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Barry Goswell Obituary 1931 - 2019

It is with great sadness that the TR Register must share news of the loss of one of its most active and dedicated members, Barry Goswell. A group leader for 14 years in Birmingham and a well known TR5 owner, Barry was the epitome of a true 'TR man and will be sorely missed. Barry passed away on 4th January 2019.

George Barrington Goswell was born in London, next to the old Arsenal ground at Highbury, in August 1931. His father, also called George and mother, Gladys had an older daughter. Betty. They had previously lived in Turkey, where his father tailored for the Sultan, living and working in Topkapi Palace, but they returned to England due to the unrest which had broken out. Like many a boy, who shared a name with his father, he was known by his middle name or, more usually, Barry.

When Barry was school age, he, with his mother and sister, moved to Westcliffe on Sea, where he had a lovely life by the seaside and he attended a nice private school.

During the war, Barry's father worried about the bombing and so packed them off to an old farm in rural Worcestershire where he remembers only candles and waking to the smell of manure and the sound of clogs. Barry always blamed the war for ruining his education but his sister married the farmer's son.

Barry left school at 14, by which time his father had moved his business from London to Birmingham. Gladys and Barry moved to Birmingham and Barry joined the family firm. National Service saw Barry serving for three years in the army, after which he re-joined the firm learning all the skills of bespoke tailoring at the well-known George Goswell Limited at the Ivy Bush.

Barry saw Dorothy at the Plough and Harrow in 1958 and decided to marry her even though he had no idea who she was. However, with the skills of Columbo he found and married her in 1960 and setup home in 1962. Their first daughter, Rebecca, was born in 1966 and Susannah arrived in 1968. He loved being a father and taking them out on Sundays for 'Sunday Sweets'. Their house was always full of music and dancing, he played piano for their parties and his George Formby banjo. At this time, he was driving a Triumph Herald but in 1970 he spotted his beloved TR5 sports car for sale and, having bought it, later made another set of great friends through the TR Register (after they finally allowed those softies whose cars had 'windy windows' to join). Barry was regularly seen driving along the roads near his house with youngsters overflowing from his car. No talk of 'health and safety' in those days. The local kids thought he was cool and the doorbell would regularly ring with someone asking if he could come out and play.

One of Barry's greatest achievements was organising the TR Register Birmingham Group's stand at the Malvern Classic Car Show, held at the beginning of each October. His ambition was to get 100 TRs on the stand, a feat he achieved more than once thanks to his ability to gather entries from around the country. The stand was regularly voted the best in the show and had the exceptional feature of a roast dinner provided for every member, with gravy and all the trimmings. Everyone who attended those Autumn meets at the Three Counties Showground remembers them fondly.

In the early 1990s he followed Andy Petersen as Birmingham Group Leader, initially as co-leader with John Cowley but later by himself. He was proud to be their group leader until he stepped down at Birmingham's 2005 AGM. During this time, he worked with two Group Treasurers first, Merve Parkes and then, from 2001 Dave Gibson. Barry's personality was such that he managed to cajole Birmingham members to turn out in great numbers. It was during this time that the Register needed funds, first to acquire the Didcot office and later to fund the restoration of TS2 and Barry was indefatigable in helping to raise these funds though his selling of raffle tickets for both of these causes. This involved many, many tiring hours stood selling raffle tickets and memberships at events such as the NEC Classic Motor Show in Birmingham where he helped to raise many thousands of pounds for the club. As a result, he was made an Honorary Member of the TR Register in 2013.

Barry became a proud grandpa in 1996, when Natasha was born and again in 1999, when Joss came along. He played hours of games and cards with them as Dorothy and Barry did a lot of babysitting. He came to be known by his granddaughter as Crazy Barry.

Barry was a great entertainer, he could do impressions of anyone, and was the life and soul of the party. He had more silly walks than Monty Python, the ability of which he has passed onto his daughters, he would dance with the old ladies in the supermarket down the aisles, He loved cricket, was a member of the MCC and he taught grandson Joss to bowl in middle of Asda, he was a true character.

Eventually he moved his workshop to his home, a room full of memories, equipment and all the trophies won from the Malvern show. Sadly, he had to give up tailoring several years ago after losing his sight due to macular degeneration, but he continued to love the room and could be found at 6pm every day, after his favourite Eggheads TV programme, with a Senior Service cigarette and his rum and coke and, after dinner, his Cornish ice cream - all of which he had enjoyed on his last evening.

Barry's family would be very pleased if you would remember him by donating to the Macular Society

Barry Goswell was laid to rest with a service at Stourbridge Crematorium on 1st February 2019. His TR5 "bixxy" was present as were his friends from around the TR world.

Words by Dave Gibson. Images supplied by Barry Lucas.

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