Memorial bench installed for Stevenage boating accident victim overlooking the Aberystwyth bay he loved
PUBLISHED: 13:28 06 September 2017 | UPDATED: 13:52 06 September 2017
The family of Stevenage man Billy Davies have installed a public bench in his memory overlooking the Welsh harbour where he died in boating accident last year.
A year on from the speedboat accident that took the 64-year-old’s life, his family have installed the bench above Aberystwyth harbour after a moving anniversary service at St Matthew’s Church in nearby Borth.
To raise money for the bench, the family put on a sponsored slim, a car boot sale in Hitchin, and a pub raffle at Tom Tiddler’s Tavern in Symonds Green.
They hope to raise the remaining costs, around £200, in the next couple of weeks, but were able to install the bench on August 25.
The bench, which stands on the grounds of Aberystwyth Castle, overlooks a harbour panorama that Billy loved.
“It’s a beautiful view,” his sister Susan told the Comet.
“Billy used to go fishing there, it meant a lot to him. It’s so peaceful.
“It’s somewhere that his wife Debbie can go to regularly too.”
Billy, whose family came from Carmarthen in South Wales, moved to Stevenage as a teenager, attending Collenswood School.
In Stevenage he worked as a taxi driver and a car mechanic and worked for a time on the town’s outdoor market.
In 2006 he moved to Aberstwyth with his second wife Debbie in order to get closer to the outdoor life that he loved.
“Billy is to be remembered as a happy go lucky lovable rogue,” said Susan.
“What you saw is what you got – no airs, no graces. Those who knew him hadn’t got a bad word to say about him.”
Billy was so well-liked that St Matthew’s Church in Borth didn’t charge a fee for the anniversary memorial service.
Joining family members at the service were old colleagues from Glan Y Mor campsite where Billy had worked as security, as well as representatives from the RNLI team who had tried to save his life.
The family members who couldn’t attend the service in Wales gathered in Stevenage for a family meal to commemorate him.
Across two brass plates on the bench, the inscriptions read: “In loving memory of a much loved son and brother Billy – 08/11/52-31/08/16,” and “Forever in our hearts, love Mum, John, Susan, Terry, Chris, Helen and Bernadette.”