PICTURES: Convoy of Minis escorts West Yorkshire teen on his final journey
A fleet of 30 classic Minis led a young man's coffin in a procession to pay tribute to the passionate car enthusiast on his final journey this afternoon.
Bradley Parish, of South Elmsall, died suddenly at the age of just 18 after suffering from a suspected heart condition in October last year.
More than 200 mourners attended an hour-long funeral service at St Luke’s Church in South Elmsall before the fleet escorted Bradley’s brightly-decorated hearse to Pontefract Crematorium.
The fleet was led by the teenage car enthusiast’s own dark red 1989 special edition Mini, followed by a colourful convoy of old police and restored vehicles.
Before the funeral, his family said they were overwhelmed by a request they had put on Facebook inviting Mini owners to join the procession to Pontefract Crematorium.
Bradley’s mum, Kerry, said: “We have been really surprised by the response, we just weren’t expecting it.
“We originally thought it would be nice to have a few Minis on his last journey, so we emailed Mini World magazine, and within minutes people were responding.
“We cannot thank Mini World magazine enough. All the people that have offered their time for our son, well, it’s just amazing.
“It’s something we will treasure forever, it’s fantastic.”
Bradley had been a student at Doncaster College where he was learning a trade as a welder and fabricator, but his passions in life were playing music on his guitar and of course, his classic Mini.
He would often go to car shows with his grandad where he first fell in love with the pint-sized British car.
Kerry added: “He was really young when he said he wanted one, and we just played along with it knowing how expensive they are now.
“He got himself a paper round and saved up.
“When he was 17, he spent every penny he had on making this Mini roadworthy that his other grandad had.
“Bradley loved it, although he called it his ‘money pit’!”
The former Minsthorpe Community College pupil’s passion for his dark-red 1989 special edition Mini even won him an accolade at the Ackworth Car Show, where organisers were impressed with not only his car, but by Bradley’s passion.
Kerry added: “He was not your typical teenager, he didn’t go out playing football - music and his car were his loves.
“We are really proud of Bradley, he was one of the funniest people you could meet and such a happy lad.
“He was the type of kid that when you met him, you became his friend.”