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Idris takes steps to recovery.

Byline: By DARREN DEVINE Western Mail

When Idris Roberts was involved in an horrific road accident that almost cost him his life he was left with little to contemplate but an early retirement and devoting more time to his passion for shooting.

He seemed destined to hand over the management of his 400-acre Pwll Farm to son Daniel after the collision with a coach on the A55, in which he almost lost a foot. But the surgeons successfully stitched Mr Roberts's foot back on and he has now sufficiently recovered from the extensive injuries sustained in the accident to take on some duties on the farm.

Though his role on his farm, in Treuddyn, near Mold, has now been reduced to that of 'gofer' it represents a far greater recovery than he could have hoped for at the time. He said, 'I had expansion plans before the accident, but I've not recovered sufficiently to carry them through.

'I was carved to pieces after the accident. I was blue after going through the front windscreen and landing on the road. They put the foot back on and patched me up.'

Mr Roberts, whose wife Helen also helps with the running of the farm, added, 'The doctor did a good job - fair play to him. He was a super doctor. He sat down on the bed and said, 'I've done two before and one was successful and the other wasn't."

Daniel, 30, who was travelling with his father, had a lucky escape - he spent only a day in hospital with whiplash injuries.

The accident, still the subject of a legal dispute between Mr Roberts and the coach company, came days before his daughter Delyth Jones, 32, was due to marry.

'I had the accident on the Tuesday and my daughter was getting married on the Saturday and they told Delyth to cancel the wedding because my chances of living until the Saturday were very small.

'My part in the farm has gone very, very small. I just do the buying and selling and I'm a gofer now. I was in a wheelchair for nine months. But when I consider how bad it was immediately afterwards I'm glad I've been able to come as far as I have.'

Mrs Roberts remembers how the extended family and neighbours rallied round to help after the accident three and a half years ago. She said, 'Everybody was very good to us - the neighbours helped. There was a time when it was touch and go for him and you cannot imagine what it's like for a farmer being in a wheelchair. Then afterwards he was also on crutches for a long time.'

The farm, which Idris's grand-father Robert Ellis Roberts first took on as 100-acres in 1914, now has 800 sheep, 450 beef cattle, as well as 600 pheasants and 400 ducks. Mr Roberts took over when he was 22 and Daniel represents the fourth generation of the family to run the farm, of 300-acres within a block and the remainder within a two-mile radius.

Conservation enthusiast Mr Roberts, 57, holds shooting events on his farm once a fortnight. 'I've always been interested in conservation - I've got about 100 pheasants and 400 ducks on the farm.' Mr Roberts, vice-chairman of NFU Cymru's livestock board, is now in the middle of early lambing ready for Easter.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 8, 2005
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