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North Somerset Council chairman David Shopland is the Independent councillor for Clevedon East.

He said: "On behalf of North Somerset Council I would like to express our profound sadness on hearing the news of the passing of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.

"As a mark of respect, the Union flag will be flown at half-mast at both the Town Hall in Weston-super-Mare and our Castlewood offices in Clevedon throughout the period of national mourning.

"Residents who wish to pay their respects should use the online book of condolence organised by Buckingham Palace which will be available on the Royal Family website."

HM the Queen and Prince Philip toured North Somerset in August 2007.

Mr Shopland hosted a formal lunch for the royal couple with invited guests at Weston.

Nailsea People editor Carol Deacon said: "We all remember fondly that as the royal couple left the Winter Gardens, Weston, Prince Philip double-backed on the stairs and with a mischievous smile gave us a big wave."

Many churches will be tolling the tenor bell half muffled at noon to mark the death of HRH Prince Philip.

St Andrew’s at Backwell will be doing this.

A church spokesman said: "It is a great sadness to hear of the death of HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.

"The Churches of St Andrew’s and St Bridget’s join many others from across the UK and the Commonwealth in giving thanks for his life of exemplary service to HM The Queen and our country.

"St Andrew’s Church will be kept open for prayer and reflection.

"A book of condolences will be available for visitors to sign. Any messages recorded will be sent to the Palace after the Duke’s funeral.

"If anyone is unable or uncomfortable coming into church, there is an online book of condolences available"

Christ Church Nailsea pries-in-charge Jules Harris said: "Following the death of HRH Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip on Friday, April 9, people are more than welcome to lay flowers at the West Door to pay their respects."

The church also tolled its bell 99 times at midday.

  • The ceremonial royal funeral will be held at St George's Chapel, in the grounds of Windsor Castle, at 3pm on Saturday, April 17. The event will be televised.


Message of Condolence

His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
On behalf of the councillors and staff of Nailsea Town Council, as well as the people of Nailsea, we wish to share the sentiments of loss and sorrow felt across the Nation in mourning the death of His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh.

Our thoughts are with Her Majesty the Queen and her family at this sad time.
The town is now in a period of mourning which will conclude on Saturday, April 17.
The Union flag is flying at half-mast until the day after His Royal Highness’ funeral.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions the town council will not be opening a Book of Condolence or inviting the public to lay flowers and memorial items at the Tithe Barn.

If you would like to sign the Royal Book of Condolence this can be done via the Royal website

Issued by Nailsea Town Council chairman Jan Barber

and  town clerk Jo Duffy


Nailsea people who live in The Maples form a close-knit community even after someone moves elsewhere in the town.

Marilyn Ford lived for 39 years at the end of the cul-de-sac in her home looking out on the green but still maintained friendships with her Maples ‘ex-pats’.

The front garden of her home was filled with flowers the day of her funeral.

Marilyn was born in June 1954 in Fulham, London, to parents Joyce and Arthur and had a brother called Phillip.

Her afterschool life in SW10 involved church, ice skating and dancing.

Marilyn was a loving mother to her three children Vikki, Justin and Gemma.

For the past 20 years she worked at Tesco Nailsea where she made many good friends both customers and staff and called her workmates her ‘second family’.

Marilyn was clever, generous, and fun and her children added ‘loving, caring, kind and good natured’.

She adored her grandson Liam and great grandsons Reggie and Jaxon. 

The funeral service at Weston Crematorium was conducted by celebrant Paul Maltby and Liam said a few heartfelt words about his nanny.

Justin read the poem A Golden Heart Stops Beating and added his own tribute to his mother.

The funeral cortege drove past the High Street supermarket and staff many in tears lined the road outside.

Vikki said: “Mum had an amazing send off, her final route took her up past Tesco where all the staff and loads of other people were stood outside, literally from the roundabout right up to the end of the pavement and they all clapped as mum went past!

“We then went down past her field so she could see her horse Millie one final time.”

Sadly Marilyn lost her brave long battle against breast cancer and donations in her memory are going to St Peter's Hospice.

