A unique send-off for former seaman

rossparry.co.uk'Picture shows the coffin for Robert Boothroyd a former merchant sailor.'Sixty-year-year-old 'Sailor Bobs'  love of boats followed even him after his death from cancer with his coffin shaped like a boat and a picture of his beloved narrow boat covering the casket.'The amazing coffin was carried to Elland crematorium in West Yorkshire on a narrow boat in a cortege of barges along the Calder Hebble canal
rossparry.co.uk'Picture shows the coffin for Robert Boothroyd a former merchant sailor.'Sixty-year-year-old 'Sailor Bobs' love of boats followed even him after his death from cancer with his coffin shaped like a boat and a picture of his beloved narrow boat covering the casket.'The amazing coffin was carried to Elland crematorium in West Yorkshire on a narrow boat in a cortege of barges along the Calder Hebble canal
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A former seaman who dedicated himself to a Mirfield charity was given a uniquely fitting send-off at his funeral.

Robert Boothroyd, who died after a battle with cancer, volunteered and fixed boats for the Safe Anchor Trust.

rossparry.co.uk'Picture shows the coffin for Robert Boothroyd a former merchant sailor.'Sixty-year-year-old 'Sailor Bobs'  love of boats followed even him after his death from cancer with his coffin shaped like a boat and a picture of his beloved narrow boat covering the casket.'The amazing coffin was carried to Elland crematorium in West Yorkshire on a narrow boat in a cortege of barges along the Calder Hebble canal

rossparry.co.uk'Picture shows the coffin for Robert Boothroyd a former merchant sailor.'Sixty-year-year-old 'Sailor Bobs' love of boats followed even him after his death from cancer with his coffin shaped like a boat and a picture of his beloved narrow boat covering the casket.'The amazing coffin was carried to Elland crematorium in West Yorkshire on a narrow boat in a cortege of barges along the Calder Hebble canal

More than 200 people who attended his funeral saw his coffin carried down his favourite canal in a floating cortege.

Safe Anchor Trust Founder Les Moss said: “It was a very unusual funeral and if you didn’t know Robert and heard about it out of context then it would sound very odd indeed.

“For those of us who knew and loved him, it was a very fitting tribute to a man who spent his life on boats and dedicated his time to the charity.”

Mr Boothroyd, 60, planned the funeral before his death on April 9, and decorated his casket as a canal boat.

rossparry.co.uk'Picture shows Robert Boothroyd a former merchant sailor.'Sailor Bobs  love of boats followed him even after his death'with his coffin shaped like a boat and a picture of his beloved narrow boat covering the casket.'The amazing coffin was carried to Elland crematorium in West Yorkshire on a narrow boat in a cortege of barges along the Calder Hebble canal

rossparry.co.uk'Picture shows Robert Boothroyd a former merchant sailor.'Sailor Bobs love of boats followed him even after his death'with his coffin shaped like a boat and a picture of his beloved narrow boat covering the casket.'The amazing coffin was carried to Elland crematorium in West Yorkshire on a narrow boat in a cortege of barges along the Calder Hebble canal

The service took place in Elland and the casket was carried by boat on a two hour journey along the Calder and Hebble canal, from Brighouse to Park Wood Crematorium.

Boats full of Mr Boothroyd’s friends and family followed his coffin and a guard of honour made up of charity volunteers met the procession at the four water locks along the way.

Mourners then stopped at one of Mr Boothroyd’s favourite pubs before the service, where ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ was played in reference to his days in the navy.

Mr Moss said: “He was diagnosed with cancer one year ago but he just got on with it. He continued his work at the charity and carried on training volunteers, even when he was ill.

“For me, that speaks volumes about his character. He never complained and was always keeping busy. He is an example to people in terms of how to handle illness.

“He was certainly the biggest character on the canal. I’ll remember him fondly with a pint in his hand and a smile on his face. He was a great man who died too young.”