14-lorry procession pays tribute to popular Crawley businessman - watch the video here
A procession of 14 lorries helped honour Len Hanslow - a popular Crawley businessman who died recently, aged 71.
On Friday for his funeral, the 14 lorries drove from Tulleys Farm to the Surrey and Sussex Crematorium and the family were delighted to see the procession.
Granddaughter Katie said: “When my grandad started the company Carmove it was his way to be able help others when they needed it so to have all the recovery lorries there to escort my grandad was absolutely amazing.
“You had rival companies there but that didn’t stop them coming together as one and being the support that we all needed on this very day. Each driver held the upmost respect for one another and most of all for my grandad for them to do this, some would say speechless others would say honourable but in my heart it was love of a fantastic man and the strength of a family.”
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Born in London, Len’s family moved to Kington in Herefordshire before John, Len’s dad, spotted a job vacancy with Seeboard in newly-built Crawley, so the family packed up and moved to the new town.
They settled in Gossops Green and Len attended Ifield County Grammar School, where he shone at athletics and games.
When Len was just 17, he married Sue, and their daughter Michelle was born in 1967.
During this time, Len had many different jobs. He was a loader at Gatwick, he was a rep for a medical company, he was cleaning for Woodall-Duckham Construction Company, and he worked at the Windmill pub as a barman, and he was a bus conductor.
Later he married Susan, and had three children, Lloyd, Matthew and Emily. He and Susan had a smallholding with horses and dogs.
By this time, Len had started his car recovery business, Carmove, based on the M25. In his forties, he sold the business.
The business was sold but he was able to pursue his love of cars by being involved in banger and hot rod racing at Wimbledon and Arlington.
Len had 16 grandchildren - Kate, Jodi, Mitchell, Reece, Holly, Max, Ellie, Hannah, Brandon, Ethan, April, Dylan, Elliot, Charlie, Parker and Spencer - three great grandchildren, and partner Caroline’s son George regarded him as his stepfather.
His eulogy, read by his son Lloyd said: “He had an entrepreneurial spirit and another business he planned to do was offer to wash caravans, and he was always buying cars for re-sale.
“He loved to attend car auctions, and it was hard not to feel that he had a Del Boy attitude. Always thinking of new businesses.
“He enjoyed his businesses, but what he enjoyed most were his children and grandchildren. And his partner, Caroline. All credit must go to her for the care and support she gave him throughout his illness.
“She told me that his magnetic personality shone through his dementia.”