Sunderland Spectre will parade through city one last time before funeral service

Brian Moore before he set off on his US trip
Brian Moore before he set off on his US trip
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The ‘Sunderland Spectre’ is set to don his finery and parade through Sunderland city centre one last time.

Painter Brian Moore, 77, was one of the city’s best-loved figures, dressed in Victorian garb complete with his distinctive top hat and tails and silver-topped cane.

Brian Moore after he returned from a dream trip to the US, where he met native Americans and painted their surroundings

Brian Moore after he returned from a dream trip to the US, where he met native Americans and painted their surroundings

He passed away in Sunderland Royal Hospital earlier this month and a funeral service will be held at Sunderland Crematorium at 1pm next Tuesday, July 26.

City undertaker Manor House Funerals is footing the bill. The firm has a contract to provide ‘public health’ funerals for people who have not left enough money to afford a full service, but the firm is paying for a bumper send-off for Brian.

“We have decided to pay for the funeral,” said spokesman Gavin Reynolds. “It won’t be a hospital contract service, it will be a Manor House funeral. He will be travelling in our vintage hearse.

“Brian was such a well-known character - I remember seeing him from being probably six or seven-years-old. I have not spoken to a single person who did not know who he was, even if they did not know his name - he was just ‘the Spectre.’

Brian was such a well-known character - I remember seeing him from being probably six or seven-years-old. I have not spoken to a single person who did not know who he was, even if they did not know his name - he was just ‘the Spectre.’

Gavin Reynolds

“The service will be at 1pm on Tuesday, July 26, at Sunderland Crematorium - we have booked a double slot, so we have a got a full hour to make sure Brian gets the tribute he deserves.

“We will be taking a route to the crematorium through the city centre. We will start off outside the museum, go up Holmeside, then turn into Green Terrace before going up Chester Road to the crematorium, so if anyone is unable to make it to the service, they will still be able to see Brian passing through town.

“He will be dressed in all his finery and his top hat and silver cane will be on top of the coffin. I won’t be wearing my top hat on the day because it will be hats off to Brian.”

Gavin is appealing for members of the public to get in touch with their memories of Brian.

Brian Moore with the painting he donated to the Adelaide appeal

Brian Moore with the painting he donated to the Adelaide appeal

“We know about Brian’s love of America and the fund-raising work he did, but hopefully people will come forward with their memories so the vicar can pull together a really good piece,” he said.

“People can ring me on 0191 536 5000 or e-mail gavin@manorhousefunerals.co.uk and I will pass their information on to the vicar.”

Floral tributes can be sent to the firm’s Town End Farm branch, but Gavin is requesting that donations be made to Brian’s favourite charity Cancer Research in lieu of flowers.