Roofer’s dying wish honoured after asking for a really cheap funeral

A father and son came up with this inventive idea (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

It’s not every day you see a coffin made out of scaffolding boards… and transported to the funeral on the back of a flat-bed truck.

But that’s exactly what Clive Dowdeswell wanted.

The 63-year-old roofer’s dying wish to his son Charlie was to make sure they saved cash on his send-off.

When Clive died from emphysema in January this year, Charlie fully obliged and made sure he fulfilled his dad’s plea not to waste money.

He cobbled together the coffin, lined it with cloth and comically turned the ‘this way up’ arrows the wrong way as a nod to his father’s sense of humour.

Charlie, who also runs his own roofing business, even put the casket on the back of his van – complete with tarp and ladder on board – to drive his dad to his funeral.

His gesture brought a tearful smile to mourners at Christ Church in Stroud, Gloucestershire, on February 8, as pink flowers and a deck of cards were also left atop the coffin.

Charlie purposely put the ‘this way up’ arrows upside down as a nod to his dad’s sense of humour (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

‘He was one of a kind, it suited him down to the ground,’ Charlie said of his DIY job, which cost just £150 to build compared to the ‘ridiculous’ thousands of pounds a typical coffin costs.

‘Before he died he said “check if we can make a coffin out of scaffolding boards”.

‘We could, so we went up there with the coffin and he loved it. He was very happy with it, it’s what he wanted so we did it.

‘We had loads of scaffolding boards lying around so we just used them and we lined it with cloth material.

‘We put the arrows upside down on purpose to make it more funny.’

Clive was driven to his funeral on the back of his son’s flat-bed truck, granting him his dying wish to his son to not waste money (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

Charlie, who was taught the roofing trade by his dad, said the unconventional coffin and tarpaulin cover brought a smile to people’s faces and helped make the sad day ‘more fun’.

He said: ‘It made it more fun and brought a smile to people’s faces. Everyone was smiling that we could celebrate it in that way.

‘It wasn’t a sad funeral where everyone was really upset, everyone was laughing. It was a good send off.

‘Obviously it’s sad, but it’s a lot better doing it that way. It’s not every day you see something like that.’

Clive Dowdeswell died from emphysema aged 63 (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

After making the coffin out of wooden boards, Charlie says he now also wants to have his own DIY funeral.

He added: ‘It saved a lot of money as well which was a bonus. My dad didn’t want us to pay much money at all. He wanted the easiest way possible, the least expensive.

‘You can spend thousands for a coffin. It’s ridiculous, especially in the cost-of-living crisis.

‘I’d want to be buried like that, I wouldn’t want my family to have to spend all that money.

‘What’s the point if you can have a good laugh and do it yourself and save a lot of money as well?’

Charlie Dowdeswell, 21, who made his dad’s coffin out of wooden scaffold boards and drove him to the funeral on the back of his flat-bed truck (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

Pink flowers and a deck of playing cards were scattered on top of the coffin (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

Charlie shared the unique idea on TokTok with the caption: ‘POV: Your dad didn’t wanna pay for a coffin so you used scaffolding boards and a truck.’

Many users were quick to praise Charlie in the comments section of the video, which amassed more than 678,000 views, for honouring his dad’s trade and ‘doing what he wanted’.

One user wrote: ‘Wanted to go out with the trade. Legend.’ Another commented: ‘The price of funeral cars and coffins I’d be happy to go out this way.’

‘I’m glad you did what he wanted,’ one said, while another added: ‘This is loads better than a normal funeral.’

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