Sunderland said goodbye to The Spectre in style today.
Painter Brian Moore, 77, was a familiar figure around the city centre for years, with his distinctive top hat and tails and silver-topped cane and became known as the ‘Sunderland Spectre.’
He passed away earlier this month and a funeral service was held at Sunderland Crematorium this afternoon.
Appropriately, Brian’s final journey was in a Victorian-style vintage hearse, which made its way through the city centre from Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens to the crematorium.
His coffin was topped off with his signature top hat and cane, and was surrounded on either side by photographs of the man himself in his familiar outfit.
The funeral was arranged and paid for by Manor House Funerals and lead by managing director Stephen Corpe and funeral director and Gavin Reynolds - who carried their top hats, rather than wear them, out of respect for their famous passenger.
It is sad, yes, but it is also a time to be grateful, to remember what he has given you.Ken Smith
“We have undertaken many high profile funerals over the years, but it was a privilege to be able to help give Brian the send off he deserved,” said Stephen.
“He will be greatly missed. We are contracted to provide funeral services to the city and when I first heard of his passing, I knew that we had to step in and give him a good send-off.
“I was also touched by the numerous calls on social media for a ‘state funeral’ and fitting send off for Brian. And I am sure he would have really appreciated all the little touches that have gone into making his funeral so special.”
Brian’s friend Malcolm Jardine spoke about how much their 35-year friendship had meant to him and read Christina Rossetti’s poem ‘Remember.’
Retired clergyman Ken Smith led the service and told the congregation Brian was ‘somebody who has been part of our lives, part of the life of the city we live in, part of the community, somebody who - even if you did not know him - you could not help but recognise because he was one of those great British eccentrics who lived his life the way he thought it should be lived.
“It is sad, yes, but it is also a time to be grateful, to remember what he has given you.”
Anyone wishing to make a donation in memory of Brian to his favoured charity “Cancer Research UK” can do so via Manor House Funerals of Town End Farm.