Current Affairs

Rare hearse ‘steals limelight’ at transport show

Kingstanding Methodist church held its first ever transport show on Saturday 2 June and a rare classic hearse, belonging to Ian Hazel Funerals in Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, became one of the unexpected stars of the show.

The church, located on Kings Road, Kingstanding, in Birmingham, attracted an array of public service vehicles, including police, fire and ambulance fleets, along with an old Walsall double decker bus on loan from the Aldridge Transport Museum.

The Reverend Andrew Brazier, one of the organisers, thought it would be fitting to include a classic hearse along with the public service vehicles.

He approached local funeral director Ian Hazel to bring along his rare classic 1980s Daimler DS 420 low line hearse.

Hazel said: “When first approached by Reverend Brazier, I was more than sceptical as to what the public might think of a hearse being displayed along with other classic and public service vehicles, but Reverend Brazier
assured me that he felt it would be a good talking point for those attending – and he was absolutely right!”

“Ours is a rather rare hearse, being one of only a handful of Daimler hearses built in the lower line style rather than the more traditional higher decked model. This particular hearse has local connections as it was built in Aston, Birmingham by renowned coach builders Thomas Startin. It was constructed in the traditional  coachbuilding method, which meant first having a wooden (Ash) frame, hand built onto the Daimler DS 420 chassis, then skilled metal workers would hand-make and fit the steel panels over the Ash frame.”

The show also attracted a collection of motorcycle trikes and classic cars from the surrounding area, along with a model railway layout for the children to play with.

Reverend Brazier added: “Kingstanding Methodist Church wanted the community to know that it was friendly and approachable. The classic cars and railway memorabilia, including Mr Hazel’s gorgeous Daimler, seemed the perfect way to celebrate the warm weather and open our doors to everyone. It turns out that our area is knee deep in car buffs and petrol heads. Around 150 people either popped in or stayed for a burger.”

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