COMMEMORATIONS were paid at Ocean Terminal yesterday in memory of a taxi driver who passed away of bowel cancer earlier this month.

Local taxi driver Lance Bradley, 62, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in August last year, and died on July 4.

Lance's family and colleagues from Southampton White Taxi Excursions and Southampton Hackney Carriage gathered at Dock Gate 4 of Ocean Terminal to pay respects to the car park space that Lance used during his 30 years of taxi service, before they drove to his funeral at Southampton Crematorium.

Black ribbons were tied around 15 taxi vehicles in respect of Lance's memory, who would have been 63 years old on July 9.

Lance's family spoke of his unique way of taking customers who came off cruise ships on a special experience, including telling them about the history of the city and even once taking people who came to the city from America all the way to Stonehenge and not asking for a penny until they had returned to Southampton.

He was a father to two sons and owned Southampton White Taxi Excursions, which he has shared with his business partner David Beszant for the last 3 years.

David, who is also a taxi driver, said: "Lance Bradley was not only my business partner at Southampton White Taxi Excursions, but he was also a true friend and gentleman.

"He was a great character to be around, and generous to a fault. It’s a strange feeling knowing Lance is no longer with us, but he can rest in piece, safe in the knowledge that we will carry on the good work in his memory."

He added: "Lance above all else was a wonderful family man and a doting Dad to his two sons Drew and Brandon, who miss their Dad so much but are both staying strong in honour of Lance, as he was both their role model and best friend."

Lance was looked after at Countess Mountbatten House hospice during his battle with cancer.

His family said: "Lance’s two sons Drew and Brandon Bradley, although obviously devastated at the loss of their father, are drawing comfort from the positive impact he made on so many people that he encountered throughout the many areas of his life.

"Lance was first and foremost a loving family man. He was honest and open, hardworking and accountable and understanding and respectful of himself and others; these characteristics were sustained throughout his life and are firmly installed in both of his sons.

They added: "Although a Black Belt Jujitsu second Dan, he didn’t ever use his skills in a negative way, in fact he opened a Jujitsu club and ran this for many years teaching children and adults to protect themselves in a challenging situation.

"Lance will be remembered as a gentle giant, a good Samaritan, an advocate for his country when showing visitors from around the world the various national landmarks and heritage sites that he was so very proud to share.

"In order to honour their father’s memory and show appreciation for the outstanding level of care and sensitivity shown by all at Countesses Mountbatten House, Drew and Brandon have requested that no flowers are sent but donations can be made via R C PAYNE, Bitterne.

"Lance’s sons wish to present a contribution to enable Countess Mountbatten House to maintain the standard of support and dignity they showed to Lance - benefitting current and future patients and their loved ones."