A proud send-off for much-loved Fleetwood man Allan Macfarlane

A much-loved Fleetwood man’s funeral service was packed after pals rallied round to give him the send-off he deserved.

By Richard Hunt
Monday, 17th January 2022, 7:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 9:47 am
Many were able to pay their respects to Fleetwood man Allan Macfarlane
Many were able to pay their respects to Fleetwood man Allan Macfarlane

Allan Macfarlane, a talented photographer, was well known in the town as a volunteer for a hot meals service for homeless and lonely people and a keen fundraiser for the RNLI.

When he died of bronchial pneumonia at his home on Bold Street on December 11, aged just 59, it came to light that Allan, a film degree student in Blackpool, had not set aside funds or arrangements for his funeral.

A fund-raising campaign was launched to give him a proper send-off, raising £1,915 with £400 left over for RNLI funds.

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Organiser Donna Buston said: “It was a lovely service and it was really well attended.

“Allan was very well thought of in the town.

“I don’t have enough words to thank all the people who helped make sure he had such a good send off.”

Donna, 36, of Southfleet Avenue, Fleetwood, also made arrangements for an RNLI boat to be named after him, in recognition of the support he gave to his favourite charity.

Allan’s death came as a complete shock because he only had what seemed to be a normal cold.

But unexpectedly it developed into bronchial pneumonia and Allan became ill very quickly

When Donna organised the fundraiser, it raised £1,600 in the first three days alone , smashing the £1,495 target set for his funeral arrangements via a GoFundMe page.

Donna said at the time: “I have lived in Fleetwood for 12 years, I’m originally from Rossendale, and I have never known a place like it for people rallying round when they know someone needs help.

“It’s also a measure of how popular Allan was, this shows the sort of person he was.

“He wanted to help people who were less well off than he was, but he didn’t have anything himself. He was a volunteer at the Mustard Seed group, helping with hot meals, and with the food bank at The Pantry.

“I’d known him since I came to Fleetwood and we were photography students together.

“His death has caused such a shock, it was totally unexpected, he only had a cold. But it turned into bronchial pneumonia.”

She added that fears he had caught Covid appeared to be dispelled when he tested negative for the virus after falling ill.

Maureen Blair, another friend, was at the funeral as well.

She said: “Allan was a popular man and people really wanted to rally round.”

If the funds had not been raised, Allan would have had a state-funded funeral but Donna was concerned that it would not allow Allan to get the send-off he deserved.

There were concerns that only a handful of people would have been able to attend a limited service, when many more wanted to pay their respects.

Fleetwood RNLI, where Allan worked as a volunteer posted a message on their Facebook page after hearing of Allan’s passing.

They said: “We are sad to report the passing of great supporter to our lifeboat station, Allan Macfarlane.

“We send our thoughts and prayers to friends and family at this very difficult time.”