Taxi drivers in Workington turned out today to honour a popular colleague following his sudden death.
Ian Thomas Wilson, known as Mutt, died on Wednesday last week after suffering a heart attack.
Colleagues from Josie’s Taxis took to their vehicles to join his funeral cortege ahead of the service at Distington Hall Crematorium this morning - with Mr Wilson’s own taxi taking pride of place in the procession.
His family will also travel to the service by taxi in his honour.
Mr Wilson, of Salterbeck, has been described as a real gentleman and a valued driver.
Josie Cameron, owner at Josie’s, said: “He’s going to be missed by all of us. He was very well liked by all our customers and from my point of view he was a very valued driver.
“He had a very dry sense of humour and he was a very nice man.
“I think he would have liked us doing the parade with the taxis and to have us all being there.
“We’re actually going to be closed during the funeral and we’ll all go in taxis.
“The taxi that he used to drive will the first one in front of the parade.”
Mr Wilson worked for Josie’s Taxis on and off for more than 16 years, also running his own taxi business for a couple of years.
Fellow driver Alison Stevenson said: “He was very hard-working and both colleagues and customers thought he was a real gentleman.
“I’ve known him for 25 years. He was a very thoughtful man and such a lovely person.”
Mr Wilson leaves daughters Corrina, 40, and Donna, 37, son Ian, 36, and grandchildren William, 14, Dot, 10, Sergei, four, and Iyla, six months.
His son said: “He was a very caring father and very hard working.
“He gave us everything he could. He didn’t have much but if he had something he would give it to you.
“My dad loved looking after his grandchildren and taking them out or taking them shopping. Looking after them was his highlight of the day.”
Mr Wilson was a widower, having lost his wife Dot in 2012.
He was a regular at Harrington’s Royal British Legion Club where he played dominoes.
Ian said: “We’ll also get to the crematorium by taxi. That’s what my dad would have wanted.
“His real passion was wagons, but he never managed to get his licence for driving wagons.
“A lot of people loved him – he always had a bit of banter with everybody.”
There will be family flowers only at the funeral but donations in Mr Wilson’s memory can be made to the Great North Air Ambulance via Tom Edgar Funeral Services.