Pat’s Last Run pays tribute to Leighton Buzzard classic vehicle enthusiast – Leighton Buzzard Observer
Pat Treadaway, 74, died on November 22 after a brave fight with pancreatic cancer, and his final journey to Bierton Crematorium was a fitting tribute to his past. On Saturday, December 12, more than 30 classic vehicles, including a 1952 MG Y-type saloon and a 1945 US Army truck, carrying the family members, followed Pat on his last run in the back of his 1969 Bedford CA pick-up truck. The procession travelled through Leighton Buzzard town centre and many people were out on the pavements to pay their last respects.
Pat’s son, Pete Treadaway, said: “This is exactly what dad wanted to do for his last ride, and the entire family is so grateful to everyone who took part.
The turnout was all that he would have wished for and more.” The Leighton Buzzard fire brigade even brought out one of their engines to pay their roadside respects to Pat, who was often invited to bring one of his own vintage fire engines to the fire station open days. Things did not go entirely to plan, however, when the hearse leading the procession went the wrong way right from the start!
Pete said: “If I am to be honest, I don’t think I explicitly told the hearse driver the route we had so carefully planned. You know what they say about assumptions!”
Clockwise from top left: Pat with his truck; Thomas in the truck on Saturday; the coffin; fireman’s helmet on Pat’s coffin.
The convoy halted on Stoke Road for about 15 minutes to let the hearse find them again and take its place at the front. Pat’s daughter, Laura Debrick, said: “It was hilarious – exactly the sort of shenanigans we expect from dad!”
Pete and Laura led the service, with several friends and relatives invited to share some stories of their life with Pat. One of Pat’s oldest friends from the classic vehicle rally days, Mike Caine, said: “I’m not sure if I should say this, but this is the best funeral I have ever been to.” The service was limited to 30 people, but many friends stayed on in the car park to listen to the livestream of the service; one even brewed up a pot of tea on his camping stove.
“We have come to accept that we are not a ‘normal’ family,” said Laura. “So this was such a fitting celebration of dad’s life. In his own words, he would be ‘well chuffed’.” Pat’s last request was that his ashes be thrown into the firebox of a steaming railway locomotive at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, where Pat was a founder member in 1969.
The family have arranged this and the event will hopefully take place ‘post Covid’ in 2021.
Photos and videos of the day will be uploaded to a website set-up in memory of Pat’s life and works at www.patslastrun.com
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