Obituary: Mr Arthur Drury

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Mr Arthur Drury, of West Street, Barkston, has died at home. He was 86.

Born on June 5, 1927, he was the son of Horace and Harriet Drury, and one of seven children.

For the majority of his life he lived in the village of Barkston.

In August 1945, at the age of 18, he enlisted with the Royal Navy and started service as a stoker. He went to sea from his port division of Chatham, on the River Medway.

He served with the British Pacific Fleet and between 1945 and February 1948 he sailed through the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and on to Sri Lanka, Singapore, Perth and Sydney, before heading northwards for Hong Kong and Japan. Mr Drury spoke of this experience fondly and would comment on Japan as being one of the most beautiful places he had visited.

Following his time in the Royal Navy, he returned home and continued with his trade of bricklaying.

In January 1955, he purchased the Old School House in West Street, Barkston. On March 19, 1955, he married Ruby Eileen Woods at Barkston Church. School Cottage became their new marital home and was to be the one and only home for the happy couple.

Mr Drury’s brothers Horace, Cecil, Ron, Ernie and Jack, plus sister Barbara, all settled either in or nearby to Barkston. The Drury family roots seemed to grow in and around the local villages.

Mr Drury was a keen sportsman and played football and cricket for the village. He was a valued goalkeeper and was also believed to have been the wicket-keeper at cricket.

From 1964 to 1970 he worked for a local building company, W. J. Roberts of Bottesford. During his employment his skills were stretched to include a great deal of stonework, renovation and restoration of large properties. It is thought that W. J. Roberts formed a new company after 1970, which Mr Drury continued to work for.

In the 1980s he had moved on to work for the Grantham Community Programme Agency. This was a sponsored organisation that took community service workers, provided them training and supervised them on restoration projects to benefit the community. Mr Drury taught these young men as site supervisor. The work centred on churchyard projects, with a considerable number of churchyard walls being reinstated.

Throughout their lives the couple had many good friends in the village. They had no children but became godparents to Darren Addlesee. The couple were like grandparents, taking trips to the seaside, summer holidays and the regular Sunday afternoon visit to the local swimming pool. Mr Drury was an excellent swimmer and soon taught his godson to swim. But the coaching did not stop there, School Cottage had only a small living room, but that didn’t stop table tennis, snooker or darts being played in there.

Since his wife’s death in 2011, Mr Drury remained as independent as he could be, made easier by the help of a marvellous network of friends, relatives and neighbours.

Mr Drury was a much-loved, kind, and easy going gentleman, always caring for those around him. He was an unassuming man and will be sorely missed.

The Rev Alan Littlewood conducted the funeral service at Grantham Crematorium Chapel.

Other than the immediate family, mourners included: Mr and Mrs Sissins, June and George West, Mr and Mrs G. Drury, Doreen and Alan Drury, Kathleen Drury, Sally Williams, Jill Hawkins, Darren Addlesee, Stephanie Addlesee, Kevin Addlesee, Jenny Addlesee, Brian Silverwood, Ken Roberts, Colin and Ann Drury, Frank Northing, Marina Bland, Gary Meadows, Richard Dodd, Jean Ware, Sandra Emery, Gwen Eardley, Alan Eardley, and Sue Evans.

Funeral arrangements were by Robert Holland, St Catherine’s Road, Grantham.

Donations were received for the British Heart Foundation.