On Thursday, 5 March, All Saints’ Church, Compton, was packed with family and friends for a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Barry Nicholson – testimony to the high regard and affection in which he was held and of the support they wished to afford to Mary and their family. The service was simple, unpompous and warm, which Barry himself would have much enjoyed, particularly that all seven of his grandchildren, of whom he was immensely proud, contributed. Emma, Pippa and Harry read, and a quartet of Isobel, Rhona, Jack & Gus gave a lovely rendering of Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus. Sara’s and James’s joint appreciation of their Father was comprehensive, both moving and amusing, and very much appreciated by the congregation.
Barry had a great zest for life, and a lively and enquiring mind, which led him to pursue new challenges and to take up fresh activities, all of which were pursued with thoroughness and energy. His most recent preoccupation was fly-fishing.
Always much involved in the affairs of the Parish, he helped initiate the Southdown Residents Association, had a spell as sidesman at All Saints’ and was an important link in the circulation of the parish magazine. He greatly enjoyed charging round the parish in his much-loved, open-topped, red Morgan sports car delivering bundles of the magazine to the various distributors.
He was always interested in young people, particularly the offspring of his friends, to some of whom he gave invaluable and enjoyable work experience in his hydrographic surveying business.
One of Barry’s abiding interests was gliding, which unfortunately led to his involvement in a very serious accident, whilst he and Mary were visiting James in Australia. He suffered profound, life threatening injuries, from which it was doubtful that he would survive. But thanks to the courage and patience with which he faced them and their aftermath, survive he did – for a further twenty-one years! When eventually he was able to return home from Australia, his family, friends and neighbours lined Fairfield Road to welcome him. Another testimony to the admiration and affection with which he was regarded.
Barry was a kind, welcoming gentleman, with a warm, infectious smile and a lively sense of humour. One always felt better for having been in his company. He had a great gift for friendship and he will be greatly missed by very many people, both in the Parish and beyond.