THE late John Challis has been remembered by his wife Carol on what would have been the actor's 81st birthday. 

The Only Fools and Horses star, who died on September 19, 2021, was a well known face in the county, residing at Wigmore Abbey, near Ludlow. 

The much-loved actor previously said restoring and preserving the 12th century abbey, which was destroyed in 1530 in the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and which was used as a filming location in sitcom The Green Green Grass, which he starred in, was his and his wife's passion.

In a tweet posted yesterday (August 16), Mrs Challis said that her husband would not have liked being 81, nor happy with the the state of the world, but she wanted to raise a glass to his memory send love his way.  

Wigmore Abbey - which was put up for sale last April - was also home to Wigmore Books, set up in 2011 to publish books of general and local interest, fiction and non-fiction

A well-known figure in the county, Mr Challis made regular appearances at special events, from cutting the ribbon at Orleton's new village hall kitchen in 2018 to opening garden festivals and fetes in the county.

He was also keen to support Herefordshire charities, with £2 from every sale of his 2011 autobiographical book Being Boycie – published by Wigmore Books – going to the Martha Trust, which helps profoundly disabled young people.

In 2014, he was joined by former Bond girl Fiona Fullerton and stage and screen stars Sue Holderness and John Standing as a judge at Hereford's own Strictly Dancing gala at the Point4 in Hereford.

The event raised thousands for Hereford Cathedral's Perpetual Trust.

Other Herefordshire causes to benefit from Mr Challis' help and fundraising efforts include Hereford County Hospital's Renton Unit,

Mr Challis also published Wigmore Abbey, a book about his Herefordshire home and why he and Carole decided to buy it.

He also delighted local bin collectors during the Covid pandemic with a special message placed on his bin thanking them for the work they were doing.