A skip lorry for a hearse - unusual funeral for Sheffield’s ‘young Steptoe’

Funeral of Mr Fieldhouse who was a scrap dealer. His coffin was taken to Grenoside Crematorium on the back of a skip lorry
Funeral of Mr Fieldhouse who was a scrap dealer. His coffin was taken to Grenoside Crematorium on the back of a skip lorry
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A RETIRED scrap dealer who likened himself to ‘young Steptoe’ was granted his dying wish – to be taken to his funeral on the back of a skip lorry.

Donald Fieldhouse, aged 85, who used to run Fieldhouse Brothers scrap dealers, based at Neepsend, wanted a ‘traditional scrap man’s funeral’ with his coffin carried on a skip lorry or an old fashioned horse and cart.

Scrap trader Donald Fieldhouse, from Neepsend, whose coffin was taken to his funeral on the back of a skip lorry

Scrap trader Donald Fieldhouse, from Neepsend, whose coffin was taken to his funeral on the back of a skip lorry

Donald, who lived in Walkley but was most recently a resident of Rose Cottage nursing home, Mosborough, died last month, 10 days after his wife Elizabeth and the day after her funeral.

Arthur’s Skips, based at Fieldhouse Brothers’ former Isaac Works site, provided a brand new skip lorry for the occasion, which had to be modified with bolts fitted to the floor to secure the coffin.

Donald’s straw boater hat was placed on top.

Son Darren Fieldhouse, 44, said: “My dad was a scrap man throughout his life from the age of about 14 and used to drive a horse and cart.

“He always said it would be nice if he could have a traditional scrap man’s funeral, using a skip lorry or horse and cart.

“It was difficult to find a horse and cart but the offer from Arthur’s skips came via James Hartley, the son of Arthur Hartley who runs the firm.”

Darren added: “My dad grew up on Hobson Avenue, off Penistone Road, and was the eldest of seven sons.

“From 1953, my grandad Isaac Fieldhouse started a scrap business based at Neepsend Lane, at a site which they named Isaac works.

“My dad said it was like Steptoe and Son, with my grandad being old Steptoe and him as young Steptoe. The firm, which also employed the six other brothers, carried on until 1985.”

Mr Fieldhouse, a father of two and grandfather of three, was taken on the skip lorry from John Fairest funeral home, Wadsley Bridge, to Grenoside Crematorium for his funeral.

James Hartley, of Arthur’s Skips, said: “Everything worked out as planned.

“We worked with the funeral home to measure everything up and had to make some modifications to the skip lorry but it was easier than using a hearse because two people on the skip were able to slide the coffin straight onto to the pallbearers’ hands.

“We offered our services free of charge. One of our drivers took the skip lorry and I followed driving our Bentley, carrying members of Mr Fieldhouse’s close family.”