Pinchbeck-born former builder and county council chairman dies at 94
A hugely respected builder and former chairman of Lincolnshire County Council, Peter Bray, has died aged 94.
Peter spent almost his entire life in Pinchbeck - living within a mile of his beloved parish church - and, as head of a building business, was responsible for creating many familiar landmarks in South Holland.
He was churchwarden at the Parish Church of St Mary for 22 years, and his funeral service will take place there at midday on Wednesday, July 24.
Peter leaves family including his wife Josephine, four daughters, Jennifer, Rosamund, Elizabeth and Emma, nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Peter also leaves his sister Betty. His brother Tom, a former South Holland district councillor, passed away in 2015.
Peter had been married for 67 years and was a devoted husband and family man.
Daughter Elizabeth Sneath, who has followed in her father’s footsteps to represent Spalding Elloe electoral division on the county council, said: “Despite all that he did, he was still at heart a family man - that was his main focus.”
Daughter Emma Beavis, who took up another family tradition and became churchwarden at St Mary’s four years ago, described her father as “quiet and unassuming”.
As chairman of the county council, Peter attended garden parties at Buckingham Palace with Josephine and the couple met members of the royal family, Princess Anne and Prince Charles, when they came to Lincolnshire.
Liz said: “He loved being a county councillor and their year in office was an absolute highlight for them.”
While chairman, Peter’s heart was touched by a meeting with a family whose child had cancer.
It was something he never forgot and donations given at Peter’s funeral service will go to the Teenage Cancer Trust and the Parish Church of St Mary Clock Appeal.
The son of Guy and Edith Bray, Peter was born in Pinchbeck in 1924 and went to Moulton Grammar School before transferring to Spalding Grammar School.
He served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War and, after his return, joined his father’s building and funeral business, which continued in tandem until the early 90s.
The funeral business alone carried on with Emma and Elizabeth, and Peter was still taking an active role until a year ago.
Peter’s building firm was well known and widely respected.
It was responsible for building many council houses,St Bartholomew’s Church of England Primary School at West Pinchbeck, the science block at Spalding High School, part of Pinchbeck East Church of England Primary School, and many other local landmarks.
Peter was a Rotarian for more than 50 years with the Rotary Club of Spalding and was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship.
As a champion of young people, Peter was as a scout master for many years and served as a governor at Spalding Grammar School and Deeping St Nicholas Primary School.
He was also well known in Masonic circles and president of Pinchbeck branch of The Royal British Legion for many years.
On the home front, Peter was a keen gardener and poultry keeper.
Following his nomination by then councillor Nobby Walker, Peter was elected to the county council.
He represented the Spalding Elloe electoral division from May 1989 until his retirement in May 2005.
He was council chairman from May 2003 to May 2004.
Peter was also chairman of the former Waste Disposal Sub-Committee from May 1992 to May 1993 and chairman of the Best Value Sub-Committee from May 2000 to May 2002.
The loving family man brought his gift of caring to his membership of the council’s fostering and adoption panel.
Liz said: “He had a lot of empathy with that situation as a wonderful father.”
OnSunday, July 7 - the day Peter died - a single bell tolled at St Mary's for each year of his long life.
Writing on social media, Elizabeth said: "Did you hear the single church bell ring 94 times this morning? This was the passing or death bell rung today for my dear father, Peter Bray."