The family of Raymond Penfold pays tribute to a man for whom his word was his bond

Former scrap merchant and industrious South Molton businessman Raymond Penfold will be sadly missed.Former scrap merchant and industrious South Molton businessman Raymond Penfold will be sadly missed.

A South Molton businessman who left a lasting legacy on the town and North Devon will be sorely missed.

Raymond Penfold senior, or 'Mr P' as he was known, passed away on March 10 aged 78.

The scrap yard business he built up with his wife Vashtie as R Penfold and Son went on to become South Molton Metals and is now known as SWM & Waste Recycling.

His funeral on March 30 was packed with those wishing to pay their respects and a horse drawn carriage took him from the yard to the church and on to the cemetery.

An Austin A60 pick up which had been his vehicle of choice for many years was restored and took pride of place in the procession, helping to rekindle many special memories for the family.

Paying tribute, his family said Raymond had a reputation as a man of great integrity and his word was his bond, even if it meant disadvantaging himself.

They added: "Raymond senior or Mr P as he was affectionately known, would be very proud of the business he started, the people he employed and the legacy that he has handed down to his family.

"He will be fondly remembered and very much missed."

He was also a charitable man who wanted to help others, and over many years he helped to raise considerable funds and provided donations to a variety of charities.

His parents, James and Ocean, set up home in Kentisbury with their young sons, Raymond and his older brother James.

Sadly Raymond lost his father at a young age, leaving his mother to bring the two sons up on her own. After re- marrying the family moved to Vicarage Lodge in South Molton.

Ocean was a canny woman and having bought some land she obtained planning permission for a scrap yard. Raymond and his stepfather Christopher started by collecting farm scrap and slowly began to build a business.

In turn Raymond married Vashtie Edwards, who was to be his loving wife for 48 years.

Together they developed the scrap yard and built a home for themselves in Hacche Lane. Vashtie was an integral part of the business and became company secretary.

They had three children - Raymond Junior, Sharon and Melanie.

Today the business is run by Raymond Jr and Vashtie's nephew Shawn Akers. Raymond senior instilled in both his strong work ethic and they were able to learn from the example he set.