Pip Willis
Pip Willis

A blacksmith who was still working at his family business at the age of 87 has died.

Mr Ronald Gilbert 'Pip' Willis, of Screveton, specialised in wrought ironwork, in particular roses, and his weather vanes can be seen across Nottinghamshire.

He lived in Screveton his whole life and spent his entire working career at The Forge like his father before him.

Mr Willis, who died on March 26, was said to be a well-known character in Newark and could be seen at the market most Saturdays while he was still active.

His weather vanes often featured foxes or hares and one vane featured a gold flat-coated Retriever which can be seen on a property at the junction of Flintham Lane and Hawksworth Road in Screveton.

Talented ballroom dancer

Mr Willis had eleven children - six girls and five boys - 18 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson. His wife, Berenice, died at the age of 43.

He was a keen and talented ballroom dancer, winning several medals, and was said to be known for his dapper appearance.

Mr Willis leaves behind his companion of 25 years, Joan McGowan.

His funeral will take place on Wednesday, April 19 at St Wilfred's Church, Screveton.