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World’s first mini motorcycle hearse turns heads in Coseley

Halliwell has taken delivery of the most unusual vehicle in its history – and it’s been causing quite a stir with passers-by.

Nestled among the granite headstones and urns at the Coseley branch is a rare model of a mini motorcycle with a sidecar hearse.

Halliwell funeral arranger Sandra King pictured with mini motorcycle hearse turning heads in Coseley.

Halliwell funeral arranger Sandra King pictured with the mini motorcycle hearse which has been turning heads in Coseley.

The beautifully constructed model was the first of its type to be built in the world and funeral arranger Sandra King says it has been turning heads since it arrived.

“It’s become a real talking point with people stopping and staring at it. We’ve even had a couple of folks and lots of kids asking if it’s for sale!”

The replica is a reminder to people that they don’t necessarily have to take their last journey in a traditional limousine. There are alternative modes of transport available.

Increasingly families are organising personalised funerals for their loved ones and for many motorcycle enthusiasts their dying wish is to be conveyed on two wheels rather than four.

The real thing is ridden by Reverend Paul Sinclair, owner of Motorcycle Funerals Limited, which offers a choice of classic bikes to deliver the deceased to their final destination.

As he puts it, “Nobody would put an Everton fan in a Liverpool strip when they die, so why should a motorcycle enthusiast be last seen in a car?”

A keen biker himself, he came up with the idea for the business while recovering from a serious accident and now enjoys giving a ‘last blast’ not just to the departed leather-clad fraternity.

He has travelled all over the country with his motorcycle hearses for services, including three for Spitfire pilots and one for the last surviving despatch rider during the Coventry Blitz.

The vicar turned entrepreneur holds a Guinness world record, set in 2013

when he rode his Suzuki Hayabusa and an empty sidecar hearse at just over 126mph on a racing track. His fleet also includes a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide which featured in the funeral of Alan Turner on the TV soap Emmerdale.

Each one has a pillion seat for a family member, friend or funeral director to ride alongside the sidecar hearse which can carry a coffin or a casket.

Amanda Woodward, general manager of the Halliwell funeral division, said: “We have already carried out several motorcycle hearse funerals, including one for a man who was terminally ill. He saw a leaflet advertising the service in another of our branches and decided that was what he wanted. We also offer a range of other options to personalise funerals, such as colourful coffins. Quite a few people request a coffin in the colours of their favourite football team.”