ONE of the Wiltshire Times' regular contributors, Barry Sims, has died aged 74.

Barry was born in 1947 in the family home off Henley Lane, Kingsdown, Box and spent most of his life there.

He died unexpectedly on October 6. He leaves behind a son, Charlie, and a brother Tony.

He was the second son of Robert and Rosemary Sims. During the Second World War, his father worked on developing Rolls-Royce aero engines.

Barry was a practical man who became a highly qualified mechanical and electrical engineer, starting his career as an apprentice at Westinghouse in Chippenham in the 1970s.

Barry then became an assessor for Avon Tyres, testing tyres which often achieved speeds in excess of 180mph.

Then became a well-respected marine engineer, working on many sailing yachts, power boats and canal barges in the locality, around the country and abroad.

He built and ran the Hilperton Marina on the Kennet & Avon Canal near Trowbridge for many years.

His enduring quality was his desire to help others and to set and maintain high standards; Barry could always find a solution to an engineering problem.

However, one of his greatest loves was motor bikes, even racing against a namesake, Barry Sheene MBE and beating him!

He completed the Manx Grand Prix on the Isle of Man five times and also took part and completed the Veterans Event in 2015/2016.

Barry was a well-liked and greatly respected member of the community of Box. For many years he was safety officer at Box Rifle Club. He also trained the local Venture Scouts for the Ten Tors and other similar endurance events.

He served as a Box Parish Councillor for eight years and was chairman of the council's highways committee.

Barry was a founder member and treasurer of the Box Twinning Association, resulting in the Twinning with Sorigny, France in 2017, whilst facilitating many enjoyable visits for its French guests.

He was an active member of GIG (Gentleman’s Interest Group), the Men’s Shed Group and Box Revels.

Barry also enjoyed playing Father Christmas for the Box Church of England Primary School, handing out presents to the children around the Christmas tree by the Victorian Fountain.

Safeguarding the Box community, he volunteered and was often seen in strategic sites around the parish as a valued member of the Community Speed Watch team.

One of his colleagues commented: "He made me smile. He had a heart of gold."

Another said: "He was always smiling and had a twinkle in his eye."

Barry was an amazing, selfless man, and happiest when helping others in Melksham, Trowbridge and Box; he never said no.

He will be sadly missed by his family, friends, colleagues and all those who loved him. May he rest in peace.

His funeral was held on Monday (November 1) at the West Wiltshire Crematorium at Semington.