A MEMORIAL to a much loved 'unique and caring' 18 year old from Gargrave who tragically died in the summer after he was involved in a collision on the A65 as he drove his motorcycle from Gargrave into Skipton is to go up in the village in a wildflower garden.

William 'Will' Hynes was on his way into Skipton at just after 8am on Friday, August 18 on his Yamaha motorcycle when he was involved in a collision with two other vehicles. He was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken to hospital in a critical condition where he later died.

The former pupil of South Craven School, Cross Hills, lived with his grandmother, Alison Dent, in South Street, and worked at The Dalesman Cafe Tearooms where he was much loved by staff and customers. He had been due to start an engineering apprenticeship, something he was very much looking forward to.

Now, with the backing of Gargrave Parish Council, a wooden sculpture of an acorn is to be placed in a wildflower garden close to the bridge in the centre of the village as a lasting symbol of the inspiration he was for others.

Linda Hartell, owner of The Dalesman Cafe, who came up with the idea, said Will had been a very much loved member of staff who several weeks later still very much continues to be missed by both his work colleagues, residents of the village and customers.

Linda said: "Will, our wonderfully efficient, cheerfully polite and impeccably mannered, super lovely member of staff could always be relied upon to arrive for work punctually, just as the church clock struck ten, crossing the road with his Dalesman shirt buttoned right up to the top and stripy apron neatly ironed, never, ever a hair out of place.

"He had a kindness, care for others and an extremely well developed work ethic well beyond his young age. He probably made a bigger impression on and affected more folk in a few short years than most people achieve in a whole lifetime; I simply lost count of the number of customers who, when told what had happened, said 'lovely and polite', 'polite and lovely' over and over again. One lady even sent me a message to say she was still in tears and that she had 'loved that lad'".

At his funeral, he was described as a 'perfectly polite, pint-sized powerhouse.

Linda said: "Working with Will was memorable for all the right reasons, in the nicest possible way. He was totally and utterly unique, an enigma, a maverick, charm personified with customers, but succinct to the extreme with us, never one to waste words, that was Will.

"He was virtually impossible to feed, unless it was a hot scone fresh from the oven and we would all deem it an honour indeed if he ever accepted the offer of a drink. He was thoughtful and kind and a real team player, spotting things that were needed before we'd even realised it ourselves."

She added Will had his own special way of doing things and was never happier than when he was behind the counter, serving customers and looking out for those he thought might need special attention.

"His real forte was serving meticulously measured ice creams, or filling up his beloved sweet jars, arranging the counter, cheerily chatting to customers and helping the dithery ones to make their choices.

"Will cared, he cared about people, he would even carefully select a milk jug based on what he thought a particular customer would like the most, and he would go out of his way to start a conversation with the elderly, or anyone who looked lonely."

Linda said the memorial carving of an acorn will be created out of English Oak by the world renowned 'tree sculptor' Tommy Craggs of County Durham whose creations include a bench in Sutton in Craven Park placed in memory of resident, Mandy Hammond.

She said: "The sculpture will take the form of an acorn to symbolise the hope and promise of greatness that Will had in abundance and would then continue to inspire others. The oak tree with its roots firmly planted in the earth, represents the past and the present, while the acorn symbolises the future and the potential for growth and change."

The carving will be placed on a small stone base so it is not completely engulfed by grasses and wildflowers throughout the year.

Linda, who plans to fund the carving herself, has both the support of Will's grandma and the village's wildflower group who tend the garden.