Fire engine send off for passionate collector from Ottery

PUBLISHED: 12:28 23 December 2017

Tim Rea funeral. Ref sho 50 17TI 5128. Picture: Terry Ife

Tim Rea funeral. Ref sho 50 17TI 5128. Picture: Terry Ife

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Tributes have been paid to Timothy Rea, who died at the age of 69.

Tim Rea funeral. Ref sho 50 17TI 5126. Picture: Terry IfeTim Rea funeral. Ref sho 50 17TI 5126. Picture: Terry Ife

The family of an Ottery fire engine collector has paid tribute to a ‘hero and mentor’ with a send-off in one of his vintage engines.

Timothy Rea was transported from Ottery Parish Church to the crematorium in his own 1938 Leyland fire after a church service last Wednesday.

The 69-year-old, who died of bowel cancer, bought the vehicle earlier this year but never had the chance to ride in it before his death in November.

His son Robin said: “His first ride was his last ride.”

Tim Rea funeral. Ref sho 50 17TI 5124. Picture: Terry IfeTim Rea funeral. Ref sho 50 17TI 5124. Picture: Terry Ife

Tim, of East Hill, began collecting fire engines after serving as a retained firefighter in Jersey. He bought several over his lifetime starting with a Dennis F108, that had the number plate TDR 999L, his initials.

His passion for vehicles saw his collection grow to include the old Exeter Airport Range Rover and Mini Moke which was owned by Devon County Council in the 1960s.

The father-of-three also enjoyed visits to the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Australian F1 tracks.

His ‘petrol-headed passion’ also extended to the Honiton Hill Rally, which he would travel back to, from wherever he was staying to attend the August bank holiday event.

Tim Rea funeral. Ref sho 50 17TI 5121. Picture: Terry IfeTim Rea funeral. Ref sho 50 17TI 5121. Picture: Terry Ife

A chartered quantity surveyor by profession, Tim’s work took him across the world on projects ranging from the Exeter Guildhall to tunnelling in Oman. His final role was as project manager for the phase two works at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power plant.

Robin said: “During this time, he was greatly respected by others for his honest, pragmatic approach to problem solving.

“He was very softly spoken, but when his voice went up you knew that someone was going to be in trouble. He had a gift of pre-empting what would happen and have the solution to stop or fix it.”

Tim also fundraised for a range of causes including Dream-A-Way and the old county showground in Exeter.

Tim Rea funeral. Ref sho 50 17TI 5119. Picture: Terry IfeTim Rea funeral. Ref sho 50 17TI 5119. Picture: Terry Ife

“He was there for support, advice and to help when things didn’t work out,” said Robin.” This devotion to help others continued to when he passed away.”

He is survived by wife Cassy, children Chris, Robin and Alice and grandchildren Noah, Alba, Jack, Emily and Katie.

Donations can be made to the Kings House Day Hospice in Honiton.

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