Obituary – Peter Berry
Peter Berry of Berry’s of Taunton passed away on 23 May 2014. He was 87.
A eulogy from Berry’s said of Peter, ‘He was certainly a larger than life character. Known for direct talk he didn’t suffer fools gladly but everyone always knew where they stood. Perhaps irritatingly, he had an uncanny ability to be right. But life was characterised by a work hard/play hard ethos. A founding member of the infamous Tankards Club, Taunton knew where Peter was from the laugh which could be heard above the bar noise of a packed Winchester Arms and later the equally lively Masons Arms. He enjoyed nothing more than a drink – or two – and hours of jovial banter. He would return home to his partner Shirley, his quiet supporting rock in the background by whom he will be sadly missed.’
Prior to joining the bus and coach industry, he was a founding member of the Air Training Corps 41F Taunton Squadron, serving in WWII. After the war, his National Service took him to Egypt. After his military career, he returned to his family business: running trucks, removal wagons and two coaches at Bradford-On-Tone, near Taunton. From the early 1950s, the company concentrated on running coaches. In 1965, when the fleet had grown to 12, a move was made to a new purpose built depot on the Cornish Way Trading Estate. Another move came in 1978 when two companies were taken over. Deregulation saw a further expansion into the intercity express market and the London Superfast service was born. All of this expansion was under the careful stewardship of Peter and his sister, Joan. Currently, Berrys operates 50 vehicles and is now set on another move to bigger premises.
Peter was well known for seeing both the day tour and London service coaches off at The Classic (Kings Arms) in Taunton and in part because of this, became widely known throughout the town.
He is survived by his partner Shirley, son Stuart, daughters Felicity and Sarah Jane and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.
His funeral will take place at Taunton Crematorium at 11.00 on 4 June.