Marilyn 1 Sept 2019.JPG

REMEMBERING CHRIS: Sadly lots for remembering for Nailsea People. Twenty five years ago on Friday, March 26, former Nailsea School pupil Chris Howes was kidnapped in Cambodia by the Kymer Rouge. He was killed days afterwards, but his Backwell family knew nothing of his fate for more than two years afterwards. Chris was clearing mines for local people and his story is selfless and heroic. He is remembered today by all and especially by his sister Pat and father Roy. Poignantly, this sad anniversary is only a few days away from International Mine Awareness Day on Easter Sunday, April 4. RIP Chris, from schoolfriend Mark Appleby.

  • MAG (Mines Advisory Group) on its twitterfeed @MAGsaveslives also remember Chris, aged 36, and teenaged Houen Hourth, who were together when kidnapped and murdered while saving lives in Cambodia HERE and the BBC story posted in 2008 is HERE which has all the background.


REMEMBERING CHARLOTTE: And going purple for global epilepsy awareness day mum Cathy Bradley remembers lovingly nine-year-old Charlotte Fletcher, pictured together top, taken in her sleep after one seizure too many. A young princess never forgotten. Charlotte was a mischievous, awkward, entertaining, funny, loveable girl, even when she had just had a seizure and hurt herself she would be the first to help anyone else that was hurt or upset, said Cathy. Nailsea People posted this on its Facebook page and it reached more than 3,500 which is what it is all about. Awareness of this condition and raising money for research. 

REMEMBERING CHRIS SMITH: Kathy Maroney Turlick said I'd like to remember my Chris in a very special way. Chris passed away one year ago on Saturday, March 27, from the Covid-19 virus. At the time of his death family and friends weren't able to gather to honor this wonderful man. There is a small town at the Jersey shore that started a temporary memorial that family and friends can visit and honour their love ones who lost their life to this terrible virus. The town of Belmar has set up this memorial on 3rd Ave beach, see pictures. Each stone represents a love one, it's a very special tribute to all the beautiful souls that's been taken from us. As you see for Chris's stone, I added the UK colors, a beautiful picture, one of his favorite cigars and yes a shot glass of bourbon. My Chris really enjoyed life to the fullest, what beautiful memories I will always cherish of him, RIP Chris Smith, sending you all my love up there in the heavens. Scroll down to read the original post for Chris who was a well-known, much-loved Nailsea character


REMEMBERING BAILEE: Nailsea schoolboy Bailee Cook died aged four in April 2018. Since then his loving family and friends have raised thousands of pounds in his name for medical research. Three years on the latest fundraising is for The Lily Foundation, which funds research into Mitochondrial Disease and other metabolic disorders. The full story is on our Breaking News page HERE and the Facebook page is called Bailee’s Charity Fundraiser 2021 - Lily Foundation (due to FB rules it has to be private group so wait to be invited in). To donate go to:

BAILEE REMEMBERED: More than  £1,000 was raised by this Facebook event. Mum Jemma Capern said: "I would just like to say a massive thank you from myself, Lee, siblings Gracie-Leigh and Darcie to all the truly wonderful people who have either donated their time, money or prizes to raise funds for an amazing charity that is very close to our hearts The Lily Foundation, The money raised in Bailee's memory will help fund research and support other families in their fight against Mitochondrial Disease. Bailee would be so proud of how everyone pulls together in his memory whether it's in raising money or simply the annual wearing blue for him so we would like to thank each and everyone of you but the list is endless. So thank you all for everything you have done or are doing to make sure his memory lives on and helps others. A massive thanks too to fundraising champions Charlie Amos and Andie Hancock for the planning and hard work they put in."

A-team send-off for Simon Taylor

Nearly 300 people lined the access road to Grove Sports Centre & Social Club on Tuesday morning, March 23, to pay their last respects to Simon Taylor.

The much-loved family man and all-round sportsman who was engaged to partner Michele Sargent died suddenly aged 44 on February 22.

