Residents line streets in tribute to Bardfield butcher Danny

The late Danny Smith. Picture: family photo

The late Danny Smith. Picture: family photo - Credit: Family photo

Residents lined the streets to say their goodbyes and to clap for Bardfield butcher Danny Smith as his funeral procession made its way past his shop and out of the village.

Danny's funeral procession. Photograph: Doug Joyce, Great Bardfield

Danny's funeral procession. Photograph: Doug Joyce, Great Bardfield - Credit: Doug Joyce

Danny, 57, died in hospital after a short illness last month.

He spent his life in Bardfield, and was not just a shop owner but a much loved friend to many.

He went to school in Bardfield and met his wife to be Rachel in Finchingfield when they were teenagers. They got married in their 20s. They had just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.

Danny trained to be a butcher when he left school. He worked at the Dunmow Flitch and had an apprenticeship with butcher Vincent Duckett in Thaxted and Stebbing.

When Danny was 21 he took over his father Harold’s business, changing the name from HG Smith to DK Smith.

Rachel said: “He was a massive character, a really good guy, a really big man with a big heart.

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“He always treated his customers as friends. People would stand and chat for ages with him.”

The funeral service was private because of coronavirus restrictions. It included the music Fields of Gold by Eva Cassidy to honour his love of horse riding with his favourite horse Skippy, and Frank Sinatra’s hit song My Way.

The service was conducted by Rev Colin Wilson, who provided many personal touches.

Rachel said Danny had always joked that he wanted Rev Wilson, who had been the vicar at Finchingfield for many years, to conduct his funeral service.

Rev Wilson had moved to Cheshire but when he heard of Danny’s death, he got in touch and made the trip back to conduct the funeral.

Money that has been donated in memory of Danny will support East Anglian Air Ambulance, a charity that saved Danny’s life in 2007 when he came off his horse and was airlifted to hospital.

Rachel said a celebration of Danny’s life will be held next summer once Covid restrictions have lifted, so that neighbours, family and friends can get together to remember him.