Funeral of local legend brings town to standstill

The funeral procession of Mike Harmer passes through North Walsham

The funeral procession of Mike Harmer passes through North Walsham on March 16. - Credit: Neil Howie

A marketplace in north Norfolk was brought to a standstill as people paid their last respects to a local legend.

The funeral procession of Mike Harmer, a man of proud Romany heritage and a goldmine of Norfolk lore, passed through North Walsham on Wednesday (March 16) to St Nicholas Church.

Mr Harmer was born to Romany parents in 1942. He ran a reclamation yard at his home in Spa Common and later in his life wrote books about his upbringing.

Mike Harmer, 79 years old, has written three books about being brought up Romani in Norfolk in the 4

Mike Harmer, from North Walsham, died in February at the age of 79 - Credit: Brittany Woodman

His coffin was taken to the church on a horse and Romany trolley as per his last wishes.

The church was full and it was the first funeral presided over by the newly installed vicar, David Warner.

Mike Harmer's funeral

Mike Harmer's final journey from the church to the cemetery at St Nicholas Church in North Walsham. - Credit: Nike White

Mourners heard tributes from his granddaughter, Tegan Harmer, and friend, Nick White.

Mr Harmer died of cancer in February at the age of 79.

He is survived by his wife, his sister Maureen Purdy, his three sons and five grandchildren.