Family, colleagues and friends say farewell to legendary campaigner Barry Mason

On Wednesday 6 July 2011, around 100 people crammed into Honor Oak Crematorium to hear words of farewell from family and friends for Barry Mason, former coordinator of Southwark Cyclists who died suddenly on holiday last month.

Those attending the funeral were instructed not to wear black or Lycra, and to bring "two good locks".

Francis Sedgemore has written an excellent description of the service.

Acting coordinator of Southwark Cyclists Alex Crawford was among those who spoke at the humanist service, where in a final act of remembrance all the guests were invited to place flowers on the coffin.

Writing after the service, Alex said:

"Many tears, hugs all round, some laughter - all were shared today as we remembered and said our farewells to dear friend and group coordinator Barry Mason.

The bicycle cortège of about thirty riders (or 35 if we use 'Barry counting') cycled with the bicycle hearse from Barry's home in Rotherhithe to the waiting crowd at Honor Oak Crematorium.

Barry's son Sam (a keen cyclist) alternately pedalled the hearse and his dad's beloved red Perry.

There were too many to squeeze inside the service room and lots had to sit, hugging their knees, on the floor or up in the rafters. 

Family, friends, fellow campaigners, colleagues and so many other people who had made a connection with Barry through his rides or the scores of other ventures he was part of, were gathered to hear song, poetry and moving tributes to him. We marked a life which was too short, but which was so rich, so important and unforgettable.

After the service, many of us regrouped at Surrey Docks Farm, and it struck me how much Barry would have enjoyed seeing all those familiar faces together on his patch, with bikes strewn everywhere, the naughty goats frolicking in the background, and birdsong all around.

Well done to [Barry's partner] Cheryl and Sam for organising such a perfect day."

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