A MOTORCYCLING enthusiast from Newhall was given a fitting send off by fellow bikers from throughout the UK yesterday.
They gathered at the Carnarvon Chapel at Bretby Crematorium to pay their respect to Frank Bates, who was affectionately known by those closest to him as Jim.
Reverend Paul Sinclair, himself a keen motorcyclist, described how he had first met Jim 12 years ago when they took part in the filming of the TV show ‘A Trike is Born’ together. They had both arrived around two hours early and got chatting as the friendship grew from there.
In a eulogy written by Jim’s wife Verona, he said how the couple first met in March 1957 when she visited a pub owned by his parents. Verona, whose parents also owned a pub, said she immediately fell for Jim, as well as the Rolls Royce he drove.
They married in June that year and their son Ian was born a year later. Four years after that, Verona gave birth to their daughter, Tarnya.
Songs including Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes’ “Time of My Life” and Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” were played as a befitting tribute to a man who had a number of jobs, hobbies and interests throughout his life including running mobile discos and becoming a member of Burton Boating Club.
Despite working in a number of different jobs, including working for Swadlincote Community Transport following retirement, Jim’s main passion was always his love of bikes, and he was a member of both The Unforgiven Motorcycle Club and Newhall Trykers.
Reverend Sinclair said: “Jim loved motorcycles. I think the fact that he once had no fewer than seven tricycles sitting proudly in his back garden, all taxed, insured and with valid MOT’s says it all about how much they meant to him.”