Tragic biker Henry (89) was ‘perfect parent’

Henry Jarman on his 800 Suzuki Marauder at a Harely's Diner event in April
Henry Jarman on his 800 Suzuki Marauder at a Harely's Diner event in April

A PENSIONER with a passion for motorbikes who died in a collision last week has been described as “still 21 in his head” by his family, who praised him as the “perfect parent”.

Henry Jarman (89), of Millfield Road in Deeping St James, was killed in a crash on Saturday, June 4, involving his 800 Suzuki Marauder motorbike and sidecar and a Vauxhall Corsa on the A47 near Thorney.

There was no-one riding in the sidecar at the time.

Mr Jarman rode his first motorbike when he was just 14 years old, and that fuelled a passion that ran throughout the rest of his life.

Son Mark (46) said: “He was as fit as a fiddle. He was still 21 in his head.

“Dad never had an accident on his bike in his life. He was very careful.

“He still felt he was safe to ride and he was safer on his bike than in his car.”

He ran Jarman’s Newsagents in Deeping St James until he retired and learned to ride motorbikes to become a dispatch rider in the army.

He married Eileen Rose on Christmas Day 1942 and had five children – John, Reg, Susan, Ken and Mark.

On the day he died he was heading to a show in Doddington.

Ken (51) said: “Biking was his life. Dad liked any bike, the modern racing bikes as well as the classic ones.

“He was a member of the British Motorcyclists’ Federation and various other bike clubs.

“He had just joined a Harley Davidson owners’ club and used to go out to France every year for the Acétylène Moto Club show in Bourges.

“They would often give him a trophy, he was a bit of a celebrity.”

Eileen died in October and Henry leaves behind 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren along with his four surviving children. Son John died in 2003.

Ken said: “He was a massive family man, he always wanted to get the family together for parties.

“It’s the end of an era, Henry was the glue that held the family together.”

Police are still appealing for witnesses to the crash. Anyone with information should call 0345 456 4564.