Former Lancaster and Morecambe mayor and ‘man of the people’ dies aged 86

A man of the people and a fine ambassador for the area is how a former Heysham councillor and mayor of Lancaster has been described on his death, aged 86.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 4:55 am
Updated Monday, 2nd May 2022, 9:09 am

Geoff Bryan represented Heysham North for 20 years and was mayor in 1982-83.

Geoff's heart was in Morecambe and he worked tirelessly as a councillor to improve its fortunes when the resort was struggling.

But he also embraced the district and was a fine ambassador for the city council as mayor.

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Geoff Bryan.

His year in office saw a devastating storm in January 1983, which caused widespread flooding with hundreds of private homes and businesses in Morecambe badly affected.

Geoff stepped forward and immediately launched a special town's appeal to help the victims.

He officially opened the Scale Hall housing development in Lancaster in August 1982 and also opened a hotel called “The Lancaster” in Houston, Texas.

He served as a Justice of the Peace and was made an honorary alderman when he retired from the council in 1987.

Born in Lancaster in 1936, Geoff attended Bowerham School and studied art at the Storey Institute.

He worked at Castle Press in Lancaster in the graphics department.

Aged 18, he did his national service and spent three years in the RAF, stationed in Wales looking after the technical side of aircraft while being a drummer in a skiffle band.

Geoff worked in insurance at the Prudential, later owned a greengrocer's shop and then became a health physics monitor at Heysham Power Stations.

He competed in rallies with Morecambe Car Club and enjoyed flying model aeroplanes.

A member of Morecambe Golf Club for 50 years, he was passionate about the sport.

“Geoff was a good man and an honest man,” said Rev Andrew Belshaw, conducting the funeral at Lancaster Crematorium on April 14.

He met his future wife, Janet Kershaw, at a dance on the Central Pier, Morecambe, and they married at St Barnabas Church in 1959. Janet's brother, the late Donald Kershaw, was also a former Lancaster city councillor.

As well as Janet, Geoff leaves a son, two daughters and three grandchildren.

Geoff died at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary on April 3.