Crowd gathers at West Dean Gardens for Rory’s funeral

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THE LIFE of a beloved brother, son and friend was celebrated this afternoon (January 15).

So many people turned up for the funeral of Rory Minns, 25, from Tangmere, that not everyone could fit into the visitor centre at West Dean Gardens, with many standing outside and listening to the service.

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Friends and family queued up to pay tribute to the hugely-popular young man.

Rain had poured in the run-up to the service but at midday the clouds cleared and there was a clear blue sky.

A wicker casket was carried into the visitor centre, along with a flower arrangement made to look like Scrabble tiles, which spelt out ‘Rory’.

Stories were told about Rory’s time at the Brinsbury Campus of Chichester College, at Balcombe when people were protesting against fracking, his love of games consoles and of staying up late to play just one more game.

He loved nature and the outdoors and had a vast horticultural knowledge.

He passed away on New Year’s Eve after being struck by a train at the Woodhorn Lane crossing, in Oving.

Everyone was asked to wear bright colours to his funeral and to bring pot plants rather than cut flowers.

Donations were received for the Tangmere Community Gardens.

The celebration of Rory’s life continued afterwards at Tangmere Village Hall.