Hundreds have been paying tribute following the loss of a well-known Barnstaple man and former election agent.

Peter Bray with his children Martin and Gail. Picture: Bray familyPeter Bray with his children Martin and Gail. Picture: Bray family

Peter Bray passed away on Sunday, March 15 following a short battle with cancer, aged 76.

A long and varied career included the post of assistant agent for Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe from 1971-80 as well as serving as constituency agent from 1980-85.

A devoted family man, Peter leaves his daughter Gail, his son Martin and his only grandchild Jake.

His funeral is on Friday, April 3 at 2.20pm at North Devon Crematorium with donations for North Devon Hospice.

The funeral is for family only due to coronavirus restrictions, but they plan to hold a big memorial to Peter’s life as soon as they can.

Born and bred in Barnstaple in 1943, Peter went ‘into politics’ in the late 1960s and worked for North Devon MP Jeremy Thorpe for nine years.

He worked for another five years for the Liberals as constituency agent as well as working as an election agent around the country at by-elections.

When the Gazette spoke to Peter in 2017 about his work with the well-known leader, he said he was ‘a tremendous bloke and an MP of the highest stature’ and full of admiration for a man who was a good friend.

Peter also entered politics himself, serving as deputy mayor of Barnstaple, as a Barnstaple Borough Councillor and as a town councillor from 1968-79.

He later worked for LH Codd’s and Serck Intertruck before retiring just shy of his 65th birthday thanks to a triple heart bypass, which he bounced back from miraculously quickly.

He was also very involved with scouting and served as chairman of the 12th North Devon Scouts in the 1970s and 80s as well as an executive member of the District Scout Association.

His family remember a man who was always at the centre of things, with more than 4,000 Facebook friends and a quick sense of humour.

His daughter Gail said: “He was a very loving dad who loved the family get togethers and being involved with everything.

“He loved my little dog Max and I would make a Max calendar at Christmas and he would post it on his Facebook page. There have been hundreds of lovely comments and we would like to thank everyone for their kind words at this time.

“With the uncertainty of what’s going on with the funeral, we hope people will bear with us and come and help celebrate his life when we have a memorial service.”