A large congregation bade farewell to one of Peterborough’s most successful and well-connected figures after a fitting funeral at the city's cathedral today, Thursday.
Roy Bird MBE was laid to rest today after being carried to the cathedral in a carriage drawn by two shire horses in recognition of his time as secretary of the Shire Horse Society, which the Queen is a patron of.
The 91-year-old from Paston was also well known as chief executive of the East of England Agricultural Society and for overseeing the formation of the East of England Showground.
Members of the agricultural society formed a guard of honour for Roy's coffin as it entered the cathedral, while inside Roy's neighbour and close friend of 40 years Roger Smith delivered a eulogy.
The agricultural society organised the iconic East of England Show every year, which at its peak attracted 100,000 people, but with numbers dwindling it finished in 2012.
The show had been a key date for generations of Peterborians and was often graced by royal visitors, including the Queen.
The Shire Horse Society also used to hold its show at the Showground, which is now called the East of England Arena and Events Centre.
Roy was the longest serving committee member of the Burghley Horse Trials, serving 50 years after an invitation from Lord Exeter, and was presented with a plate of Burghley House by Princess Anne.
Roy knew most of the Royal Family, including the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Mother and Princess Anne, and he was invited to Kensington Palace for the 100th birthday of Princess Alice, the Duchess of Gloucester.
Born in 1926 in the Fenland town of March, the former quartermaster sergeant, who served six years in the army and was stationed in the German town of Minden, had a varied and successful life.
Awarded an MBE in 1969, he was also chairman of Norwich and Peterborough Building Society.