Search

Norwich Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 6°C

Do it for David: Appeal for motorcyclists to join funeral procession

PUBLISHED: 18:41 28 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:16 29 December 2017

David Gurney on a Suzuki Intruder motorbike, one of 80 bikes which turned up to Oakwood House Nursing Home at Colney, as a special treat for the nursing home resident back in April. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

David Gurney on a Suzuki Intruder motorbike, one of 80 bikes which turned up to Oakwood House Nursing Home at Colney, as a special treat for the nursing home resident back in April. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

SOPHIE WYLLIE

The family of a popular motorbike enthusiast is asking motorcyclists to join his funeral procession as a final act of remembrance.

David Gurney on a Suzuki Intruder motorbike with Oakwood House activities co-ordinator Emily Wilson. The bike was one of 80 which turned up outside the home as a special treat for the 77-year-old in April. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIEDavid Gurney on a Suzuki Intruder motorbike with Oakwood House activities co-ordinator Emily Wilson. The bike was one of 80 which turned up outside the home as a special treat for the 77-year-old in April. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

Norwich-born David Gurney, 77, was battling terminal cancer and passed away peacefully with his sister Cindy and her daughter Wendy by his side.

Mr Gurney was always passionate about motorbikes and his sister thinks a convoy of motorbikes at his funeral would make a fitting tribute.

In April, activities coordinator at Oakwood House Nursing Home in Colney, Emily Wilson, arranged for a group of motorcylists to visit Mr Gurney at the home where he lived since November 2016.

Originally, only a small group of riders were expected to visit, however, the idea snowballed on social media and 80 motorbikes rolled up to the home.

David Gurney with his sister Cindy Thomas. Picture: Emily WilsonDavid Gurney with his sister Cindy Thomas. Picture: Emily Wilson

Mrs Wilson said: “It was a huge event for him when we had the motorbikes turn out in April.

“Afterwards, I made him a scrapbook with newspaper clippings and photos in it. When I gave it to him he cried because he was so overwhelmed.”

Now, it is hoped motorcyclists will turn out one last time to honour Mr Gurney.

The former shoe factory and boat-yard worker will be carried in a sidecar hearse from Oakwood House and motorcylists are invited to join the convoy to the chapel in Earlham where he will be buried.

David Gurney next to a Suzuki Intruder motorbike, one of 80 which turned up to Oakwood House Nursing Home at Colney, as a special treat at the nursing home in April. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIEDavid Gurney next to a Suzuki Intruder motorbike, one of 80 which turned up to Oakwood House Nursing Home at Colney, as a special treat at the nursing home in April. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

Mrs Wilson said they would encourage anybody with a motorbike to come along.

She said: “Anyone with a bike can come along, and any kind of bike. Last time we had tiny 50s to big old Harleys, sports bikes, a great mixture.”

Mr Gurney became incredibly popular at Oakwood House over a relatively short period of time, Mrs Wilson added.

She said: “David was hugely popular, everybody knew him. Not just people who live and work here but people who would come in, visitors, even delivery drivers - he would talk to anybody.

“He was so brave and positive throughout his illness and such a big big part of Oakwood House. He is sorely missed by both residents and staff.

“It would mean the world to him to have motorbikes at his send off.”

The date for the funeral will be confirmed in early January and motorcyclists will be invited back to Oakwood House for refreshments after the procession.

To keep up to date with plans, visit the Facebook event page.

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Norwich Evening News daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the Evening News
digital edition

Subscribe

Show Job Lists