Family and friends pay tribute to Chippenham bus driver Duncan Manns at emotional funeral

This Is Wiltshire: Chippenham bus driver Duncan Manns, who died on February 14 Chippenham bus driver Duncan Manns, who died on February 14

Bus driver Duncan Manns’ son led his funeral procession at the wheel of a bus in honour of his 45-year-old father, who died on the morning of February 14 after becoming ill as he drove to work.

The Faresaver bus, which Kierin, 23, drove ahead of the hearse from their home in Marshall Street, Chippenham, to Ladyfield Road church, bore Duncan Manns’ name and the dates of his life in place of the destination, with 'Dunc' written in lights on the back.

In an emotional speech, Kierin, a fellow Faresaver employee, said: “My dad was a hard-working man, he worked long hours just to provide for his family.

"What more could a devoted dad do? And that is what he was.

“The genes of a driver will carry on in me. I hope he’s looking over me, I might need help on my next test.

“He was a hero to us all and he’s left behind the greatest mum.”

Friends and family paying their respects on Thursday afternoon arrived to the upbeat ska song A message to you Rudy, by The Specials. 

All speakers told of a man who worked hard for his family and would do all he could to help anyone.

Margaret Goodman, the aunt of Mr Manns’ partner Donna Kennedy, said: “If ever you were in trouble, if your car broke down or anything like that, you’d ask Dunc, Dunc would never say no.”

She told of how they he and Donna got together 28 years ago, when Donna sent her cousin over to him at a disco in Corsham to tell him she fancied him.

Their second son Kyle, 20, said he had become very close to his father in the last couple of years and spoke of the sci-fi and comedy programmes they had watched together such as Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Kyle said he was looking forward to reading many of his dad’s favourite books, particularly those by Terry Pratchett.

He said: “While physically he’s gone from us, there are still many things that remind us of him and will give us happiness. We’ll still be able to feel him through the things we do.”

Family friend Richard Garrett said that he got lost trying to drive 57 foreign exchange students from Heathrow airport and Notting Hill and immediately turned to Duncan for help.

He said: “He was brilliant. He stayed on the phone for 45 minutes to make sure I got there.”

David Beard, who hired Mr Manns at Faresaver, said: “You could always rely on him, as a friend and as a company. He was a great bloke.”

Cousin Anna read Ellen Brenneman’s poem His Journey’s just begun and religious readings were given by Jonathan Brain.

The coffin, decorated with white chrysanthemums reading DAD was carried out to The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s Fairytale of New York.

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