Nailsea United FC posted online ‘We’d like to pay tribute to the incredibly sad and sudden passing of one of our own Si Taylor. Si gave amazing service to the club…life can be unbelievably cruel and our heartfelt thoughts and condolences go out to Si’s family and friends’.

Due to lockdown restrictions the number of mourners attending the midday funeral service at Weston Crematorium was severely limited.

Simon who also played for Nailsea Cricket Club was a Bristol Rovers fan.

This summer it is intended to hold a celebration of his life at the Grove ‘one of the places he loved most and spent his time growing into a fine young man. Another one of our heroes taken far too soon. RIP Si'.

This sporting life match card for Simon while playing for Nailsea United records:

  • played 23 seasons 1992-2015

  • 615 appearances sixth in the all-time list

  • 191 goals

  • first team 155 games 12 goals

  • reserves 229 games 69 goals

  • A team 151 games 88 goals

  • B team 76 goals 21 goals

  • Colts 4 games 1 goal


After the funeral service Michele shared with Nailsea People her thoughts. She said: "​Today has been a very tough day but I would like to thank everyone who took time to see Si take his final journey from the Grove Sports Centre.

"We were overwhelmed by the many who turned up.

"I would also like to thank those who were able to join us for Si's final farewell and a big thank you to Arthur E Davey & Sons the funeral directors for all their help, support, professionalism and comfort during the past four weeks.

"I hope we have done you proud today Si and how proud I am for Chloe for standing up and reading the beautiful poem.

"We will all miss you so much.

"I have never loved someone like I loved you.

"Always in my thoughts, forever in my heart."

Michele has set up a memorial fund for the British Heart Foundation via her Facebook page.


Tributes to Arron

Nailsea said goodbye to Arron King with tears and noisy cheers as the cortège travelled at walking pace down Mizzymead Road.

Former classmates and staff stood on the pavement opposite Nailsea School to clap and cry while older mates were nearer the mini roundabout expressing their grief in loud applause and whistling as the hearse went past.

Greatwood Jenkins vans followed in procession and there were several gulps as the Nike coffin past.

Mum Annettee Jones shared the video of the cortège turning from Mizzymead Road into Stockway South where even more people were waiting to pay their respects.

Utterly heartbreaking.

The cortège left Arron’s home in Portland Close at noon going along Queens Road into Mizzymead Road past Nailsea School and onto Stockway South.

Paying your last respects to the much-loved 19-year-old who died within weeks of being diagnosed with a rare cancer was described as ‘utterly heartbreaking’.

Because of Covid-19 restrictions numbers at the crematorium were strictly limited.

Esther Warbutton posted on Nailsea People Facebook page: “I didn't know Arron but what I saw at midday on Thursday, March 18, was that he was hugely loved and will be so unbelievably missed.

“It was so emotional to see all of his loved ones and friends on Queens Road, I had to stop my car and sit and clap with you all.

“You should all be so proud of yourselves of how brave you were. I couldn't fight back the tears.

“I really pray for you all to find some sort of peace.”

Monies are being raised for Teenage Cancer Trust and a memorial bench hopefully on Morgans Hill.

A 'wake' at the Grove Sports & Social Club will be organised when conditions allow and it is hoped to install a memorial bench on the edge of Morgan's Hill for all to reflect on a young life lost.

The crowdfunding Just Giving page set up by friends with a target of £2,000 has raised more tha £14,000 todate.

To give go to

Goodbye Captain Tom

Church bells across North Somerset will ring out in honour of Captain Sir Tom Moore on Saturday, February 27, to mark his funeral. 

Many churches will ring their bells 100 times to mark the life of the 100-year-old who inspired the nation at noon. 

And Backwell, Nailsea, Tickenham and Wraxall the bells will be ringing.

The parish church of St Andrew at Backwell, St Quiricus and St Julietta at Tickenham, All Saints parish church at Wraxall and Holy Trinity at Nailsea are all joining in.

A solo bell ringer will be pealing 100 times at the churches.

