Dereham bids farewell to legendary stock car racer Horry Barnes
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019
A Dereham stalwart and stock car racing legend was given a stirring send-off as hundreds gathered to pay their respects.
The town stood still on Friday and bowed its head to Horace 'Horry' Barnes, who died at the age of 90 last month.
A familiar face on the stock car circuit for more than 50 years, Mr Barnes' death triggered an outpouring of emotion from the racing community.
Moving tributes were paid at meetings in Skegness, Great Yarmouth and Arlington, with drivers forming a letter 'H' to salute a true gentleman of the sport.
Mr Barnes' love for racing was passed on to his family and four generations have followed in his footsteps, including his son, Willie, himself a European champion.
As the funeral procession advanced towards St Nicholas Parish Church, Willie clutched a model of one of his father's famous stock cars.
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They were led by flag-bearers from the Royal British Legion, a nod to Mr Barnes' time in the Royal Navy as a young man.
During the service one of Mr Barnes' granddaughters, Lucy, thanked the hundreds of people for coming and read a moving tribute to the racing icon.
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"Your attendance speaks volumes about the impact my grandad had on us all," she said. "Most knew him as Horry, the greatest stock car racer of all."
She went on to recount Mr Barnes' life, detailing his stint in the Navy and various jobs including with the Mid-Norfolk Railway in Dereham and as a self-employed scrap dealer in his later years.
But his "real passions" in life were racing and an unrelenting determination to make for his ever-growing family.
"He enjoyed racing at all the tracks, but his favourites were Great Yarmouth, Ipswich and Wimbledon. Many times he and his fellow drivers would meet up and travel together to race meetings across the country.
"Before going into hospital he stayed in Yarmouth one last time and enjoyed a few too many Newcastle Browns.
"He loved having such a big family around him. As a family we always get together on Boxing Day and he had such a great time and enjoyed every minute of it."
Those in attendance were then invited to Dereham Town Football Club for a celebration of Mr Barnes' life.