Family pay emotional tribute to a real friend of Melton Country Park

Bill Forbes, who has passed away aged 84, pictured with wife Jean EMN-190404-172950001
Bill Forbes, who has passed away aged 84, pictured with wife Jean EMN-190404-172950001
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Bill Forbes, who has been one of the leading volunteers responsible for enhancing Melton Country Park, has passed away at the age of 84.

Bill and his devoted wife, Jean, spent many happy hours working and enjoying life in the park, which is close to the homes they shared at Redwood Avenue and, latterly, at Cranmere Road.

Friends of Melton Country Park members Jean Forbes, Walter Pepper, Bill Forbes and Mick Hipwell try out a new bench in the park shortly after it was installed last year EMN-190404-180707001

Friends of Melton Country Park members Jean Forbes, Walter Pepper, Bill Forbes and Mick Hipwell try out a new bench in the park shortly after it was installed last year EMN-190404-180707001

They were due to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary in November.

Bill, who worked for many years for Melton Borough Council, also leaves a son, Mark, daughter, Cheryl, and grandchildren, Tanya and Ben, and his family say he will be sadly missed by many people for his sense of humour and his smile.

Daughter Cheryl told the Melton Times: “I have so many happy memories of my dad and the adventures we all had as a family over the years.

“He always called my son, Ben, ‘grandpa’s best boy’ and he would always have a twinkle in his eye when he said it.

“He had a great sense of humour and was always fiercely proud of his close and extended family.

“I will miss him every day.”

William Broll Forbes, who was also known as Bill and Billie, was born on August 7, 1934, in Fearn, in the Scottish Highlands.

He was one of five siblings, always enjoyed the outdoor life and would have spent many happy days playing in the surrounding countryside and by the sea at Portmahomack.

His father was a cattleman and moved around the country with work, travelling down south and finally settling in Pickwell.

Bill served three years of national service in the RAF and was stationed in Malaya, where he gained his service medal, Hong Kong and Singapore.

He met Jean in The Duke of Rutland pub, which used to be on Rultland Street in Melton, and they had been married 49 years. They were very close and shared many interests.

Bill worked for the electrity board for many years as a lines man and always liked to point out to the family which telegraph poles he had installed around the borough

He then joined Melton Council, where he worked until retiring in 1997. He used to manage the refuse collection for the borough before moving onto contracts inspector when many of the local government services were privatised.

In his spare time, he enjoyed long walks with Jean and their dogs, in the hills of Scotland and around the lakes.

Jean and Bill took an active role in the Friends of Melton Country Park and could be seen working many hours with fellow volunteers and council officials to make the country park the beautiful place it is today.

He was a member of a Melton whist team, which he liked to refer to as ‘the winning team’ and was a walk leader for the seniors in the country park and surrounding areas

Cheryl added: “Volunteers are always needed by the friends of the country park to continue dad’s legacy and his passion for improving the park.

“If anyone is interested in getting involved, the work group meet on the second Saturday of each month at the park cafe.

Bill passed away on March 23 at the Leicester Royal Infirmary and a funeral service will be held at Grantham Crematorium, on Monday April 15, at 11.30am.