MOTORCYCLISTS are preparing to gather in force to say goodbye to a gentle force for good.
A two-wheeled cavalcade is expected to snake through Ross-on-Wye from Gordon Lucas' shop to a service of thanksgiving on Thursday, where hundreds will pay their respects to the former mayor.
Mr Lucas died on Saturday, November 10 after an illness, with his family around him. He was 82 years old.
Respected throughout the motorcycling world and beyond as a true gentleman, he also served as a Hereford county councillor and mayor of Ross-on-Wye, where tributes have poured in.
Born in Clydach into a poor Welsh mining family, he and one of his brothers lived for a time in the Hay-on-Wye workhouse, before enjoying his stay in Carmarthenshire during the Second World War, billeted with well-off children displaced by the Blitz.
"That was the best time of his life, he loved it there," said his daughter Gail Lucas. "He wasn't formally educated much but he thrived in that environment."
He moved to Hereford when he was 15 to be with his mother, who worked in a bomb factory in Rotherwas.
He went on to work at Mead and Tomkinson motorcycle dealership and became manager. Before buying Alfred Kear's shop in Ross-on-Wye in 1962 and founding Lucas Motorcycles, he helped BSA develop the famous Gold Star model.
And a trip to the USA in the early 1970s with his wife Margaret sparked a love for motorcycle enduro, a sport in which he was widely respected.
The St Mary's church service will start at noon, and riders are asked to congregate at the Brookend Street shop between 11am and 11.30am.
"He was never a man of possessions," said Gail. "All he wanted out of life was to be able to feed his family and keep the house warm."