A stalwart of the Royal Solent Yacht Club, Peter Garratt, has died after a long illness, aged 71.
Peter Garratt was a popular Yarmouth yachtsman and community worker. He was born in Stanmore, Middlesex, the younger son of George and Queenie Garratt who helped develop a community spirit on their estate at the end of the Second World War. He learned from this and took this community focus throughout his life.
Peter was educated at the progressive Aylward Primary School, then Blackwell Secondary Modern and Willesden Technical College before reading engineering at Loughborough University. He was also a lively member of the Fourth Harrow Scout Troop.
He joined British Rail as a Civil Engineer on Track and Signalling and spent his professional life in this field becoming one of the UK’s acknowledged experts.
His early social life was active, especially at Harrow Rugby Club. Peter quickly realised that by working at night and at the weekends he could generate the cash to follow two of his sports passionately – scuba diving and skiing – in both of which he became an instructor.
He visited the Isle of Wight every year of his life, originally at Niton and then Bonchurch. He retired three times but was brought back twice to help solve seemingly intractable technical and legal problems on the railways including resolving the problematic Eurostar link from St Pancras to span the Kings Cross lines.
Peter eventually made full retirement to Yarmouth and his beloved gaffer Furstin. Ever active he participated fully in the life of the Royal Solent Yacht Club. In 2016 he made a Transatlantic crossing as part of The Arc and joined the Nelsonian Tot Club in Antigua. On return he joined the Island branch immediately.
He had a useful qualification of holding an Explosives Certificate and was able to organise various local displays including part of the national chain of bonfires for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and of the Millennium. He participated cheerfully in Yarmouth community life and was a volunteer driver and telephone line respondent for the Earl Mountbatten Hospice.
The date of his death (September 15) coincided with both the anniversary of the Battle of Britain and the date of the death of his hero civil engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He fell short of his 72nd birthday by 5 days.
All queries to Eversons, Totland. Family funeral only. No flowers but any charitable donations to go to Ochre Charity (Oesophageal Cancer) or McMillan Nurses.