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Tributes to Young Farmers Ollie Pain and Harry Smith

By The Citizen  |  Posted: November 16, 2012

  • paying respects: Tributes left at the scene of the crash near North Nibley.

  • A book of condolence has been opened at St Martin's Church, North Nibley .

  • Book of condolence at St Martin's Church North Nibley

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A BOOK of condolence has been opened at a parish church as a shocked community struggles to cope with the deaths of a farmer's son and his friend.

North Nibley residents wrote their memories of village teen Ollie Pain, and his pal Harry Smith, from nearby Dursley. The idea was to try to ease people's grief, said the Reverend Rob Axford of St Martin's Church.

Driver Ollie, 18, and passenger Harry, 17, died when their car crashed on a country lane through Furzeground Wood, only a few miles from North Nibley, late on Tuesday night.

"They were very much part of the community. Everybody is in such a state of shock," Mr Axford said.

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Phil and Julie Dyer, close friends of the family, remembered Ollie as "smiley", a "charmer" and always "up for a laugh".

On Wednesday night, members of Sodbury Vale Young Farmers' Club, the teenagers were remembered at a special gathering at Horton Social Club on Wednesday night.

"There were lots of tears. It was everyone getting together, about 60 altogether," said former club chairman Chris Bateman, 25, from Wickwar. "It was just to talk over it. Everyone needs each other," he added.

The Sodbury Vale, Wotton and Dursley, Olveston and South Beaufort young farmers held their own special commemoration of their friends.

"We had a tractor outside with a bucket we filled with candles," Mr Bateman said.

Ollie and Harry were former pupils of Katharine Lady Berkeley's comprehensive in Wotton-under-Edge.

Headteacher Andrew Harris said the school was shocked and saddened.

"The school would like to express its profound sympathy to their families at this time of terrible loss. The thoughts and feelings of the whole school community are with them," Mr Harris said.

Sarah Corston, chairman of the governors of North Nibley Church of England Primary, where Ollie was a former pupil, said: "Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time."

Family and friends took to Facebook and Twitter to express their sadness. The RIP Harry Smith and Ollie Pain group had almost 2,000 supporters last night, and friend Taylor Williams said: "Two of the most genuiine kids put on this planet, just wish I spent more time with them both.

"You can't predict the future but I know they had good family and friends and their lives would have been lived in full happiness!"

Friends will be wearing red clothes today in honour of the boys.

The county's coroner is not expected to formally open and adjourn an inquest into their deaths until early next week.

It is World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims this Sunday and Gloucester Cathedral will be holding a special service at 3pm. Worship will remember those injured or who had lost their lives in road accidents, cathedral spokeswoman Sandie Conway said.

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