Coffin of Scarborough plumber Ray Milburn driven around town on his beloved VW truck before funeral

Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, restrictions on funerals have become tighter and tighter.

By Corinne Macdonald
Wednesday, 13th May 2020, 3:50 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th May 2020, 3:59 pm

Currently in Scarborough, only five members of immediate family are allowed to attend funeral services at Woodlands Crematorium, meaning many people are unable to grieve as they usually would.

The family of Ray Milburn, who died suddenly aged 73 on April 22, were keen to do something to allow those who wished to say goodbye to him to do so in some way while still following social-distancing.

Born on January 8 1947, Ray had lived in Scarborough all his life and worked as a plumber and a builder in the area.

Sign up to our daily The Scarborough News Today newsletter

The funeral cortege. Picture: Milburn family

He was active until the end, helping family and friends well into his retirement and was often spotted driving around town in his beloved VW truck.

His family therefore organised to drive his coffin on the back of his truck through town, along Royal Albert and Marine Drives and the Foreshore, to allow people who knew him to come outside and say a farewell as he went past.

The truck was driven by Ray’s son Jonathan behind the funeral car, accompanied by Ray’s wife of 46 years Judy, his daughter Nicola and Jonathan’s children Katie, 6, and Leo, 2.

Ray’s surviving sister Margaret joined the funeral cortege, driving her car behind the truck.

Ray's coffin on his truck. Picture: Milburn family

Ray’s friends, family and past customers turned out to pay their respects to him one final time.

Although Ray didn’t die due to coronavirus, visiting restrictions caused by it meant his family weren’t able to be with him at the hospital when he died.

His daughter Nicola said seeing people turn out to say goodbye to her dad was “heartwarming” and represented the best send-off possible in the current circumstances.

A message from the Editor:

Ray Milburn. Picture: Milburn family

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you