Funeral of 'true cornishman' Joe Letcher
A 'true Cornishman' who had a love of vintage buses and trucks has been laid to rest in style.
Treswithian Downs Crematorium was packed on Wednesday for the funeral of Joseph Letcher, who died in June aged 80.
The coffin containing the former Redruth postman and mine worker was taken to the service on the back of a 30-tonne articulated lorry cab – covered in a Cornish flag – with friends and family following close behind in a Bedford van.
“He always had a love for Bedford buses and old cars and lorries,” said his granddaughter, Caroline Colwill.
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“He had a conservative full of vintage car and bus models at his home.
“So we didn’t want hearses or funeral cars – we wanted to send him off in style.
The truck cab, decorated in iconic Cornish images, was owned by close friend and haulage company owner, Neil Hart, who had built a crate especially for the funeral.
“He used to spend loads of time with Neil, he was crazy about trucks.
“Hopefully he would be proud, that is what he would have wanted.”
Mr Letcher was born in Illogan Downs. He married a Welsh woman, who quickly adapted to Cornish life and traditions.
“My gran would make up to 13 pasties every Wednesday,” said Ms Colwill.
“That is why we had the funeral on a Wednesday because that is what he called pasty day.
“My granddad was a true Cornishman.”
Mr Letcher was well-known locally – as Joe – thanks to his job as a Redruth postman, delivering to the areas of Illogan and Carharack from 1973 until he retired in 1996.
After the funeral service, which ended with the song, Up Camborne Hill, family and friends celebrated his life at Heathcoat Social Club with yeast cake, saffron cake and pasties.
On his birthday in September, his family will scatter his ashes on Carn Brea.