Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Images from This is Cornwall
TERRY Gray, known familiarly as Trader Gray, ran the Shiver Me Timbers salvage yard in Penzance, Cornwall UK. His ramshackle yard in Long Rock, where he lived and worked, featured a large mock pirate's galleon built from reclaimed wood. A YouTube video shows him heating bricks by a woodburning stove which he placed in his bed and night to keep warm.
His business was open to all comers, not necessarily people wishing to buy, as he also provided a friendly welcome and informal social service to truants and miscreants who needed warming up and a cup of tea. Appreciative comments can be seen on YouTube such as 'Trader Gray Rest in Peace. This man was a legend....... the world will be a duller place without him. So pleased to have been part of his tribe if only for a passing period in time. Big Love and Respect Steve & Jayne' and 'Really sad news of Trader.... he paid for me to get a taxi when I'd missed the last bus home as a kid. Bless im. What a character to loose.'
Trader Gray died and was buried in Marazion cemetery, along with his favourite pies and cakes, on 11 September 2009 after a service in St Mary's Church packed with family and friends. His poker-worked reclaimed timber coffin had been carried to the church in his old pickup, decorated for the occasion with Indian rice sacks and sunflowers. It was then piped into the church while a jazz band inside the church played When The Saints Go Marching In. Some dealers from the salvage trade were in attendance.
His sister Jean, now living in Canada, said, "Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere".
There is another reclaimed timber salvage yard called 'Shiver Me Timbers' in Williamstown Australia. It is not known whether they knew of each other.