Bernard Knowles

Village loses a great public servant 

'AT HIS SHOP HE ALWAYS TRIED TO ENSURE THAT HE HAD ANY ITEM 
THAT A CUSTOMER COULD POSSIBLY WANT, OFTEN DISAPPEARING INTO THE DEPTHS 
OF THE STORE  TO TRY AND LOCATE IT
'. 



AS WE WILL REMEMBER HIM:  The hard-working owner of the village shop for many                                                            years who took a great pride in providing everything customers could possibly need.

 
The village lost a great village personality and one of its best known faces on 23 April 2014 with the death of Bernard Knowles, who ran the village shop for many years, developing it into  a well stocked store which met the needs of numerous villagers over the years.

Although born in Hampstead (his mother was visiting family when she gave birth) Bernard was a Yorkshireman through and through and grew up in Starbeck and then Rudding with his two brothers Frank and Peter.  

Despite being advised by his teachers that he was 'university material' his father insisted that he left school and learn a trade and so he became an apprentice at Appleyard's Garage in Harrogate. 

At 21 Bernard became an engineer in the RAF and was based in Singapore for three years which was followed by almost 14 years as an engineer officer with the Merchant Navy travelling the world. Many visitors to the shop would hear him recount tales of his adventures.

Meeting Mary and marrying in 1969, they started on their life together and in March 1971 moved to Bishop Monkton and took over Forge Garage and village stores (which soon became the Village Salon). In 1986, with the closure of the village shop, Bernard started to develop the Forge Stores we know today, always trying to ensure that he had any item that a customer could possibly want, often disappearing into the depths of the store room to try and locate it. 

Following emergency surgery Bernard was diagnosed with terminal cancer in November 2010 and, with much grit and determination, with a little bit of stubbornness on the side, continued to work seven days a week for three years whilst still undertaking chemotherapy at Harrogate and York hospitals.  Even when told that the cancer had stopped responding to chemotherapy he was determined to carry on. 

Bernard passed away peacefully at home (his greatest wish).. He was a much loved husband, father and grandfather.

The funeral took placen on Thursday May 8 at 11am at St John Baptist Church.  Family and friends are then invited to join the family at the Masons Arms for refreshments.

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