An elderly man who watched his neighbour’s daughter grow up had secretly stashed away presents for her – to be delivered after he died.
In a touching gesture Ken Watson, 87, wrapped up 14 presents for Cadi Williams, aged two, in a final act of kindness before he died.
Mr Watson from Barry, Vale of Glamorgan secretly stashed away the hand-wrapped gifts for Cadi, which will last until she is 16-years-old.
The retired diver was widowed when his beloved wife Beryl died in February 2012 and took up a string of hobbies to keep himself occupied – and loved seeing Cadi grow up next door.
Just weeks after he died, Ken’s daughter Jenny discovered the bag of Christmas goodies when she was cleaning out her father’s home and delivered them next door.
Ken Watson, 87, adored little Cadi Williams next door and started secretly packing away presents in his home for her
The presents were left for little Cadi Williams, two, who lived next door to Mr Watson
After Mr Watson died the presents were delivered to his neighbours’ home for their daughter
Cadi’s parents Owen and Caroline Williams were brought to tears when they saw the lovingly-bought presents.
Owen, said Ken’s daughter delivered the Christmas gifts on Monday evening.
He said: ‘She was clutching this big bag plastic sack and I thought it was rubbish she was going to ask me to throw out.
‘But she said it was everything her dad had put away for Cadi. It was all of the Christmas presents he had bought for her.
‘I brought it back in and my wife was on FaceTime to her mum in Ireland. My wife started to tear up and I started to tear up, and her mum started to tear up.
‘It’s difficult describing it because it was so unexpected. I don’t know how long he put them away whether it was over the last two years or whether he bought them towards the end of his life.’
Ken, who was a cook during his National Service at RAF Holton, told neighbours he hoped he live until he was 100-years-old to see Cadi grow up.
He previously ran and worked in his family’s Cardiff bakery business – The Watsona Bakery.
Cadi’s parents Owen and Caroline Williams were brought to tears when they saw the presents
Cadi’s father Owen was amazed his neighbour had taken the trouble to buy the presents
He shared pictures of the gifts with friends on Twitter following Mr Watson’s sad death
Mr Williams said his neighbour was impressed by his daughter’s love of books
Ken was also a keen metal detectorist, classical music and opera fan, wood turner, accordion player and election canvasser.
Neighbour Owen has now described the gesture as ‘like the plot from a Richard Curtis Christmas film.’
The family have already opened one of the presents – a children’s book called Christmas Eve at the Mellops’ by Tomi Ungerer.
Owen said: ‘We can tell there’s some books, there’s three or four soft toys, maybe some Duplo.’
Ken, described as ‘real, real character,’ took up skydiving, wing-walking and parachute jumping at the grand age of 85.
Speaking about the time they first met, Owen said: ‘We moved to the street three years ago and made a real point of going round and meeting all the neighbours.
‘Ken wasn’t in when we first called round, but the next day we heard some banging.
Cadi Williams pictured reading with mother Caroline on the sofa of their home in Barry
The first present they opened for their little girl was a Christmas book by Tomi Ungerer
The other fourteen presents will be kept for Cadi and unwrapped one per year until she is sixteen
‘I went out to investigate and there was Ken in navy overalls bouncing across the face of his house at the top of a 20ft ladder.
‘He was 83 at the time. That just summed him up really, he was a former salvage diver in the Severn Estuary, a seaman, carpenter, baker and he did a aeroplane wing walk when he was 85.
‘On that first meeting he gave our dog a chocolate biscuit. She absolutely loved him from that moment on. Really loved him passionately. She would shriek when she saw him, he was such a character.’
After his wife’s death Ken said parachute jumping made him feel like ‘an eagle.’
Ken Watson was widowed six-years-ago and took to ‘filling the space’ with daring endeavours
Cadi’s father Owen said their neighbour was popular with the whole family, including their dog
Speaking two years ago, he said: ‘After my wife had passed away I took a long time to settle.
‘There’s a space around me. I still hear her voice and speak to her.
‘I began parachute jumping. I enjoy these sort of things, I feel the rush of the air.
‘The second jump was the best. I thought ‘gosh I’m an eagle’.’