North Pembrokeshire is in mourning this week following the death of one of its most popular and respected rural characters, namely Howard Lewis of Carnhuan, home of the Dyfed Shire Horse Farm, Eglwyswrw.

Howard died in the very same house in which he was born in 1942, and became the sixth generation of the Lewis family to farm the land since their arrival at Carnhuan in 1849.

Howard continued tending the land right up until his death last Thursday, April 14.

He was a widely respected expert in many old, rural crafts and was also a keen mechanic. 

Following his retirement from Carnhuan’s milking herd in the 1980s, Howard spent a considerable amount of time working on ‘big tractors’ in the East of England. 

He was also a founder member of the South West Wales Area Group of the National Vintage Tractor and Engine Club as well as a keen member of the Cardigan and District Agricultural and Maritime Museum.

For over 15 years he was a much-loved figure at the Dyfed Shire Horse Farm and was regularly to be seen driving his tractor around and earned the name ‘Uncle Howard’ from friends and strangers alike.

Howard was a passionate follower of Country and Western music and was a regular guest on platforms throughout West Wales where he was often found with a microphone in his hand.

On Good Friday, the farm hosted a concert in his memory and despite his passing just 36 hours previously, Uncle Howard was there in spirit after the family reserved a seat for him on which hung his blue jacket, his cap and his walking stick. 

The evening opened with one of Howard’s favourite songs, ‘Gypsy Woman’ by Don Williams, and ended with Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’. 

The singer throughout the evening was Dave Owens.

With the passing of Howard Lewis and his wealth of knowledge of farming and rural life, the communities of north Pembrokeshire and the Preselis have lost an integral link to the past.

Howard Lewis’s funeral with be held at Bethabara Chapel, Pontyglasier. 

The date and the time is yet to be confirmed and people are being advised to check the Dyfed Shire Horse Farm Facebook page for updates.

Western Telegraph: