AROUND 750 people gathered to pay their respects at the funeral of the “grandfather of carnival”, Bill Biffen.

Bill was a former Bridgwater Carnival president and life member of Lime Kiln CC, who worked at his family-run wedding vehicle firm, H Biffen and Sons, right up until his death on September 30, aged 90.

Bill was born in Provident Place, Bridgwater, on May 1, 1920.

After serving in the Army, he joined his dad Harry and brother Ron as a carriage master in H Biffen and Sons.

He married his first wife Gwen in 1943 and had two children, Christine and John, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Gwen died in 1959 and he married his second wife, May, 14 years later.

His daughter Christine said: “He was a charming man who loved to talk. He loved Bridgwater and the people of Bridgwater and always had a twinkle in his eye, right to the day he died.”

His funeral was held at St Mary's Church in Bridgwater last Monday. The hearse was an Austin Six, and a vintage car from each of the ten car clubs he belonged to arrived for the service, where a song he wrote 30 years ago, called My Love is For You, was played.

Christine added: “It was just what dad would have wanted.”