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Former Falmouth council clerk celebrates 100th birthday
11:00am Wednesday 4th September 2013 in News
Turning 100 today (Wednesday) will be the latest high in an eventful life for a Falmouth great-grandfather.
Over the last century Ken Bryar, who has lived in Florence Terrace for half his life, has had a number of narrow escapes – not least being rushed to hospital with scarlet fever in the days when ambulances were horse drawn.
Years later he took part in a motorcycle rally across Germany – only for war to be declared just a week after he returned home.
Of the latter he said: “We always thought we were lucky to get back home.”
Ken is now hoping for a rather quieter celebration this lunchtime, when he plans to enjoy a meal with his family and friends at the Royal Duchy Hotel.
He was born in 1913 near Bradford and his first job was working for an agent of a Lancashire cloth manufacturers.
Ken then spent seven years in the RAF, as ground staff working on the Lancaster Bombers between 1940 and 1947.
During his first year in the force he married Elsie, a dancer who he had swept off her feet.
They had three children – Peter, who now lives in Canada, Helen who lives in Vienna and Susan who lives in Budock – and later seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Following a spell working for the council in Huntington, and a brief return to Bradford, Ken and Elsie brought their family to Falmouth, where he had got a job working as a committee clerk for Falmouth Town Council.
He had initially turned down the job, because the council refused to give him a house, but after a month had passed they contacted him to reoffer it – and eventually agreed a council house as part of the deal.
Ken and Elsie stumbled across their home in Florence Terrace by accident. They fell in love with it on a midnight inspection, despite its then-dilapidated state. Ken continues to live there, although Elsie died at the end of November 2011.
Between 1953 and 1977 Ken was also a weatherman for the Met Office, alongside his day job, checking the instruments based where Falmouth Rugby Club now is and telephoning through the results twice daily to London.
It was for this that he was awarded a British Empire Medal, for services to the Met Office.
A promotion saw Ken work until his retirement at the newly formed Carrick District Council offices in Truro, until |1977 when he took up his pension a year early.
Ken remains a member of Falmouth and Penryn Lions Club, serving as president at one stage, and is a former secretary of Falmouth Hoteliers’ Association.
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