FORMER Malmesbury firefighter Roy Evans, a man described as "a real Malmesbury hero" by Malmesbury watch manager Chris Harvey, was carried on a vintage fire engine in a procession through the town to his funeral today.

Roy's family were joined by an escort of fire vehicles and crew from the fire station, as his coffin was carried along Park Road, through Parklands to Sherston on the vintage fire truck that had featured in his wedding in 2007.

The moving sight was witnessed by hundreds of mourners who turned out to pay their respects to the man who had been such a significant part of the community as he made his way to his final resting place at Holy Cross Church in Sherston.

Roy died on December 31 after a 12-month battle with cancer.

He was born on December 16 1958 in Malmesbury Hospital and grew up and went to school in Sherston.


Roy's coffin was carried to the church in the same vintage fire engine that had featured in their wedding in 2007

School was not his favourite pastime and he much preferred to be outside in the fields or fishing and enjoying country life. Roy would often been seen around Sherston and the local villages on his Raleigh Chopper a bike which turned into a real passion. Roy’s original Chopper bike is still in the family today.

His first job was working on the family farm as a farm labourer before progressing onto driving straw lorries down to Cornwall.

Roy had a real love for motorbikes and was fearless in the way he rode them. He would frequently attend motorbike days out, riding all over the country.

He joined Ranalagh Gates in the late 1970s, where he started his lifelong wielding career during which time he became a father to his son Chris.

In 1993 Roy, who was was renowned for his boyish good looks and cheeky smile, joined Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service as a retained firefighter, a position he held for almost 19 years.

During Roy’s time with the Fire Service he fell in love with a female colleague Juliette, whom he later married in 2007.

Roy was made redundant when Ranalagh Gates closed and worked for a short time for the neighbouring company Sweetenham & Bradley, before starting up his own business The Iron Works & Gate Company with his son Chris.

Roy’s other interests included a love of old vehicles, including tractors, and being an active member of the North Wilts Morris Minor Car Club. He enjoyed walking and completed the Three Peaks Challenge, as well as kayaking and charity work.

Roy’s work can be found in many locations around the town including the town gates at the bottom of the High Street, the railing around St Mary’s hall, Malmesbury Fire Station's firefighters' memorial bench and may other items around the town

The family have requested that any donations will be for Dorothy House via Matthews Funeral Directors.