FAMILY and friends of a Pembrokeshire farmer widely known for his physical strength and friendly nature have paid tribute to him after his death.

Gerald Gibby, 76, passed away at his home at Williamston Farm, Broad Haven on Christmas Eve.

Gerald’s wife Alison, 57, and his daughters Sarah and Mary are inviting anyone who knew him to an exhibition being held in his memory at Little Haven Hall next week.

“There are masses of really funny stories about his life and what he did,” said Alison. “He was extremely well-known all around Pembrokeshire and was often called the strongest man in the area.

“We are asking if people have anything they want to bring down or if they want to share any memories of him to come along.”

His reputation for strength was often proved right when he took part in tug-o-war competitions.

“When we were out driving together and had a flat tyre he would pick up the car while I changed the wheel. We never needed the jack,” said Alison.

Gerald was also known for his mechanical skill and was widely believed to be able to fix anything.

On one occasion he and his friend Gerald Bird of Little Haven sailed a boat to northern France.

While the rest of the crew were taken ill with sea sickness, Gerald was fine and was able to pilot the boat across the English channel because of his ingenuity and experience of working with tractor engines.

The Havens county councillor Peter Morgan also said he had fond memories of Gerald, describing him as a very kind man with whom he had shared many happy memories.

“I spent many a happy year with Gerald. He was a wonderful man. He was as strong as an ox – you would have to see it to believe it,” said Cllr Morgan.

“He was a lovely man. Nobody said a bad word against him.”

Gerald was born at Cross Farm, Talbenny on May 2, 1942, the day after the airfield at the village opened.

He and Alison met when she came to Pembrokeshire as an agricultural student when she was 19 and they spent 38 years of their lives together.

As well as being a popular member of the farming community, Gerald had an interest in local history and genealogy and was an animal lover.

An exhibition is being held to celebrate Gerald Gibby’s life at Little Haven Hall on Tuesday, January 8 and Wednesday, January 9.

All are welcome to attend.