Funeral procession of Royal Mail vans for postman of 33 years takes place in Sussex

Social distancing measures meant Mr Brooksbank's colleagues couldn't be at the crematorium

A postman who worked for the Royal Mail for 33 years before his death was given a fitting send off on Tuesday as a fleet of red vans turned out for a goodbye procession.

Colleagues drove 14 postal vans behind the hearse at John Brooksbank’s funeral in Horsham, West Sussex on 21 April.

Mr Brooksbank died of brain cancer but because of the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, social-distancing measures were in place at his funeral.

His son-in-law Peter Reeve said: “He was well known by locals across the district from the various post routes he held over the years.”

Reeve said his colleagues had come together to give him the “send off he deserved” at the Crawley crematorium.

“The family would like to thank all the posties in Horsham for their care and support throughout John’s illness and for coming to honour him in such a beautiful way.

“He would have loved to see the post vans lined up in the sun like that.”

Becky Hughes of Freeman Brothers funeral directors said: “Obviously this gentleman’s colleagues would have attended his funeral under different circumstances.

“However we were very happy to facilitate this unique and memorable display of remembrance for him.

“It shows that even in these very difficult times all that’s needed is ingenuity and willingness to ask what can be done.”

The government has not outright banned funerals during the lockdown but has closed all places of worship and stopped weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies.

Official guidelines say that only members of the deceased person’s household or close family should attend the funeral and mourners should practice social distancing, standing two metres apart.

Public Health England (PHE) issued specific guidelines telling organisers to limit the number of attendees and the Church of England has banned funerals in Anglican churches.

In some places local councils stepped in; on 4 April Bradford, Leeds and Kirklees councils said families will no longer be able to attend services.

A former Welsh Assembly member, Lorraine Barrett has said funerals should be outright prohibited in Wales.

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