Farmer’s last tractor ride

23 July 2013....Farmer Jim Williams arrives for his funeral at All Saints Church, Cawthorne on a trailer pulled by his tractor.
23 July 2013....Farmer Jim Williams arrives for his funeral at All Saints Church, Cawthorne on a trailer pulled by his tractor.
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A Barnsley farmer who lived for the land was taken to his final place of rest - in a trailer pulled by his beloved tractor.

Farmer Jim Williams toiled and tended the soil all his working life at his farm in Cawthorne, Barnsley.

And he was never happier than when he was sitting upon his beloved Ferguson tractor, passed down from his grandfather via a favourite uncle.

When Jim found out he had terminal cancer he told his family and friends he wanted to be transported to his final resting place - All Saints Church in Cawthorne - using the trusty mode of transport.

His wife Sarah told The Star: “We planned his funeral together before his death.

“He asked the undertaker, Richard Morley, if he could be taken to the church on a trailer pulled by the ‘little grey Fergie’,

“This was his grandfather’s tractor, used to haul coal up to their nursery in Herefordshire, to heat the greenhouses.

“It was given to Jim for his 40th birthday.”

Jim, creator of the popular Maize Maze at Cawthorne in Barnsley, lost his 18-month battle with a rare form of cancer earlier this month.

But despite his illness he carried on working, even holding meetings about the farm and the family business at his bedside.

The father of three spent the summer afternoons taking visitors on tractor and trailer rides around the farm.

Sarah said: “He would take them to see the cows and calves because he liked giving visitors a real insight into farming.

“He was a very brave man, who fought the illness in such a positive manner and was still planning for the future throughout.

Jim leaves a wife and three children, Edward, David and Kate.

Said Sarah: “They all worked so hard last week to have the Maize Maze ready to open on Saturday.”