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Farewell 'King of the Kiosks'.

Byline: By Gerry Holt South Wales Echo

Richard James Edwards could most often be found working on his cherished allotment - or reading a copy of the Echo.

Known affectionately as Jim, he was born on December 31, 1908, in Brook Street, Ely - the community that was to be his home throughout his long and eventful life.

His love for the Ely allotment began early on. Each day his father Charles would take him to visit and they would grow vegetables and breed pigs.

Jim continued to work on the Ely allotment until he was well into his 80s, and was overwhelmed when he was awarded a silver bowl by then MP Rhodri Morgan for being its longest-serving member.

In 2002, he won the Cardiff in Bloom Best Garden in the Ely Senior Citizen section.

Even though he was forced to give up visiting the allotment due to ill-health, his friends continued to deliver bags of home grown produce to Jim and his wife Kate every week without fail.

His affinity for hard work started young.

At 14, he worked at the Ely Paper Mill and at 17 he moved to the McVities biscuit factory, where he was a lorry driver making regular deliveries to Swansea.

At age 19, Jim met the love of his life at a dance at Glan Ely Church. As he watched her dance the Charleston, Jim fell for 15-year-old Catherine Edwards (known as Kate). They married three years later at St Davids Church in Ely and celebrated their 77th Anniversary on October 4 this year.

In his late 20s, Jim worked for the General Post Office in Western Avenue and became known as the 'King of the Kiosks'. He remained at the GPO for 40 years and was also in the Home Guard for a time. In the late 40s, Jim and Kate became keen ballroom dancers and hosted dances for 150 people at the Civil Service Club in Sanatorium Road for 17 years.

Avid Echo reader Jim passed away on October 26 at the age of 97 and his funeral took place at Thornhill Crematorium on Friday, November 3.

His granddaughter, Ceri Collins, said: 'Jim loved his allotment, his garden, his greenhouse and his car. He dearly loved his family, but, most of all, he loved 'his Katie'.

'He was a quiet, caring unpretentious, and a very lovely man, who will be missed by far more people than he would ever have realised.'

Jim leaves his wife Kate, children Joyce and Shirley, seven grandchildren, 16 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 7, 2006
Words:425
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