Obituary: Mr William (Billy) Boyes of Fridaythorpe

billy boyes

billy boyes

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A funeral service was held at St Mary’s & St James Church, Fridaythorpe on Wednesday, 5 March for Mr Billy Boyes, of Fridaythorpe, who died peacefully in hospital on 20 February. He was 88.

The service was conducted by the Rev David Fletcher and the organist was Mrs Gwynneth Clark.

Billy was born in 1925 in Back Lane, Fridaythorpe. He was one of nine children and the last surviving family member. He spent all of his 88 years living in the village.

Billy was educated at Fridaythorpe School until the age of 14, when he left to find work on the land, in and around the village. One of his first jobs was at Vicarage Farm, working on a binder and ‘stooking the sheaves’. After briefly working with his eldest brother Ernest farming near Huggate he started working back in Fridaythorpe for his uncle Anthony Boyes. They both worked the land with horses. Billy loved his horses but he was slightly built and he found the horses difficult to handle so he was highly delighted when Anthony bought an iron wheeled tractor, £175. brand new!

Billy worked for Anthony for many years during which time he met his wife Norah, they married at Fridaythorpe Church in 1950. They were a devoted couple and spent 25 happy years together. Sadly Billy lost his beloved Norah to cancer in 1975, he nursed her at home until she passed away.

When Anthony sold Glebe Farm Billy went to work at Callis Wold for Mr Stringer and his sons. As well as working the land he really enjoyed working his sheep dogs. He carried on tractor driving and was ‘ridging potatoes’ at 75 years of age. Excercising his sheep dogs became a hobby and another form of excercise was climbing the ladder at the back of Fridaythorpe Church to wind up the church clock. He did this for many years.

In his early days Billy loved playing sport and played football for Fridaythorpe and darts in his dad’s pub, The Cross Keys, he also liked to play pool. He loved going to Beverley Races with friends and family and most days of the week he would pop into Driffield to put his bets on. A trip to Driffield usually took up a good part of the day due to the number of people he met in the street. For anyone who doesn’t know Billy liked to talk! He also liked a ‘tipple with friends.

Billy walked many a mile, and completed the Lyke Wake Walk with friends and relatives on no less than thirteen occasions. Billy was once inspired to write a short poem whilst on a local walk near Thixendale. He wrote it on a metal sign he put halfway up a steep hillside, perhaps to give other walkers the encouragement to carry on. It simply read:

Relief at last, sat on this stile

To ease my legs from many a mile

Then after that long and joyful rest

Thixendale next stop for a pint of the best.

It must have been read by many and brought many a smile.

A few years ago Billy was invited to record his thoughts on farming through the years. There is now a visual and audio display about Billy at Murton Farming Museum near York. More recently Billy’s life experiences have also been recorded by the Wolds Heritage Group and have been published in a book called ‘Voices from the Wolds’. He was so proud and delighted with both his contributions.

Billy loved shooting and beating, it was a big part of his life and he spent many happy hours at Raisthorpe and Garrowby. He also enjoyed shooting holidays in the heat of Portugal with a group of friends.

Last year he met Prince Charles and Camilla who were visiting Garrowby. He was introduced to Camilla by Lady Halifax as the oldest beater on the Estate. ‘Yes’ Billy told Camilla ‘I do two days a week but i’ll probably cut down to one when I am ninety’. Billy said meeting the Royals was the proudest day of his life.

Billy was a countryman, gentleman, a true son of Fridaythorpe and the Wolds.

Chief mourners: Stephen & Wendy Lyus (nephew & wife), Janet & Bernard Thompson, Sally & Martin Agnew, Helen Flack & David Turrell, Vicky Shaw rep Dave Shaw, Abbey Agnew, Daniel Agnew, Paul Thompson, (closest friends), Rebecca Lyus, Hannah Lyus rep Ted Johnson, Derek & Sue Coomber (nephew & wife), Rebecca Coomber, Darren Coomber, John & Carolyn Coomber (nephew & wife), Roy & Maureen Boyes (nephew & wife), Elaine Boyes, Joanne Norman, Les & Carol Robinson (nephew & wife), Angela Fairhead, Debbie Mann, Samantha Robinson, Helen Mann, Peggy Boyes (sister in law), Sue Woodcock, John & Andra Boyes (nephew & wife), Loretta, Tony & Kayleigh Boyes, Carol Fletcher, Marie Duffy (nieces), Hayley Woodcock, Malcolm Burgess (cousin), Mr & Mrs Harrison (niece & husband), Mr & Mrs Simonds (niece & husband), Yvonne Alderson (sister in law).

