'A fitting tribute to a wonderful man' - Whittlesey honours on-call firefighter and estate agent Malcolm James Bean

PUBLISHED: 17:30 08 February 2016 | UPDATED: 17:30 08 February 2016

Malcolm James Bean Funeral. Whittlesey. Picture: Steve Williams.

Malcolm James Bean Funeral. Whittlesey. Picture: Steve Williams.

Archant

Hundreds lined the streets of Whittlesey today in memory of retained firefighter and "true hero" Malcolm James Bean, who died last month.

Malcolm James Bean Funeral. Whittlesey. Picture: Steve Williams.Malcolm James Bean Funeral. Whittlesey. Picture: Steve Williams.

‘Vivien’, the historic Leyland fire engine from Wisbech, headed the funeral cortege.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service presented an A18 floral tribute marking their colleague’s service at Alpha 18, Whittlesey Station. Firelighters from across the area also formed a guard of honour in Mr Bean’s memory.

The 57-year-old was well known having been an on-call firefighter locally for more than 30 years. He joined CFRS in June 1985 and also ran the family estate agency business, Malcolm James, in Whittlesey, for 20 years.

Among many posts on Facebook from friends and family, read: “A fitting tribute to a wonderful man, RIP Malcolm James Bean.”

Malcolm James Bean Funeral. Whittlesey. Picture: Steve Williams.Malcolm James Bean Funeral. Whittlesey. Picture: Steve Williams.

Another said: “Goodbye Malcolm. May God be with you and your family.”

A third wrote: “The rain stopped and the sun shone for Malcolm. Was lovely tribute to see.”

Another added: “Good turn out and I liked that the bell rang at 1.45pm and both fire station doors opened at the same time.”

Another said: “Very moving. A well deserved and fitting tribute to a true hero. The Whittlesey community did him proud.”

“What a lovely tribute to a lovely man,” posted another.

Malcolm James Bean died of a cardiac arrest on January 14.

After Mr Bean’s death, his sister, Denyse Bass, said: “He will be sadly missed by his wonderful son Jordan, partner Jane, mum, dad, business partner and sister Lorraine, sister Denyse, nephews Jason, Adam, James, Tom, all the family and friends.”

Whittlesey watch commander Mark Brown said: “With over 30 years of dedicated service, Malc was part of the fabric of Whittlesey Fire Station. He had a great sense of humour, jovial character and an easy going manner, so his sudden death has been devastating to us all.

“Malc was also a businessman with his own estate agency, where he would arrange his schedule around his fire service commitments to ensure that the local community had availability to a rapid fire service response.

“Malc was well-liked, loved and respected within the fire service, the community of Whittlesey and the surrounding area, and his family, and his passing will leave a massive void.”

Chris Strickland, chief fire officer, said: “It is a great sadness to have lost someone who was an integral part of not just Whittlesey Fire Station but also the village and community.

“He dedicated many years to the on-call service and in-turn, to protecting his community.”

Before setting up the estate agency Mr Bean worked as a moulder at Baker Perkins in Peterborough.

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