A MUCH loved village character has made his final journey - via his transport of choice, a beloved yellow JCB digger.

David 'Dai' Harper of Harwood's Lane, Rossett died peacefully after an illness on July 9, age 75.

A popular man in the village, Mr Harper's funeral took place at Christ Church in Rossett on Friday, with a unique twist friends which said summed up him up to a tee.

Mr Harper's coffin was transported from Harwood's Lane, along the short distance to the church on Station Road, in the front bucket of a JCB digger from his old employer Robin Wynn and Co, followed by his close friends.

Along the way the digger stopped outside The Golden Lion, his favourite pub, were staff stood waiting outside to pay their respects as he passed by.

Before the funeral, one of his many friends, George Jones paid tribute to Mr Harper who was born in Rhostyllen, the youngest of 16 children.

He said: "He was very much a character and did various jobs but his favourite was earth moving as a machine driver, and for 30 years he drove a JCB.

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Picture of David 'Dai' Harper taken from his funeral's order of service

"He loved shooting and conservation and the shoot in Powys (at the castle) was a big part of his life."

Many mourners travelled from Welshpool to attend the service with a number wearing tweed shooting jackets.

During the service, where the hymns 'An old rugged cross' and 'There is a green hill far away' were sung, Mr Jones paid further tribute.

He described Mr Harper's eventful life, how he attended Bersham school, undertook various jobs, was married twice, first to Jean and then to Maureen, with whom he had five children each.

Mr Harper also had a stint in prison after what was described as a "debt collection which went wrong", before becoming a self-employed digger, working mainly for Robin Wynn and Co, digging lakes and ponds.

"His life revolved around wildlife and shooting", Mr Jones said.

"The Powys shoot took over his life."

Mr Jones joked: "His social life was in The Golden Lion, although when he got out of hand, he used to be sent to the Butchers (Arms).

"He had a very generous nature."

After the service, Mr Harper's coffin was taken to Pentrebychan Crematorium and following the committal, guests joined together at The Golden Lion.