Tees

Didcot power station worker Mike 'Whitby Mick' Collings' funeral held

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Hundreds of bikers have turned out to mark the "final ride" of a worker killed in the Didcot Power Station collapse as his funeral is held.

Mike Collings, 53, also known as Whitby Mick, was killed on 23 February while preparing the site for demolition.

The keen biker, from Brotton in Teesside, was a member of the Tees Riders Motorcycle Club, many of whom accompanied his funeral cortege.

The ceremony was held at Kirkleatham Memorial Park near Redcar.

Mr Collings' widow Lynn invited fellow bikers to join him on his last journey from their home to the crematorium and had responses from riders across the country who wanted to pay their respects.

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Image caption The coffin arrived at Kirkleatham Memorial Park flanked by fellow bikers

Shortly after his death, a statement from his family said: "Mike was a much loved husband, father, granddad, son, brother and friend.

"He had a huge enthusiasm for life and will be remembered for his kind and friendly nature."

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Image caption Members of the Tees Riders Motorcycle Club paid their own tribute to Mr Collings

A family obituary said: "Always happy and smiling, Michael loved everyone.

"He always lived life to the full - working to provide for his family, making improvements to his home, keeping in close contact with his family and friends, organising rock music events and attending motorbike rallies throughout the UK and Europe with his wife Lynn, his 'best lass'.

"This wonderful man is no longer with us and has left a huge void in all our lives."

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Image caption The three men still missing at the Didcot site were also remembered
Image caption Hundreds of bikers turned out for Mr Collings' funeral

Tees Riders Motorcycle Club chairman Joe Johnson said: "It's a very, very sad day. I just wish we were riding out for a different reason rather than seeing Mick off on his last ride.

"He was a really good guy, he was one of those blokes that everything he did was 110%.

"Whether he was killed in Didcot or on the road, he would have got the same send-off, because that's what sort of bloke he was."

Club committee member Craig Ransom, added: "We are all devastated, he was a good friend, someone you would be proud to call a friend.

"This is something we always do for a biker funeral, to giver respect to that person.

"It's an escort, a procession, it's their final ride so we all ride together."

Mr Collings was working at the power station for Coleman and Co Demolition when the building collapsed.

Three more men are still missing in the rubble.

Their families held a "peaceful protest" on Sunday expressing anger at the time it is taking to recover them.

Fellow demolition workers Ken Cresswell, 57, and John Shaw, 61, both from Rotherham, and Chris Huxtable remain missing.


What is happening at Didcot now?

Christopher Huxtable, 34, from Swansea, Ken Cresswell, 57, and John Shaw, 61, both from Rotherham, are still missing in the rubble.

The emergency services have previously said it would take "many, many weeks" to recover the men's bodies.

There are safety concerns over the stability of the rubble, which is 55m (180ft) long, 30m (98ft) wide and 25m (82ft) high.

In a joint statement on Friday Thames Valley Police and the Health and Safety Executive said site owners RWE is producing a plan "for a safe method of working before the next stage of recovery can begin".

Specialist officers are supporting the families.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue's chief fire officer Dave Etheridge defended the speed of the operation and said: "We did everything we could to try to make our way into that rubble pile.

"What we have to make sure of course is that we minimise the risk to our own people as well, and that's an enormously difficult thing to balance."


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