Tributes to Melville Watts OBE
Melville Watts was the founder and driving force behind the Friends. He passed away on 19th August 2010 in his beloved Lydney Hospital.
Click Here to read the article in The Forester newspaper.
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The tireless fundraiser, who was known affectionately as ‘Mr Lydney’, died on the morning of 19th August 2010.
He was in Lydney hospital, which he helped raise more than £1 million to support, for several weeks. His death came less than a week after he celebrated his 87th birthday by cutting a cake.
As news of his death spread, people lined up to say his death would be a huge loss to Lydney.
Forest of Dean MP Mark Harper said:
“When I think of Melville Watts, I think of Lydney Hospital and the Friends.
“He was a tireless champion of the Hospital, the Friends and indeed of the town of Lydney itself.
“Our community was truly a better place for his presence and his loss will be keenly felt.
“At what will be a difficult time for them my thoughts and prayers are with his family and close friends.”
“A Gentle Man who was always one to be selfless and gave his All for the wellbeing of others.”
Sue and Gary Rickards
“Dear Melville –thank you so much for your support of the F.W. Harvey Society and for your caring and thoughtful consideration of others, including me! You have taken a piece of my heart with you.”
Love from Marie (Fraser Griffiths) xx
“I would personally like to thank Melville for his help and support over the 28+ years I have worked at Lydney Hospital. He will be greatly missed not least for his surprise visits which usually went on a bit and his entertainment at the patient’s Christmas party. A unique gentleman whose memory will live on in Lydney Hospital.”
Verna Wheeler − Lydney Minor Injuries Unit
“I was honoured to have known Melville over the last decade.
“He had made a number of important documentary films reflecting life in the Forest of Dean.
“He had used my services to digitise his unique and precious film archive.
“We had many happy meetings here in Rhiwbina, the last of which was earlier this year when, with his cinema-enthusiast friend Keith Nunn, we enjoyed a Welsh Rarebit for lunch at the nearby Snails Cafe.
“Melville, I shall miss your cheerful enthusiasm.
Harley Jones − Celtic Films and Video
“As a non Forrester for 26 years, My Wife & I had the greatest respect for the man, the person and the epitome of an Englishman.”
“Although I never had the opportunity to meet him, I am in awe of his accomplishments and humanity. Jason Canning has previously told me what a great and humble man he was.”
Larry Webb − USA
“Lovely man, proud to have been related to him.”
Neville − Hong Kong
“Melville lived a very full and fruitful life and his energy and fine spirit touched and benefited many.”
“How sad - he was such a gentleman, and Jenny did enjoy chatting to him about Severn fishing when she first met Melville.”
“As the ‘new guy’ at Watts my association with Mr Melville was shorter than most however this gentleman’s presence has left a deep and lasting influence on me. He will be very sadly missed.”
“He was such a lovely man, always so pleased to see you and was always interested in what you had to say. He was the sort of person who broke down age barriers and you never felt intimidated by him.”
“May I reiterate the sentiments you wrote as he truly was an inspiration to us all. He will be greatly missed.”
”There is no doubt that without his tireless efforts, we would have lost our precious hospital years ago to short sighted, city focussed health cuts. This man’s batteries ran at full power to the very end with Lydney Hospital and its wellbeing in his thoughts.
”I am aware of his tremendous generosity and selfless work behind a number of scenes and wish to pay tribute on behalf of all of us who value the support, investment and care lavished on our local health service as a result of his efforts. RIP Mr Melville.“