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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 December, 2003, 13:22 GMT
'King of the road' celebrated
George Gibbs
George Gibbs walked 3,000 miles a year for more than 30 years
Tributes have been paid to celebrate the life of Wales' own 'king of the road' who walked around 90,000 miles with all his possessions in a pram for more than 30 years.

Around 100 mourners attended the funeral of George Gibbs, 86, just before Christmas.

He had lived in Lampeter for the last 20 years but before that had spent more than three decades tramping the highways and byways of Wales, with only an old pram for company.

One of his last wishes was to have the song 'Keep Right on to the end of the road' played at his funeral.

Originally from Glasgow, Mr Gibbs joined the Merchant Navy in 1931 and served until he was demobilised after World War 2 in 1946.

George was a true gentleman of the road and was no problem at all
Pc Arwel Jones

He arrived home from leave in 1942 to discover his wife Flora had died after a bomb had hit their home in Clydebank.

After demobilisation in 1946 Mr Gibbs moved to Flintshire but - after giving up a number of jobs- he took to the road in the early 1950s.

He was to spend the next 30 years tramping up and down Wales.

"George walked every road in Wales and averaged about 3,000 miles a year," said Lampeter Unitarian Minister Goronwy Evans, a friend of Mr Gibbs.

"Whenever he came to a town or a village he would call at the police station to let officers know that he was in the area."

Pc Arwel Jones, from Aberystwyth police station, first came across Mr Gibbs shortly after joining the force in 1975.

"George was a true gentleman of the road and was no problem at all," he said.

Feted

"I remember that he kept a large book in his pram which was full of the names of policemen and a record of their careers over the years.

"The only problem we had with him was that you would be driving up to Machynlleth in the middle of the night and find George pushing his pram in the middle of the road."

In the 1960s and 1970s Mr Gibbs' life on the road was feted with a series of articles in the national press.

He spent many years working on farms in exchange for a night's sleep in a barn and some food before moving on.

As the years went on Mr Gibbs restricted his movements in the area between Machynlleth, Lampeter and Pembrokeshire.

"In an age when everyone is squeezed out exactly the same George Gibbs was an example of individuality and a fine character," said Machynlleth county councillor Michael Williams.




SEE ALSO:
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Lost tourist's week with tramps
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