THE family of a great-grandfather who could not have the send-off he deserved due to coronavirus restrictions have thanked the community who lined the streets to say farewell to him.

The funeral of Jacky Turner (92) was held on May 1, with villagers in Corbridge, where he was born in 1928 and died on April 17, coming to their doorsteps to clap as the funeral car wound its way through the village.

Jacky’s daughter Margaret Terrone said the support was “heartwarming” after the family were disappointed not to be able to have the funeral he would have wanted.

“We were always planning a good send off for my dad,” she said. “He loved a funeral. He loved church and the songs and hymns and meeting up with everybody at the wake to share stories.”

They were not allowed to hold the funeral in the church, and it took place instead at the crematorium in Newcastle, with only a maximum of 20 people allowed due to social distancing. Meanwhile, there could be no funeral cars for the family and the ceremony in the chapel could not include hymns or singing.

Jacky’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren could not attend, and they instead joined other villagers in lining the streets and clapping, at a distance, as the car passed from his bungalow on Kiln View, past his old house on St Helen’s Lane, and out of the village. An old friend of Jacky’s played the pipe while others stood at the Wheatsheaf or Market Square to say their farewells.

Jacky married Betty in 1952 and after living near Bardon Mill for a while, they returned to his birthplace in Corbridge. They had four children, and he worked from a young age doing a variety of jobs throughout his life including farm work, doing the pipework at Kielder Dam and as a lorry driver.

Margaret said: “He was very much a family man. He used to take all of us, as well as other people’s children, swimming at the weekend. Everybody would be waiting for him down by the river.

“People will remember him sailing his boat on the Tyne with his collie dog - he always had a collie.

“He was a really hard worker and he would help anybody that he could. He really put himself out to help people.”

She added: “It is very difficult to have a funeral in these circumstances, but because people came out across the village it made up for it completely. I think it’s amazing what the community is doing to support people at a time like this when it is so needed - just to give somebody a really good send off.”