A fitting farewell to Jack

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A horse-and-cart tribute was given to a popular grandfather and great-grandfather who had devoted his life to horses.

Jack Smith, 85, passed away at his home, in Beverley Way, Peterlee, on April 20 after a seven-month battle with stomach cancer.

Jack was brought up around horses and worked as a hawker, travelling with his horse and cart around Peterlee, selling scrap as well as fruit and vegetables.

His family arranged for a horse called Maverick, to be brought up from Essex to lead a cart carrying Jack’s coffin from his home to the funeral service at St Mary The Virgin Church, in Easington Village, last Friday.

Jack’s coffin was decorated with caravan and horse scenes.

His daughter, Marjorie Swan, 59, from the Acre Rigg area of Peterlee, said: “A lot of people liked him, he was well-liked.

“Even after he retired, he never forgot the horses, he still kept in touch with the horse men.

“He used to go to Appleby Fair and other similar events.

“The horses were the love of his life.”

Jack, who was christened John, was born in Easington Colliery to parents Elizabeth and Jack.

Marjorie said: “From an early age he got interested in horses, even when he was at school.

“He was sometimes found with horses in the field, instead of going to school, I can remember my grandma saying that.

“When he left school, he worked for Brough’s as a hawker, going around with his horse, selling scrap as well as fruit and vegetables in Peterlee.

“He did that for more than 25 years and later ran his own cart, selling fruit, vegetables and fish.

“He was brought up around horses all his life and used to break them in and train them for the carts, especially if there was a horse that was quite wild.”

Jack moved to Peterlee after he got married to his late wife Joan in 1959, who passed away 16 years ago.

He was also dad to the late Alan and another daughter, Carole Wiggett.

Jack is also survived by six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Speaking of Jack’s fitting “send-off” and final journey, Marjorie said: “He would have loved it.

“I wish he could have seen it - he would have been over the moon.”

Around 100 people attended Jack’s funeral, which was followed by a service at Durham Crematorium.

The church service was conducted by Reverend Chris Pearson.