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Bill Shepard

Bill Shepard being presented with the Freedom of Newport scroll.

Photograph by Robin Crossley


Congratulations to Bill Shepard on receiving the Freedom of Newport award.  Bill has also helped the Society on many occasions, helping to identify some of our unusual trees and advised us on various points regarding tree and garden maintenance.

Below is the article from the County Press:


By Richard Wright (County Press Article 10th March 2017)

The venue could hardly have been more appropriate when Bill Shepard was made the first freeman of Newport in recent times.

Sunday’s ceremony was held at Quay Arts, Newport, which used to be a quayside warehouse for the Mew Langton brewery. Bill’s family firm ran a cross-Solent transport company which used part of the building.

Mr Shepard, of Whitepit Lane, will be 96 in July and can trace his Newport family roots back to the 14th century.

He has historic documents tracing the transportation of goods across the Solent, from Newport to Southampton Docks, through the centuries by Shepard’s.

It was these roots which sparked his interest in the Island’s past.

The local historian and author was the first to receive the honorary award from Newport Parish Council.

He has led many walks and given many talks on Newport’s rich history and the presentation was followed by a slideshow on the old pubs of the town.

“It is a great honour and much appreciated,” said Bill.