Express & Star

'He will be missed and forever remembered' – friends and family gather to pay respects to fairground champion

They came from far and wide to say goodbye to a showman, fairground champion, grandfather, father, husband and friend.

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The floral tributes were vivid and colourful

The grounds of Stourbridge Crematorium were filled with hundreds of people from all over the country as they came to pay their respects and send off Thomas Jones.

The founder and owner of Thomas Jones Fun Fairs had died on May 1 at the age of 75 and he was taken on a final ride from St John's Church in Dudley Wood through Dudley Zoo, where his fairground rides still run to this day, before arriving at the crematorium.

He was greeted at the crematorium by hundreds of people from local businesses, councillors, fellow fun fair owners, friends and family, with his five children and their families following close behind.

All the tributes were representative of the man

It was an occasion which was sombre as those present mourned the loss of Thomas, who started his company in the 1970s, but also remembered the things they loved about him, such as his sense of humour, his love of his grandchildren and how he would be there for people at any time.

After the coffin was brought in by his grandsons to "When I will see you again" by the Three Degrees, celebrant Philip Whitehouse read a touching eulogy, speaking of how Thomas left school at 11 to work on the fairgrounds and with his father Jim.

Thomas Jones was sent off in a warm and loving way

The eulogy touched on the close friendships Thomas formed over the years, his driving skills, how he met his wife Susan in Benidorm in 1970, and how he would always have the right tool for the occasion.

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