Others present:

Janet Wilmot rep David & Noel Wilmot, John Brayshaw, Andrew Cooper rep Arnold & Diane Parks, Mr & Mrs E & M Humphreys (Tadcaster), Rose & Geoff Shirborn, David Garbutt, Ronan Boynton, Mr & Mrs C Tindall rep Tindalls Butchers & Mrs Sharon Lowe, George & Heather Harrison, Harold Carr, Pauline Foster, Lemon Stannard, Mr & Mrs E Scrace rep Mrs Winifred Boyes (sister in law), Billy Foster, Joan Yates rep John & Cliff West, Mr & Mrs E Newton, Roger Soanes, Nigel Foster, Margaret Foster rep the Craig family, Molly Hepton, David Wiles, Alan Yarker rep Alec Serginson, Alec Taylor rep Keith Robinson & family, Richard & Christine Pollard rep Nicola Welsh, Henry & Jenny Watson rep David Watson & Angela Theakston, Mr R Heron, Mrs H Sygrove rep Peter, Mike & Wendy Preston, Barbara Vincent rep David Cawthorn & Blanche Cooper, Jean Knights rep Katrina & family, Mrs Lawson & family & Chris Wildridge, Sheila & Mike Hara rep Barbara Hara, Mrs W Duggleby rep Mr M Duggleby & Mike Holmes, Neil Smith, Tony Megginson, Mr & Mrs D Hewitt, Mr & Mrs G Kirby rep Mrs N Grace, Dennis & Jill Burton, Mike & Kate Stringer, Debbie Bruin, Hannah Bruin,Ute Fowler, Mr & Mrs P Thompson, Mrs Joyce Hammond, Nick & Hannah Brown, Warren & Sonya Dykes, Mr J Hutchinson, Lesley & David Sharp, Steve Baxter, Stella Flemmings, Mr R Piercy, Mr P Clayton, John Midgley, Paul Dale rep Jackie Dale, Richard Cole, Marjorie Jefferson rep Roy, Cliff Midgley, Nigel Smith, Derek Midgley rep Jean Pashley, Clare Hesmondhaugh, Doreen Flack, David Jackson, Jill, Ruth & Chris Stringer, Josephine Green rep Les, Frank Palmer rep Lord & Lady Halifax, Andy Hall, Jamie Snell, Brian Vipas, Adrian Brader, Tracey Craggs, David Medforth rep Julie Medforth & David Sherry, Gillian Snowden rep Paul, Carol Moody, Susan Armitage, Christopher Calder, Mr & Mrs G Thompson, John & Liz Stockhill, Alec & Sue Dale, Mr & Mrs M E Nesom, Jenny Hayton rep John, Katie Benson, Steve & Mary Ansty, Brian & Caroline Foster, Mr Peter Wilkinson, Mr Philip Wilkinson, Les Fletcher, Mr Keith Nelson rep Dennis Nelson, Donald Caskie, David Wainwright, Autumn Parker, Fiona Bowman, Chris Baarda, Carol Johnson rep Joy Calver & Cafe Leon, Jenny Agnew rep Cookie, Michelle Hodgson, Tanya Knights, Barbara & Richard Knights, John & June Sowersby, Eric Whiteley, Tom Bell, Janet Garbutt,Graham Lee, Jenny Heron, Lynne Boyes, Simon Tindall, Victoria Tordoff rep Peter & Mary McLeod, Frances Midgley, Keith Bristow rep Chris & Margaret Whitfield, Bruce Barham, Mr M McKinley, Mr & Mrs M Midgley rep Andrew & Pauline Midgley, Margaret Brent , Beverley Wilson, Pat Taylor rep Maureen Midgley,Cheryl Fisher, Gail Eastwood &John Hewitson, Roy Leech rep Victoria Pool Team, Philip & Simon Barron rep Robbie, William Hills, Hong Kong, John Southwick, Albert Heron rep Bessie Heron, Mr & Mrs B Willis, Mr & Mrs H Stringer, Dave Tinson, Keith & Jennifer Moore, Penny Rogers, Sally Horner (nee Rogers), Paul Thompson, Harry & Queenie Smith, Tony & Alex Rankin, Rosie Stellings, Vic & Daphne Shaw rep Jo & Dave Gravil & Elaine & John Irish, Richard Flack, Luke Flack, Archie Flack, Patrice Stephenson, Robert Richardson, Mr & Mrs Paul Smith, John Beckett, Rachael Stringer, Mark Stringer, Marie & Stephen Oakes, Mr & Mrs D G Moody, Susan Armitage, John & Cath Dyson, Rosalind Gladstone, David Lord, Karen & Nick Potter rep Gail Sheldon-Dexter, Anne Horsley rep Richard Horsley. June Benson rep the family & Stuart Morley, Sue Roberts, Paul Roberts, Andrew Baxter rep Ian Mackarill & Claire Mackarill, Nick Harrison, Kerry Ward, Sylvia Morley, Mark Smith, Chris Smith & Sophie Noblett, Ted & Chrissy Wood.

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