Barry Bowyer Obituary


Maidenhead Dinner and Dance 1981. Barry receives his Driving Test Trophy and Champagne from a concerned Margaret Bentley.


Barry Robert Bowyer died peacefully at his home in Biddenden on 18 January 2016. He leaves his wife Gillian and his three children, Christopher, Jonathon and Robert. He was 79 years old and had recently battled ill health.

Barry was a mountain of a man and the second Chairman of the Bentley Drivers Club South East Region. He was something over six feet in height and drove a three litre, XT 260. It is believed that this car is still in the family.

Back in 1970 Bob Gooda was the first South East Chairman but in 1973 he died suddenly.  It is the measure of the man that Barry stepped up to the plate.  He was also the club’s Honorary Press Secretary having taken over from John Croxson.  He was to continue in these roles until 1985, or so. There are not many examples of anyone being Regional Chairman for some twelve years. The post of Press secretary was abolished.

His ‘joie de vivre’ included cricket and in 1986 he was the Captain of the BDC South East region’s cricket team. Notably the team toured Holland and were to play a team named Olympia over a series of four matches. The Bentley Drivers Club looked the part, however as they had arrived in a half dozen or so vintage Bentleys. Roy Baker remembers throwing an apple from his car to Barry’s car whilst bowling down a Dutch Motorway. The apple was deftly caught by Barry which Roy considered to be a sign of greatness to come. This was not as prophetic as Roy had hoped! The test  series ended with the  BDC managing  to lose all four, mostly by huge margins.  One match a considerably older Olympia team went in to bat first and knocked up some 250 runs without loss and then declared. They skittled the BDC team out for seventy-odd runs. On reflection the abject cricketing failure may have resulted from the consumption of copious quantities of alcohol. Still it was all enormous fun.

David Rolfe remembers a comparatively recent event when he attended a VSCC Prescott event in, inexplicably, a Bentley ‘Eight’. This was a bit of a mistake with this august body and he, somewhat, sheepishly proceeded to the hillside overlooking the Pardon and the ‘long’ course. Here he found Barry with his family and picnic under the shade of his favourite tree. Barry, of course, enthusiastically welcomed David to join them with only hint of a snort of contempt at his mode of transport. David reflected, ‘ I have many fond memories of Barry and his hospitality and he was always full of humour and conviviality’.

He was noted as a raconteur and wit as well as a notable artist. A drawing of W.O. Bentley that he had dawn was seen hanging on a wall at Head Office for some time. He worked in design, hence presumably his artistic skills, and had his own company, Bowyer Design (Consultancy) Ltd.

He was clearly a man full of enthusiasm and good cheer and will be missed by all who knew him.


The following was the notice that appeared on our 'Home' page.

Death of Barry Bowyer


The second ever chairman of the South East Region has died. Below is the notification as it appeared in the Daily Telegraph and there is an obituary in the 'news' section.

Barry Robert Bowyer died peacefully at home in Biddenden on 18th January 2016, aged 79. A loving husband to Gillian, Brother to Diana, father to Christopher (and Gail), Jonathan (and Julia), Robert (and Sarah), grandfather of Sophie, Emily, Charlotte, Alexander and Edward, Uncle of David and Michael. Wit, raconteur and vintage Bentley enthusiast, will be greatly missed. All enquiries to TW Fuggle & Son, 01580 763340.