Halfway to Paradise was playing as Glyn’s coffin left the deck of the 1950 Leyland Beaver. Glyn is deeply missed by his daughter Alison, son-in-law Ian, granddaughter Gabbi, niece Gemma and nephew Alex together with his friends and mates from the Newport area.
DAVID H HALL