Tributes to former Chichester mayor

Barry Fletcher, 77, who passed away in September
Barry Fletcher, 77, who passed away in September

A EULOGY was made to a popular historian, politician and teacher who died last month.

Barry Fletcher passed away on September 22, aged 77, at St Richard’s Hospital.

Described by colleagues as a ‘powerful, innovative and effective councillor’, he represented the Chichester north ward for the Liberal Democrats on the city council for 15 years.

He was mayor in 1998, with his wife Rachel as mayoress.

“He was a devoted father,” said Rachel this week.

“The children were born in Nottingham, then we came down here to Felpham and Middleton.

“We used to go all over the place in Sussex. Most Sunday afternoons we went out somewhere with the family. He was a good family man in that respect.”

The couple were married 48 years and have two children, Ian and Sarah, as well as two grandchildren.

“I don’t think it is too strong a claim to say that he loved Chichester,” said another former mayor, Richard Plowman, at a thanksgiving service for Mr Fletcher at St Paul’s Church, in Chichester, on Friday (October 3).

Although not originally from Chichester, Mr Fletcher made a great contribution to the city, according to all who knew him.

“Although always rather academic in appearance, which is not surprising given his background, his sharp mind, detailed research and the ability to get straight to the point made him an impressive performer in the council chamber,” said Mr Plowman.

Mr Fletcher joined the Bognor Regis College as a lecturer in 1973 and then became a senior lecturer at the West Sussex Institute of Higher Education, now the University of Chichester.

His contribution over the years to Chichester has been described as ‘immense’.

During his time as mayor, he attended a service at every church, chapel and congregation and visited every school and college in Chichester.

He kept a detailed diary of his whole year as mayor, which is now in the West Sussex Record Office, where he spent a great deal of time. Although he is sadly missed, his work lives on in Chichester.