Cllr Dermot McGeough, Cllr Peter Christie (Mayor), Andy Curtis Supervisor of the maintenance team

Bideford paid tribute to a popular crane operator, Michael Pryer, with a bench overlooking the wharf.

The council stated: “For decades children – and adults – have been walking along Bideford Quay when the crane loaded a ship and asked their parents ‘we can watch the crane,’ and probably some of you have done the same.

“And so it was a sad day when Mike ‘the crane driver’ died and the crane was decorated with flowers for weeks to remember him.

“He was the crane operator for the Torridge District Council for many years and was always friendly and helpful with a happy smile. He loved his job and not only loaded ships when they came in, but kept the wharf clean and tidy.

“He helped our maintenance team clean the rudder steps and worked with the regatta organizers as well as many other users of the quay. He will be missed by everyone.”

Bideford City Council, at the request of Councilor Dermot McGeough, was pleased to pay his own tribute to Mike with a plaque on one of the benches in front of the crane’s parking lot.

Councilor McGeough recalled Mike as “a real gentleman and always ready to help – our humble plaque is our way of paying tribute to Mike”.

Mayor Peter Christie added, “Mike’s death is a very sad loss for the whole of Bideford and I think that was reflected in the amount of flowers that were placed on the crane – it was part of the town’s decor.”

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