Sudbury has come together to pay for the funeral of a former silk factory worker who was a well-known character in the town.
More than £2,000 has been raised to give William “Jimmy” Davey, from Windsor Place, Great Cornard, a “decent burial” after it was feared he may have what is known as a pauper’s funeral because he has no next of kin.
Jimmy, who was a cleaner and gardener at the Gainsborough Silk Weaving Company in Alexandra Road, died in April after a short illness. He was 74.
Andrew Poll from the Kiosk newsagent in Borehamgate Precinct said the response to an appeal for money published in the Suffolk Free Press had been fantastic.“The community has really come together for Jimmy. We have been really surprised and, so far, we have got £2,000.
“We’d like everyone to know that his funeral is on May 24th at West Suffolk Crematorium in Risby at 3.45pm. On the day, J Edwards the funeral company in North Street, will take him through the town and he will pass by the market, where a lot of people knew him, at 3pm.”
Money has come from well-wishers, friends including his good friend Robin Brown, and former colleagues including Gainsborough’s and Wheldon’s Fruit Farm where he had his first job.
“We are so grateful for everyone who has contributed. Our customers have even added money on to their bill to go towards the funeral costs and people have even come up to give us a pound, which we gratefully accept.”
Kaysha Gilpin, from the Co-op in Canhams Road, Great Cornard, raised £70 by selling cakes and running a name-the-teddy-bear competition. Jimmy was a regular customer at the Co-op when it was in East Street, and was affectionately remembered.
Mr Poll, who launched the appeal with co-owner Fred Charman, said it was hoped to buy a memorial bench for Newton Road.