Man deeply involved in Appleby community

Date: Tuesday 13th February 2018
Jimmy Davis
Jimmy Davis

FORMER Appleby undertaker, joiner and plumber Jimmy Davis has died at the age of 88.

The funeral of James Anthony (known as Jimmy) was on Wednesday, with a thanksgiving service at St. Lawrence’s Church, Appleby.

He was a well-known face in the town, having run J. Davis undertakers in Battlebarrow for many years. He trained Glyn Jones who took over the role and continues to run an undertaking business at the premises.

Jimmy lived at Carradale Lodge, The Sands, Appleby, and is survived by his wife, Muriel, along with his brother, Stan Davis, of Kirkby Stephen, three children, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

He was born on 19th August, 1929, at Nab House, Shap, the son of farmer William Davis and his wife Bertha. He was one of five siblings, brother to Stan and the late Ron, Les and Marjorie.

The children attended Shap School and then the school at Culgaith when the family moved to Wythwaite, Kirkland.

In 1942, the family moved to Parkhouse Farm, at Long Marton, and on leaving school aged 14, Jimmy began working for village joiner John Gelder.

He loved woodwork from a young age and became known as a first class tradesman, turning his hand to anything.

When he was 23 he met his wife-to-be, Muriel Birkbeck, who lived at Dufton and was training as a nurse in Carlisle.

They married at Dufton church in 1954 and made their first home at East View, Long Marton.

Two years later, their son, Alastair, was born, followed by Marion in 1958 and Joanne in 1962.

Alastair now runs an architecture business in Appleby and is married to Julie. They have one son, William.

Marion owns Capstick Carpets on The Sands with her husband Patrick Leach and they have children Rebecca and James and grandchildren Joseph, Christopher, Dara and Luna.

Joanne is married to Neil Whitfield and also lives at The Sands. They have children Donna and Lee and grandchildren Joel and Luca.

While bringing up the family in Long Marton Jimmy had a brief spell working at British Gypsum. An opportunity to buy premises in Battlebarrow in the early 1960s marked the start of him running his own business as a joiner and plumber and this extended to undertaking when former Appleby undertaker Percy Carleton retired.

Jimmy helped and comforted bereaved families throughout Appleby and the surrounding villages until his retirement, aged 68.

He and his wife then moved to Drawbriggs Mount, where Jimmy had built them a bungalow, before later moving to their present home at The Sands in 2000.

Throughout his life, Jimmy was deeply involved in the local community and was a member of Appleby swimming pool committee, the Round Table, 41 Club, Brampton Woodturning Club and the dialect society, as well as enjoying many evenings in the town’s Royal British Legion Club.