Geoffrey Plaister

GEOFFREY George Plaister, 88, who was well known in many circles, spent many of his earlier years in Wootton Bassett, where he and his late wife Barbara were in business before moving to Purton.

Mr Plaister was a keen classic car enthusiast whose historic vehicles were popular as bridal cars at weddings and special events including the London to Brighton run. Some of his cars also appeared in television programmes.

Geoff Plaister was born in February 1929 in Inkpen. He was the youngest of six children, and last of that generation of the family. He moved with his parents to Spratts Barn Farm, Wootton Bassett and, having left school at 14, he worked with his brother Alan for their father prior to making a business career of his own.

Geoff had shown early aptitude for business by collecting golf balls that went astray, and selling them back to unsuspecting players. He made friends locally through playing tennis and joining the many activities of the Young Conservatives and the Young Farmers' Club.

He and Barbara (nee Leighfield), who was a receptionist at the doctors' surgery in Wootton Bassett, were married on December 14, 1958. They had no children of their own, but enjoyed spending time with nieces, nephews and godchildren.

They ran a small greengrocery shop in the High Street before moving into much bigger premises on the conversion of Cambridge House into a retail outlet where they increased their range of products considerably and became well known for provisions, newspapers and magazines, as well as greengrocery. They were known widely as well-established members of the local business community.

Mr Plaister and his wife were noted for their fondness for animals, especially dogs and horses. Barbara Plaister ran dog training classes and judged at local shows. The couple moved to a new phase of life in another part of North Wiltshire, to run a stud farm, which they met many more people, from a wide area, and formed new friendships over the past forty years.

The Rev Sandy Railton, who conducted Mr Plaister's funeral at Kingsdown Crematorium, said: "We give thanks for his life, talents, care and love, and for all our memories of Geoff, as we commend him into God's sure keeping."

Memorial donations were welcomed for the British Heart Foundation.