Tetbury farmer's life on the land remembered
4:30pm Friday 22nd February 2013 in News
FARMERS from far and wide packed a village church near Tetbury to celebrate the life of one of the industry’s most colourful characters.
David Wilson, who died in January aged 87, farmed the Elmestree estate at Doughton and was part of the local landscape for five decades.
Last week family, friends and neighbours gathered at Long Newnton parish church – the same church where he married wife Betty and where her funeral was held three years ago – to mark the end of an era.
Born in Somerset, he moved to Westonbirt at the age of four.
“He told us many stories of farming at home during the war, working with Italian and German prisoners of war,” said son Tim. “There was meat rationing and he often told the story of someone using horsemeat and passing it off as beef.”
At 22 he took over the farm next to Highgrove and it was there that he and Betty brought up four children.
“They lived and worked at Elmestree for more than 50 happy years. It was a wonderful home where we all grew up,” Tim said.
“All his life dad really enjoyed the farming and dealing side of the business. He never liked using sprays or chemicals. He wasn’t one for shiny new machinery, he really focussed on his livestock, his cattle and sheep.”
As well as having a soft spot for working farm horses, he was known for breaking in and bringing on youngsters as a side line.
He was regular at the livestock markets, but particularly loved the hustle and bustle of Gloucester market. “He was a customer at the beginning in 1958 and he sold cattle at the last Gloucester market 12 years ago.”
His interest in the family farm remained strong until his death and in his final months he would drive round the fields checking on all the animals and discussing their prospects with his sons.
He leaves three sons, a daughter and eight grandchildren.