Gallery: Funfair boss Charlie Manning taken on last ride through amusement park on way to funeral

FUNFAIR boss Charlie Manning was a much-loved Felixstowe icon, but it was his private life as an adored son, husband, father and brother which came to the fore at his funeral.

The town’s St John the Baptist Church was packed beyond capacity for the service as people paid their last respects to the much-loved businessman, whose family funfair is the resort’s best-known landmark.

Hundreds of mourners, including many from all over the country, joined grieving family and friends, along with community leaders, to say their farewells to the hugely popular character.

Charles Manning Jr, 33, who has taken over the business with his brother Jonathan, 31, thanked everyone for the kind messages of sympathy, the cards and flowers the family had received since his father’s death on May 12.

He said Mr Manning had been well respected as a businessman and as a Felixstowe figure, and was “caring and generous” in his dealings with everyone.

He was loved dearly by his family and Mr Manning Jr recalled family holidays where his dad packed so much in that everyone came home exhausted, and also spoke of his sense of humour and fun, telling one of his favourite jokes.

“My brother Jonathan and I will carry on his legacy of the amusements and his business,” he said.

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Leading the service, Rev Robert Hinsley, priest-in-charge of the church in Orwell Road, said Mr Manning had touched many lives across the community over the years and many people would have different memories and stories of him.

Earlier the funeral cortege had left Mr Manning’s home in St Edmunds Road with the hearse driving him through his beloved amusement park for one last time before heading along the seafront and up to the church.

His coffin was brought down the aisle on a bier with Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World playing.

During the service, the congregation sang Morning Has Broken and Lord of Hopefulness, Lord of All Joy.

Afterwards, close relatives travelled to the family burial plot in the town’s cemetery in Langley Avenue for a private interment.

Mr Manning, 66, died after a private six-month battle with cancer, telling only close family of his illness and still appearing in public and around the amusement park in Sea Road.

He leaves a wife Sarah, and two sons, Charles Jr and Jonathan.

He had been due to be nominated as president of Felixstowe Chamber of Trade and Commerce this month in recognition of his long service and tireless dedication to the resort.

? Tell us your memories of Charlie Manning – write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN.