Tributes for Garstang businessman and fundraiser Harry Kenyon

A retired Garstang businessman, Harry Kenyon, died recently. One of his many friends, former Garstang Courier deputy editor Anthony Coppin pays tribute to his memory.

Tuesday, 6th June 2017, 12:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th June 2017, 3:39 pm
Garstang businessman Harry Kenyon

Harry Kenyon, who has died in his early 80s, was a man of many parts - businessman, survivor of childhood TB (an illness which left him with a life-long disability which he bore with good-humoured stoicism), charity fundraiser, one-time canal boat dweller, one-time fish and chip shop proprietor, possessor of a dry sense of humour, a regular at Garstang Arts Centre and the Thursday Old People’s meals.

He ran a fish and chip shop business in his native south Lancashire before moving to Blackpool, and later to Garstang, where he worked in a camera shop and a video library / mobile video service.

He went on to run Harry’s Music Box in Thomas’s Weind / Pringle Court, selling videos, CDs, and taking passport photographs for many years.

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His off-beat, dry sense of humour helped him as a community fundraiser, initially for the local Conservative Party and later for the Garstang branch of the British Heart Foundation.

The BHF quizzes / fundraisers were hugely popular, and invariably featured Harry and his friend Marie Whalley as a mindreading double act, with Harry as the mindreader and Marie playing an eccentric Russian aristocrat.

Harry was a frequent contributor of quirky letters to the Courier’s letters page, often using the pen-name “Hermione Klegthorpe.”

When he retired from The Music Box about 10 years ago I organised a party for him at the Royal Oak. Although rarely showing emotion he was genuinely touched by the tributes paid to him that night by townsfolk and fellow business people who attended.

Another friend, retired solicitor, Garstang town councillor Roger Brooks, said: “Harry was a chap with an instinctive twist on humour; he always saw the ridiculous in any situation. He suffered with his TB hip all his life with good grace and without complaint.”

Harry had been ill for some time and spent his final weeks at Oakfield Nursing Home, Forton, funeral arrangements are expected to be announced soon.