Tributes have been paid to a haulage boss who took his final journey on the back of a wagon.
Dozens of mourners gathered at the funeral of businessman Robert Baron, whose coffin was taken to the church on one of his firm’s vehicles.
Robert, known as Bob, died suddenly of a heart attack at his haulage yard in Great Harwood on Thursday, May 2, aged 77.
Robert, of Railway Terrace, Great Harwood, worked as a HGV driver most of his life before becoming self employed and building up his haulage business, R Baron and Sons from 1973.
Daughter Lisa Baron said Robert handed the firm over to his sons Neil and Robert 10 years ago but always kept a keen interest in the business.
She said: “It was his yard so he always kept an eye on it. He loved working, he wouldn’t stop.
“When he started the business he was on his own and was the only low loader in Lancashire so people recognised him wherever he went. He built the business up from nothing.”
Born in Padiham, Robert was a keen sportsman and played football for Great Harwood Catholics in his younger days.
He joined the Navy aged 16 and served on HMS Truelove. During that time he took up boxing and became a middle-weight champion having never lost a fight, before quitting to concentrate on training his brother.
An avid supporter of both Blackburn Rovers and Burnley, Robert also enjoyed crown green bowls and loved his allotment.
A popular and well known figure in Great Harwood, the great-grandfather enjoyed socialising and spending time with his family.
Lisa added: “He liked to socialise all around Great Harwood but really he loved to work seven days a week, even when he had retired. He was always tinkering and always in his overalls.
“He was a true gentleman and a real hero. I always had a lot of respect for him.”
Robert leaves his wife Rose, children Dorothy, Robert, Shirley, Neil, Andrew and Lisa, 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. His coffin was taken to his funeral on a Volvo F88 tractor.
His funeral took place at St Hubert’s Roman Catholic Church, Great Harwood, on Wednesday, May 15.