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Thursday, 15 June, 2000, 17:23 GMT 18:23 UK
Hell's Angels mourn founder member
Hell's Angels place the coffin of their founder member Ian
Hell's Angels from the UK and abroad attended the funeral
British Hell's Angels have turned out in force at the funeral of the group's founder member, Dr Ian "Maz" Harris.

An estimated 1,000 bikers formed a three-mile cortege, following the hearse on its way to the Kent church where the service was held.

Led by a police outrider, the procession travelled at 20mph along the A2. At times it filled all three lanes of the road and took five minutes to pass.

Hell's Angels form a two-wheeled procession along the A2 in Kent
The procession stretched for three miles
Dr Harris, 50, formed the UK branch of Hell's Angels and became their spokesman. He was killed in a motorcycle crash on 31 May.

The funeral was held at the parish church at Crayford, close to Dr Harris' home at Barnehurst.

Dr Harris was a popular writer who regularly contributed to biker magazines including Back Street Heroes.

He achieved a doctorate in philosophy from Warwick University with a thesis entitled Myth and Reality in the Motorcycle Sub Culture.

He also helped organise the annual bikers' festival of speed, the Bulldog Bash, which, now in its 14th year, is held at Long Marston airfield near Stratford-upon-Avon.

Special service

There was only room at the church for 300 mourners. The rest of the gathered Hell's Angels, some of whom had travelled from Germany and the US, stood outside and listened through loud-speakers.

The service, which included Dr Harris's favourite music rather than hymns, began with The Doors hit Riders on the Storm.

It continued with prayers and a reading of the 23rd Psalm, followed by Bird on a Wire by Leonard Cohen and a recorded reading of Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood, by the late Richard Burton.

Floral tributes laid near the church read simply "Respect from your brothers".

Parish priest, Father Antony Lane said: "The Hell's Angels came with pre-conceived ideas and I was happy to go along with that. They have been quite superb.

"I am happy to open up the church to them. There is nothing outrageous in the service. Funerals must be expressed in many different ways."

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10 Mar 00 | Europe
Lived fast, died young
07 May 99 | Europe
Belgium clips Angels' wings
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