Family touched by tributes to Oakham shopworker Greg

Greg Barnes (18), of Wymondham
Greg Barnes (18), of Wymondham

The family of a popular teenager and car enthusiast killed in a road collision near Melton say they’ve been ‘touched’ by the fitting tributes paid to him.

Greg Barnes, 18, from Wymondham, died in a crash on the B676 Saxby Road, Melton Mowbray, on April 11. The black Ford Fiesta he was driving was involved in a collision with a silver Ford Mondeo near to the junction with Brentingby. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Greg, a former John Ferneley College and Brooksby Melton College student, loved cars and ‘always had something with wheels and an engine’ said his loving sisters Simone and Kimberleigh.

They said: “Greg was born with a spanner in his hand. He was always tinkering about with something, taking things to bits or swapping something.

“He was very quick-witted, cheeky and would be laughing everywhere he went. He was ridiculously funny, he always had a smile on his face and took everything in his stride.

“Greg was also so kind-hearted and selfless. He couldn’t do enough for anyone and would drop everything to help you, including coming to do jobs for his nan. He was an all-round top lad.”

Greg joined various local car clubs and two days after his death many of his friends and fellow car fanatics gathered in Melton, with the parade of about 80 cars cruising through town to Play Close where hundreds of balloons, many with written messages on, were released in Greg’s memory with the crowds of people clapping and cheering his name. There was also a collection which raised nearly £200 for Greg’s family.

The gathering and parade were organised by Greg’s best friend, farmer Sam Lawrence, who led the way in a John Deere tractor. Other close friends, including Nathaniel Cropper, helped organise the tribute.

Greg’s nan, Jen, said: “We were so touched by the meeting of all the cars, the parade and the releasing of all the balloons in the park. There must have been over 200 balloons. We were so overwhelmed and it gave us some comfort.

“Greg was loved by everyone and he has left a huge hole we can never fill.”

Greg attended St Peter’s CE Primary School in Wymondham before moving on to Melton’s John Ferneley College and then studying a mechanics course at Brooksby Melton College.

He worked part-time at the Co-op store in Oakham and was co-owner of D&G Tyre Recycling in Nottingham with his dad, Darren.

As well as cars Greg also liked fishing, shooting and the game Airsoft as well as playing on his Xbox. He was also into dubstep and drum and bass music, ‘anything with a nice base line’ his sisters said which he’d have playing in his car. At home Greg’s sisters said he was ‘chilled out and relaxed’, with Kimberleigh adding: “Greg wouldn’t get out of bed without a cup of tea! He was never stressed.

“He didn’t know what he was doing when he was fixing stuff but he’d have a go. The only tool that would work for him was a hammer!”

Greg was driving towards Melton to get a piece of exhaust for his car when the tragic collision happened on the B676, about 200m south of the junction with Brentingby, at 6.40pm on April 11. The driver of the other car sustained minor injuries.

Greg’s funeral is taking place at 11am today at St Peter’s Church in Wymondham followed by burial.

Donations will be in aid of the air ambulance.

He leaves behind his mum and dad, Sally and Darren, sisters Simone and Kimberleigh, nan and grandad Jen and Reg and his brother Jarrad.

l Police are still investigating what happened before the crash and have asked anyone who may have seen something to call police on 101, quoting incident 592 of April 11.