One of Helston’s keenest minds, with a vast knowledge of the town’s business history, has died at the age of 97.
A memorial service to remember Reg Jenkin will now take place tomorrow, Thursday, at 11am at Helston Methodist Church.
Mr Jenkin, from Trevenen Road, was known for his keen interest in how Helston’s businesses had changed over the years.
He had amassed a collection of almost 300 of his own drawings, having researched the history of the town for the last 20 years.
He only began drawing in his 80s, when he discovered a talent for intricate, architecture-style drawings.
He was taught by a Swiss artist during a sea crossing to South Africa to visit his son John, after he admired her work. She convinced him that it was only disbelief in his own skill that was preventing him from being able to draw – and spent the rest of the crossing sharing the techniques that led to his skills.
Mr Jenkin had been compiling a collection of his drawings at the time of his death. Many can be seen in the reference section of Helston Library as part of his published book the Directory of Helston circa 1900.
He was thirsty to find out more and more information about the town he loved until the end, searching the internet on his laptop for snippets of interest.
Born and bred a Helstonian, Mr Jenkin attended the Weslyan Day School from the age of five.
In 1934 he went to London, aged 18, after his father sent him off with one pound and ten shillings, and one way ticket to the city to make something of himself.
When the Second World War broke out in 1939 Mr Jenkin joined the RAF, serving in France, the Middle East and Norway, where he met his wife Inger.
It was fate that brought them together, after Inger was unable to find her friends on a beach near Oslo – and on her return bumped into Reg. They were both whistling/singing the same tune, There Goes That Song Again, and felt an instant connection.
They married in Norway four months later and returned to Helston.
Mr Jenkin and his brother John set up a painting and decorating business, which kept them busy in the years following the war.
He subsequently worked for other people and on retirement became involved at the beginning of Flambards, when it was still just an aircraft park. He remained there until the age of 75.
Reg and Inger had two children, John and Sue, plus five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Daughter Sue Mahon said: “I’ve had so many wonderful cards – people have been so kind and have said such wonderful things about him; that he was a true Helstonian.”
Mr Jenkin was a familiar sight travelling through the town on his scooter and enjoyed visiting Helston Bowling Club on a Saturday.
“He derived so much pleasure from being there and meeting people,” added Sue.