Search

Family’s tribute to ‘devoted’ Sudbury grandfather who was ingrained in the community

PUBLISHED: 11:30 15 September 2020 | UPDATED: 14:55 15 September 2020

Arthur Gill, from Sudbury, has died at the age of 87. Picture: GILL FAMILY

Arthur Gill, from Sudbury, has died at the age of 87. Picture: GILL FAMILY

GILL FAMILY

Sudbury stalwart Arthur Gill, known by many as ‘Mr Gill the gas man’, has died at the age of 87 after decades of serving his community.

Arthur Gill was very proud of the medals he received. Picture: TONY BURCHArthur Gill was very proud of the medals he received. Picture: TONY BURCH

The former voluntary police officer from Hawstead, near Bury St Edmunds, spent more than 38 years working at the Gas Service store in Sudbury’s Market Hill and was known in the town for being a “true salesman”.

He died on Friday, August 14 and has been described by his eldest son Malcolm as a “great father”, who would do anything for anyone.

Mr Gill loved volunteering in his community as well as working at the gas service store – where before the internet people would have to go in to pay their gas bills.

He left school at 15 and began working at an accounts office, before being called up to the national service in 1951. He served for two years and reached the rank of sergeant.

Arthur was known by many people in Sudbury as 'Mr Gill the gas man' as he worked at Gas Service store on Market Hill. Picture: ARTHUR GILLArthur was known by many people in Sudbury as 'Mr Gill the gas man' as he worked at Gas Service store on Market Hill. Picture: ARTHUR GILL

He left the army and obtained his first job as a clerk at a gas company, later going on to becoming a wagers clerk in central Ipswich, before securing a managerial position at the Gas Service store in Sudbury – where he would go onto work for almost four decades.

Mr Gill and his wife Margaret moved into a flat above the store with their son Malcolm, now 61, and daughter Michelle, now 59.

Their eldest son Malcolm, said his father was “well-known” by many people in the town who knew him as ‘Mr Gill the gas man’.

“He was a very good salesman,” said Mr Gill. “He thoroughly enjoyed his job and revelled in the fact that even after retiring he could go into the town and everyone would know him.”

Arthur Gill recently celebrated his 87th birthday with friends and family. Picture: GILL FAMILYArthur Gill recently celebrated his 87th birthday with friends and family. Picture: GILL FAMILY

The company relocated to North Street and in 1968 they moved to their first family home in Tudor Street following the arrival of their youngest child Alistair, now 52.

Alongside his full-time job, Mr Gill volunteered as a special constable for Suffolk Constabulary for more than 20 years, having missed the discipline of the army.

In 1977, he was awarded a commemorative silver jubilee medal from the Queen in recognition of his services, something which he was very proud of.

Mr Gill said: “My dad would do anything for anyone, he was very organised and he was very proud of what he had achieved.

Arthur Gill trained to become a sergeant for the national service. Picture: ARTHUR GILLArthur Gill trained to become a sergeant for the national service. Picture: ARTHUR GILL

“When he retired and had more free time, he became a devoted grandfather. He had six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, the youngest was born in July and has been named Arthur James after my father, who got to meet him once through the window.”

Mr Gill and his wife Margaret divorced in 1977 after more than 20 years together.

He later met Margaret Waldron, from Sudbury, who became his close companion and dance partner for more than 35 years before her death in 2012.

Mr Gill was made redundant from the gas company in 1992, taking early retirement.

Arthur Gill, from Sudbury, pictured with his family and friends. Picture: GILL FAMILYArthur Gill, from Sudbury, pictured with his family and friends. Picture: GILL FAMILY

He devoted his time to dancing with Margaret, spending time with his family and remaining proactive in the community.

This included volunteering for Mencap charity, becoming president of Sudbury Probus Club, a group for retired professionals and business people, and sitting on the Sudbury and District Chamber of Commerce.

He was also a long-time member of the Sudbury branch of the Royal British Legion and was very proud to lay a wreath on Remembrance Sunday five years ago.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Bury Mercury. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Bury Mercury