It takes quite a few decades of service to become the Senior Member of Marlborough Town Council, but that’s exactly what Bryan Castle put in. A few people were surprised when he decided to put himself forward for another term, but he must have felt that, with a new crop of councillors coming on board, it was time for the experience of an old head to help to see things through. It was not to be. Bryan had carried dutifully carried on, despite long suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. It all finally caught up with him over the weekend of June 12th.
Bryan’s long service on the Council included what almost seemed a permanent chairmanship of the Amenities and Open Spaces Committee. This stemmed from his great commitment to conservation, expressed in a sturdy opposition to encroachment on the natural environment. As Tree Officer of the town, he was assiduous in his defence of every tree and twig. If he had had a personal theme song, it could well have been “Woodman, woodman, spare that tree.” In his role as the town’s Flood Officer, his environmental concerns were expressed in his strong supporter of Action for the River Kennet. He was on the Council of Partners of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Bryan was a man of many commitments. He received the traditional honorary peel at St Mary’s Church after he’d rung the bells for a quarter century. He was a volunteer with MENCAP. He was a devoted High Church Anglican. He regarded his Christian commitment as the cornerstone of his life. His commitment to the Liberal Democrats was so strong that he requested attendees at his wife’s funeral to wear the party colours of yellow. Despite her struggles with emotional problems in her latter days, he remained a loyal and caring husband, devoted to the last. He was compensated for his grief at her loss by his capacity for love and friendship and his devotion to his sons, Dan and John, and his granddaughter.
His idiosyncratic style and deep commitment will be missed.
Nick Fogg, June 2021