The Tintern Village Website

Grantley's Diaries

Summer 2001

I hope my little dabbles about life in a small community are enjoyed but I have written before about the downside of how deeply it is felt by everyone when one of its members dies.

Recently I attended the funeral of Michael Williams, or "Will" as he was known throughout the village. Not only was the church full, but some eighty people stood outside to pay their respects to this quiet, self effacing man, tragically struck down by illness at the age of fifty five.

To a passing stranger the crowd would have meant it was the burial of someone of great importance and he would have been right. But this was an importance not of the sort created by local business people or dignitaries.

Will's importance was because of the respect and affection he was held in by everyone. His skills were in his hands, his knowledge of all things practical and total understanding of the countryside he loved, coupled with his willingness to share these gifts to help anyone not fortunate enough to possess them.

Living in the Angiddy valley the only transport he found necessary was a tractor. Indeed he was "Will the tractor" to most people. How well he will be remembered for that cheerful hail and wave from his chariot and the sight of as many locals who could find a place being offered a lift, "Back up the hill".

The setting of St Michael's Church nestling among the woods and alongside the river he loved could not have been more appropriate and interment at St Mary's, Chapel Hill, amongst family and friends, overlooking the Abbey and village of which he had been so much a part, so fitting.

Will had always been a great Bob Dylan fan and as the coffin left the church the sounds of the master's classic, "For ever young", was yet another great tribute.

The front of the service sheet read, "A man who left a footprint that can never be erased", and that says it all about someone who left such an impression on everyone who met him.

edited somewhat from Grantley James Diary. Thank you Grantley