Businesses in Suffolk market town dig deep to give local 'character' a decent send-off

William 'Jimmy' Davey. Credit: Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company

When William 'Jimmy' Davey died on April 7 at the age of 74 no family came forward and he was destined for a pauper's funeral, now known as a 'public health service funeral'.But the popular Sudbury character had dozens of friends and associates in the town. He worked for 23 years at the Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company and would help out market traders and newsagents for free.

"He was very well known in the factory as being, not naughty, but cheeky, he would play tricks on people. Tie the arms of their jacket together. But they would do the same to him. He was profoundly deaf and they'd have to turn his hoover on because he didn't know it had gone off. They used to play tricks on him all the time. He's a real character, we do miss him"

Diane Sargeant, Gainsborough Silk Weaving Co

Since his death, traders in Sudbury have raised £2000 towards a 'decent' funeral which will take place on 24th May at Risby Cemetery

See Kate Prout's report here