Farewell to a town legend

NDET 6-7-12 TW 5 Sonny Thorpe's funeral
NDET 6-7-12 TW 5 Sonny Thorpe's funeral

Friends and family have bid a final farewell to a Chesterfield legend.

Thomas Thorpe – the man who drove Ben the market horse in Chesterfield town centre – was laid to rest last Friday.

Donna Clark, the wife of Mr Thorpe’s nephew, said: “It was a really wonderful send-off for him.

“The family would like to say a big thank you to everyone who attended.

“There were people from all over the country.”

Mr Thorpe, of Bestwood Park, Clay Cross, who was known as Sonny to his friends, started working with Chesterfield’s market horses six years ago and stayed in the role until falling ill.

He died in hospital aged 74 after losing his fight with cancer at the end of last month.

One of his last wishes – to see his beloved horse Ben – was granted him by kind-hearted members of staff at Clay Cross Hospital.

Mr Thorpe, who was born in Brampton, worked as a gypsy cart and wagon builder before going on to wow visitors at Chesterfield market.

He had a keen interest in horses and enjoyed going to horse fairs in his spare time.

A bachelor, Mr Thorpe leaves sisters Georgina and Pauline, brother-in-law Nobby, nephews David and Kevin, nieces Jayne, Julie, Vicky, Nicola and Jean and very close friends Christo and Ricky.

On the Derbyshire Times Facebook page, reader Stu Middleton said: “Another town legend leaves us.”

Diane Boyd added: “RIP. Chesterfield will never be the same.”

Mr Thorpe was buried at Danesmoor cemetary after a service at Clay Cross Methodist Church.