Gracie Spinks' funeral: Procession was a beautiful moment for a beautiful young woman
Chesterfield’s Gracie Spinks has been laid to rest today – and her final journey was a beautiful moment for a beautiful young woman who was tragically taken away from us far too soon.
Hundreds of people, many of whom were wearing purple or horse riding attire, lined Sheffield Road to pay their respects.
Shortly after 11am, Gracie left Harold Lilleker and Sons Whittington Moor funeral home in a horse-drawn carriage.
She was followed by her beloved horse, Paddy.
Many fellow equestrians, both local and from elsewhere in the UK, were also part of the procession.
It was highly emotional to observe – but such a perfect, fitting tribute to a very special person.
Many of those who lined the road wept as Gracie went past them.
I overheard one man say: “The world is a lot worse off without her.”
Sharon Layton and her daughter Katie, who both knew Gracie, fondly remember her.
Katie said: “She was the nicest person you could ever meet.
“She lit up the room with her smile.”
Sharon added: “Gracie was such a lovely girl.
“It’s difficult to put into words how tragic it all is.”
Drew Lilleker, director at Harold Lilleker and Sons, said: “Today our thoughts are very much with Gracie’s family and friends.
“We’d also like to thank people and businesses in the local community for their support.
“Thanks also go to Reverend Jo Morris, Rector of Whittington.”
Gracie later arrived at her home, and her family and close friends walked behind and followed on horseback to Saint Bartholomew’s Church in Old Whittington, where her funeral service took place at noon.
Just like the procession, the service, too, was beautiful – my colleague was in attendance and his report will follow soon.
A celebration of Gracie’s life is this afternoon taking place at the Cock and Magpie in Old Whittington – as thousands of tributes continue to pour in online.
Our thoughts and condolences remain with Gracie’s family and friends, and everyone else affected by her passing.
We wish them strength in all the days that lie ahead.
Gracie will never be forgotten.
Her memory will always live on – and it will always be so very beautiful.