Farewell 'King of the Kiosks'

Article excerpt

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. …