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Herne Bay traffic delays warning ahead of huge funeral procession


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Motorists are being told to expect delays as a funeral procession for a barman who took his own life winds its way through a Kent town.

A ceremony celebrating the life of popular Lee Harlow will take place this afternoon at St Martin's Church in Herne.

Lee Harlow - who died last month - was a popular barman and had worked in pubs across Herne Bay
Lee Harlow - who died last month - was a popular barman and had worked in pubs across Herne Bay

The 32-year-old, who had battled depression since the age of seven, died on a bridge near the Thanet Way towards the end of last month.

And ahead of the funeral later today, highways bosses are warning drivers of possible delays due to the cortege, which will include a horse-drawn hearse.

A Kent County Council spokesman said: "Allow extra time from your journey.

"Possible delays on September 15 from 12pm to 3.30pm due to a funeral procession.

"The affected routes include Bullockstone Road, Herne Bay High Street and Herne Street."

Lee Harlow tragically died last month after suffering with depression for years (51023678)
Lee Harlow tragically died last month after suffering with depression for years (51023678)

Tributes have poured in for Lee, who was best-known for working behind the bar in the town’s Diver’s Arms, Druid’s Head and the Prince of Wales pubs.

However, Lee began wrestling with depression when he was a child.

He had sought help on a number of occasions from services like Durham House in Canterbury.

But mum Annie Harlow woke up on August 24 to find police at her front door, bearing the devastating news of her son’s death.

“We have lost everything,” she told KentOnline last week.

Lee Harlow was well known in Herne Bay for pulling pints in pubs like the Druid’s Head in High Street and the Diver’s Arms in Central Parade (51023680)
Lee Harlow was well known in Herne Bay for pulling pints in pubs like the Druid’s Head in High Street and the Diver’s Arms in Central Parade (51023680)

“People have come forward to say ‘he helped me get through suicidal thoughts’.

“Because he was so troubled inside, if there was anybody going through some trouble, he had empathy because he knew that pain.

“He took on such a lot when he was crumbling inside himself."

Officers were called to the bridge in Bullockstone Road at 6.35am that day after receiving reports of “concern for a man”.

Lee was pronounced dead at the scene, but his death is not being treated as suspicious.

Floral tributes have been left on the Bullockstone Road bridge where Lee Harlow died
Floral tributes have been left on the Bullockstone Road bridge where Lee Harlow died

The procession today will make its way from the family home in Bullockstone Road at noon through to the centre of town.

The 2pm service will be open for anyone to pay their respects.

Donations from the ceremony will be given to Canterbury homelessness charity Catching Lives.

For confidential support on an emotional issue, call Samaritans on 116 123 at any time or click here to visit the website.

If you want to talk to someone confidentially, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Herne Bay

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