Peter Parr-Head (1945-1948)

Died on 7th January 2021 aged 88.

My father died on 7 January this year at the age of 88. He had a good innings. In the end, he was another victim of Covid-19, although the virus exploited his increasing frailty with a struggling heart. It is tempting to focus on the fact that he was unable to see his family and friends for over a month, including Christmas. That would be a mistake. The focus must be on what a good bloke he was. Not a star, just someone who worked hard, loved a drink, a laugh and valued loyalty and friendship above all else.

Dad was born in Ealing and remained there until he and Mum (Elizabeth) moved the family out to Chorleywood in the early 1960s. Their final home was in the lovely village of South Stoke, close to Goring-on-Thames.

Dad went to Merchant Taylors’, Northwood in 1945. He was very proud of his time at the Manor. He always considered those from the Manor of the Rose were the elite. I don’t think he showed any form on the playing fields, although he did make the school boxing team. He appeared under-nourished at that stage in his life, so I can only assume that his boxing prowess was due to his ability to take a beating and come back for more. He left school at 16 (I assume for financial reasons) and joined the city firm of accountants, Waller Broad, as an article clerk. He remained at the same firm until he retired as Senior Partner at the age of 62.

Dad loved a ‘club’ and loved everything Merchant Taylors’. He thrived on the culture offered by the various OMT sports clubs, OMT Society, livery company and the Sir Thomas White Lodge. The culture of service and fellowship promoted by those bodies were a perfect match for him. His other commitments included Round Table, 41 Club and not forgetting South Stoke village shop.

I suspect he was most proud of being a joint founder member of FALICS (Fogies and Layabouts Indigestion Club). The club regularly meets for lunch, dining on a ‘Full English’ washed down by a pint or two. I believe FALICS is in its 25th year. Dad would insist that I take this opportunity to promote the gathering and encourage all to join in.

Peter Parr-Head proudly holding a tankard presented to him by Falics at a Falic lunch on 27th April 2016. David Smee, who succeeded Peter as UMF, handed it over, in recognition of Peter’s inaugurating the Falics and presiding over the many lunches he organised.

Our parents were lucky to live next door to my sister, Amanda, and her family for over 25 years, initially in Chenies and then South Stoke. Village life suited them, again providing an opportunity to ‘muck in’ and take full advantage of the Perch & Pike public house, a short walk from their front door.

Dad and I shared our love of OMT rugby. Both of us spent too much time at Durrants. He would spend most weekends watching me play mediocre rugby. I don’t think Dad was particularly knowledgeable about the game, but it was always his opinion of my performance that I most valued. More recently, Dad would regularly be on the touch line watching his three grandsons play for school. He loved it.

Mum and Dad loved messing about on the river and owned a number of gin palaces that provided the perfect platform for drunken adventures, sometimes crossing the Channel and ending up in Paris.

Inevitably, Dad’s quality of life deteriorated over the last three years, accelerated by mother’s passing in late 2017. However, the humour and political incorrectness remained to the end. He became quite deaf and so some of his inappropriate comments were often broadcast over a public bar, causing much embarrassment to the family.

As I said above, not a star, just a good bloke.

Robert Parr-Head (1970-1976)


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