W. Charles Williams

Willard Charles Williams, known affectionately as Charlie Williams within the village, was part of the biggest change in the village probably since Domesday. He bought a vast chunk of the Bedford Estate in November 1963. This is from the Times of 23 November 1963. Click for a bigger version.

The sale was necessitated by the problems the Bedford Estate was having with inheritance tax.

WC Williams was a property developer. He used Berrystead as a country retreat for shooting parties, including hosting Charles, Prince of Wales, as a guest. He was a very popular figure in the village and very well regarded.

Many of the properties he bought were sold off freehold, marking a dramatic change from the practices of the Bedford Estate. Fortunately, that included my own house, for which I am extremely grateful.

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