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Dick Miles - the artist who raised smiles at St Mary’s School - dies

Dick Miles with his snowmen in 2013Dick Miles with his snowmen in 2013An octogenarian artist who delighted pupils at St Mary’s School in Marlborough every year with little festive toys has died, just a fortnight before he was due to present his woodcarvings to the children.

Dick Miles (80) of Stonebridge Close crafted hundreds of wooden toys each year. Snowmen, Christmas Trees and pigs had all been handmade and painted by the artist, and this year he was due to hand over red pillar boxes – each containing a coin.

Starting work in the summer, Mr Miles would ensure there were enough toys to give to each child, with a small surplus sold at craft markets. Each of the children’s toys bore a label: Christmas wishes from Mr Miles and St Mary’s Church.

"It's worth every minute when I see the look on their faces," he told us last year.

When Marlborough News Online spoke to Dick last month – shortly before his death on November 30 – he revealed that he had been suffering severe health problems for the past year.

Marlborough News was sworn to secrecy over the identity of this year’s toys, which were due to have been presented to children next Wednesday. It is understood that Mr Miles’ son will do the honours instead.

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