Paul Balmer on behalf of Nailsea Ringers is pealing at Holy Trinity but said he will have to start slightly after noon as the clock on the belfry tower will be chiming.

And Tickenham it will be retired village stalwart John Banks who organised the annual flower shows who will be ringing the tribute to Captain Sir Tom.

In the village of Marston Moretaine where Captain Tom lived, St Mary’s Church will be joining the commemoration.

His family asked people to follow coronavirus restrictions and stay at home. 

Captain Sir Tom captured the hearts of the nation with his fundraising efforts during the first lockdown when he walked 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden before his 100th birthday, raising more than £32 million for the NHS.

bell ringing.jpg

He died at Bedford Hospital on Tuesday, February 2, after testing positive for Covid-19.

In line with current Covid restrictions his funeral will be attended by eight members of Captain Sir Tom’s immediate family including his daughters and four grandchildren.

See Church Peeps for an update on this story

Arron King fundraising cycle
Arron King fundraising cycle

Arron King fundraising cycle
Arron King fundraising cycle

Arron King fundraising cycle
Arron King fundraising cycle

Arron King fundraising cycle
Arron King fundraising cycle


100 miles memorial bike ride for Arron King

Some serious training is going to be needed before a group of Nailsea friends tackle a 100-mile sponsored bike ride in memory of their pal Arron King who died aged 19 of a rare cancer.

All nearly didn’t bode well on Sunday morning when Jude Balshaw arrived last for the first training session huffing and puffing and saying: “I nearly didn’t make it up The Perrings.”

But it was all good humoured as they pumped tyres in readiness while reminiscing about Arron.

Tinged with sadness but purposeful the 11-strong band set out from the entrance of The Grove towards Yatton and the Strawberry Line for a 35-mile ‘get fit’ practice run buoyed by the fact the memorial fund for Arron was now touching £13k, thousands more than first hoped.

The cyclists joked that leader Sam Crocker was the only one among the former Nailsea School classmates who was in peak condition.

For the actual ride the youngsters will be wearing T-shirts supplied by Greatwood Jenkins the kitchen and bathroom fitters where Arron worked.

The funeral has been organised for Thursday, March 18, and the cortege will leave the family home in Portland Close to travel along Queens Road into Mizzymead Road and onto Stockway South to give people the opportunity of paying their last respects to this much-loved young man.

Because of Covid-19 restrictions the actual service which will be streamed has had to be limited to just 20 close family and friends.

More than 20 have signed-up for the cycle ride from Taunton back to Nailsea on the Easter weekend.

Music fan Arron who was a budding DJ died on Wednesday, February 17, just three weeks after getting the diagnosis of an incurable and very rare sarcoma.

Mum Jayne King, a dinner lady, said: “It makes me so proud to know how much he was loved.

“We have been overwhelmed by all the messages of condolences including Nailsea School staff even teachers who have since left have been in touch.”

Jayne and his dad Rich were with Arron when he died and her partner James Sims is taking part in the bike ride.

Big sister Kirstin Ling and younger brother Tyler, 12, and the whole community are in mourning.

Kirstin said: "I just can't get over everyone's well wishes.

"We just thought we were a small family in Nailsea and everyone is pouring out with love and support for us, even those who don't know us!

"Thank you, Arron would be so grateful but even more gobsmacked that so many people care about him.

"His bravery and strength he showed through his short battle will help us as a family get through this horrendous time.

"Arron will be leaving my mum's house at noon so people can line up for then.

"The funeral service will be at 12.45pm but strictly no one else can attend the crematorium, even outside as mum has had to sign a disclaimer saying she'll pay if a fine is given."

Dad Rich said: "Thank you to all of Arron's friends for even thinking of the fund raiser and bike ride.

"Thank you to everyone else for donating, it means so much by just creating awareness for Teenage Cancer Trust."

A 'wake' at the Grove Sports & Social Club will be organised when conditions allow and it is hoped to install a memorial bench on the edge of Morgan's Hill for all to reflect on a young life lost.


