Members of Wetherby Old Men’s Parliament have this week paid tribute to their friend Will Fawcett who died on January 19.
Chris, known as Will, was born and brought up in Wetherby and his father was the manager of the grocery shop, Sadlers, which was where the NatWest Bank currently is situated.
He went to the primary school in Church Street, and later attended Tadcaster Grammar, as did other pupils who travelled by train to school in the brewery town.
From an early age Will was musical and travelled by bus to take piano lessons in Clifford.
This musical grounding was put to good use in the 1960s when he was a member of the Chevrons, playing at local venues – like the Riley Smith Hall in Tadcaster.
On leaving school Will became a civil engineer and worked on the A1 by-pass and once left a party to go and check the concrete bridge at Allerton Park Junction was setting properly. For years afterwards his friends called it “Willie’s Bridge”.
He met and married Wetherby woman Shirley Barker. They had a daughter Debbie and a son Graham.
They grew up and married and Shirley and Will eventually were blessed with four grandchildren Sam, Matthew, Billy and Amber. Debbie took over Will’s allotment when he could no longer look after it.
While working on a civil engineering job Will met John Harmon and the two of them became best friends. Will and Shirley and John and Trudy were a fixture in Wetherby.
Both Will and John worked allotments at Deighton Bar, and they also met with Ron Etherington and Mick Campbell for a weekly game of dominoes.
This was at Kirk Deighton Football Club and later at the New Inn with Mick Willamson, Irene Etherington and Adrian Campbell.
Will was part and parcel of the Wetherby Athletic Football club, progressing over the years to become Chairman. He only played a few matches but was really active in running and supporting the club.
Along with his interest in football Will also played a few matches at Bilton Cricket Club with his friend Keith Campbell.
Will joined St James Church and regularly played golf with his friends from church, many of whom he met for breakfast once a month. Will and Shirley also joined church friends in their walking group.
Will became a Lay Reader at St James and is remembered for his research and attention to detail for funerals, his Christian Aid work and establishing a public Nativity scene for the town.
When Will was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, the Old Men’s Parliament organised a musical evening and Will organised the Sports Association as the venue and managed to play his bass guitar with the U3A Ukelele Band.
The event last November, raised £3.076 and Will presented the cheque to his British Lung Foundation nurse, Nicholla Bell.