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Tributes paid to community stalwart
1:53pm Wednesday 23rd October 2013 in News
TRIBUTES have been paid to a long-serving Sowerby parish councilor who was known as “Lord of the Manor”.
Farmer and dedicated fundraiser Billy Bell, who was known to a member of the council from 1973 to 2002, died last month aged 88.
He has been buried alongside his wife, Vera, at Kirby Wiske, close to his family’s farm in Newsham, where he was born.
Hambleton District Council leader Councillor Mark Robson, who served alongside Mr Bell on the parish council, said his former colleague was “a true gentleman”.
Coun Robson said: “His passing is a true loss not only to his family and many friends, but also to Sowerby and the wider community.”
Alongside running Thorpefield Farm in Sowerby, he was dedicated to raising funds for the Lambert Memorial Hospital, in the village and as a member of Thirsk Rotary Club, he was involved with a number of drives to boost funds for cancer and lifeboats charities.
Mr Bell, a Methodist who is survived by his two sons, two daughters, two grandchildren and two sisters, was a keen pigeon fancier and was chairman of Sowerby Angling Club.
Mr Bell’s daughter, Julia, said: “He was was very pleased when his friend and Sowerby resident Fred Ozelton dedicated the title Lord of the Manor of Sowerby to him.
“He never lost his enthusiasm for life and nature and even latterly when he was restricted to a wheelchair due to spinal and arthritic problems, he adapted to his incapacities to carry on as normal a life as possible.”
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