Obit: Bob Williams

July 1933-January 2021

One of Nailsea’s best known and much-loved characters Bob Williams has died aged 87.

Bob was born in London in 1933 and moved to Somerset in the 1960s.

He was employed in the carpet and flooring trade and before opening his Nailsea business worked for a Bristol-based American company.

The family moved Hillcrest Road, Nailsea in the early 1960s and then out to West End in 1967.

In 1971 he founded Mendip Carpets in Nailsea High Street.

Mostly remembered in the town for his wicked sense of humour, Bob was a keen Nailsea footballer in the 60s and later an active member of Nailsea Lions Club and Nailsea Freemasons.

Charity summer garden parties around the swimming pool were a feature of life at West End.

When his eldest son Steve joined the company from Long Ashton District Council the pair could be spotted most workdays on ‘their table’ dining at the Golden Spur.

It was Bob who introduced the concept of a ‘personal shopping’ at Waitrose supermarket with a staff member tasked to do push the trolley, Steve remembered fondly in his eulogy.

Granddaughter Charlie Williams, who is a nurse, posted online her memories of the funeral service.

She said: “The sun shone for you today Grandad.

“Our family is truly overwhelmed and filled with gratitude for the hundreds of people that braved the cold this morning to wish Bob Williams a final farewell on his last journey around Nailsea.

“Due to Covid restrictions we could not give him the send-off we would have liked, nor the one he deserved but the volume of people that wore their masks, maintained social distancing and turned out to line the three-mile route was wonderful to see and a reflection of just how loved he was. “As the horse and carriage stopped outside Mendip Carpets people clapped and cheered and we felt so much pride to have been part of such a special man's life.

“Bob was an active member of the community, a larger-than-life character, generous to a fault with an unforgettable sense of humour and fun and the best Granddad a girl could wish for.

“We are not sure how we are going to manage without him, but we do know he has left us with a lifetime of fun-filled memories and love.

“We would like to thank Arthur Davey & Co and Blagdon Horse Drawn Carriages for their exceptional organisation of the funeral and for acting with such care, compassion and professionalism at such a difficult time.

“Thank you to the Church of St Bridget in Chelvey for a lovely service, Kimberley’s Florist for the beautiful flower arrangements and to all Bob's friends, family and customers for making his send off such a special one.

“I would personally also like to thank all the wonderful doctors and nurses at UHBW especially my own team for all the great care and kindness they gave to Grandad in his final weeks, you are all amazing x.

“Rest in peace Bobby, you were so loved and we will miss you immensely.”

Bob leaves loving wife Brenda, children Steven, Vanessa and Russell, three grandchildren and one great grandchild.


RIP KEITH LEWIS: Much loved Nailsea character Keith Lewis died at the end of October 2020. It was not Covid-19 related. He was aged 75. Keith worked for Turner's Coaches for many years doing PS Travel trips and then onto Silverlink coaches. Close friend Mike Cross said: "He will be sadly missed by everyone." Keith leaves behind two daughters and grandchildren.The funeral on Thursday, November 19, left the Coop funeral home at 3pm to drive over The Downs then service is at 3.45pm at Canford. Unfortunately only 20 allowed so anyone wishing to pay their respects will have to be outside. Lots of lovely tributes were left on the Nailsea People Facebook page posting


FOND MEMORIES: Philip Ralph Williams passed away after a battle with cancer on Monday, August 31, 2020 aged 68 years. He was a much loved Nailsea gentleman, well known for his work at Blue Iris Coaches Nailsea, PS Travel and Silverlink. He was also president of Nailsea & District Horticultural Society. His funeral service on Wednesday morning, September 16, at South Bristol Crematorium was followed by a service at Christ Church Nailsea. Due to limited mourner numbers, people lined Stockway North to pay their last respects. It was family flowers only but donations in memory of Phillip for RNLI may be sent c/o Arthur E Davey & Sons, 82 Silver Street, Nailsea, BS48 12DS. Tel: 01275 852307.


GARDEN OF REST: The beautifully tended garden full of colourful flowers and plants  at Stockway North, Nailsea