Peter Varley Barr,
8th July 1934 to 24th June 2014
Peter was born in east London and was just five years old when war was
declared with Germany. Although temporarily evacuated he spent most of
the war in and around London and many of his early childhood memories
were of watching British and German aircraft duelling in the skies near
his home and of playing in bombed out ruins. Later he watched the V1 “doodlebug”
flying bombs passing overhead on their way to London.
The war over, Peter completed his education and then tried various occupations.
In all of these he was considered immaculately dressed as his father was
a tailor and made several suits for him at a time when most men thought
themselves well off if they had one.
Peter was eventually called up for National Service in the Royal Air Force.
This he loved as, although he was never flying crew, being far too tall
for that, he was around aeroplanes in an era when the Royal Air Force
was going through the transition from propeller driven to jet aircraft
and many experimental types were to be seen. He also got to fly as a passenger
in several different types.
His National Service over, Peter then joined the Metropolitan Police,
where his adventures were many and varied and he would come to meet many
famous and infamous people. He was even posted, for a time to Clarence
House, then the home of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, whom he came
to know and greatly admired. Also, during his police service, he was married
for the first time and his wife bore him a son.
After retiring from the Police, Peter tried various occupations, including
estate agent and hotelier and also dabbled in used furniture and cars.
He, in fact, owned a huge variety of cars over the years, some of them
rare, few of them new and none of them kept for longer than a few months.
In 1990 Peter married his second wife, Marion, whom he loved dearly and,
with whom, he was to spend the happiest times of his life, touring Britain
and Europe in a motor caravan and discovering many fascinating places.
When Marion fell ill with cancer Peter devoted himself to nursing her
until her death, which left him devastated.
Peter was a long-standing, much loved and respected brother of the AOD.
He rose to Archdruid, in which role he led St. Aethelbyrht lodge on a
number of occasions, and served on the then Board of General Purposes.
He will be very much missed.