Historian dies at 96

HISTORIAN, artist, award-winning genealogist, prolific author, founder-member of Exmouth museum and regular at The York, Harry Pascoe, has died at the grand old age of 96.

HISTORIAN, artist, award-winning genealogist, prolific author, founder-member of Exmouth museum and regular at The York, Harry Pascoe, has died at the grand old age of 96.

It was an indication of the high regard that Harry, who moved to Exmouth in 1973, was held in that his memorial service at Exeter Crematorium was packed to bursting.

The last surviving - and eldest - of five brothers and one sister he was born in Plymouth in July 1914, and, after leaving school, trained in the Naval Dockyard at Devonport as an electrical fitter before working as a tax inspector.

He married Nancy, his wife of 65 years, in 1936 and, at the outbreak of war, was seconded to the Admiralty and joined the Home Guard, where he edited their magazine.

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After the war, he returned to the Inland Revenue in Bristol, where he had the chance to indulge in two of his hobbies; art and history.

His artistic flair shone through as a member of the Civil Service Art Club and as a set designer for the Gilbert & Sullivan Operatic Society at the Theatre Royal, in Bristol.

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He also won an award for researching family trees.

In 1973, he was transferred to Exeter and he and Nancy moved to the former Keverel House, in Keverel Road.

He worked in Exeter until he retired in 1978 and later joined the Exmouth Museum - where he was acting curator - the Family History Association and the Historical and Archaeological Society.

That same year he took up writing and his first book A Cornish Armoury was published.

His daughter Mic said: "He helped get the Exmouth Museum going again and update it.

"He was responsible for many displays and encouraged youngsters to visit and learn about the history of their town."

His role at the museum led to several more books which are still available A Book of Exmouth and Extraordinary Exmouth.

His family have even found an unfinished manuscript.

"He took up family history when we asked about our family tree when at school," said Mic. "He enjoyed the challenge of the museum creating tableau, using his considerable artistic skills.

"Like all our family, he loved music and used to sing to himself. While missing mum when she died (in 2001) he made a routine for himself taking one of Galaxy's taxis to town every day, eating at the Linda's, now Michelle's, caf� everyday in town and then having a pint of Guinness at his favourite pub, The York, and meeting his friends afterwards."

A devoted family man - he had five grandchildren and five great grandchildren - each year he rented a cottage in Cornwall and he loved showing them all the sites.

Mic added: "But the thing that really impressed him was being made a Cornish Bard. We all went with him to the annual Gorsedd, where all the bards wore blue robes with a black and gold headdress. "

"At his 90th birthday celebrations in 2003, he was very honoured when Garth, the town crier, came along to wish him a good day. His daughter Mic said: "Dad loved living! He loved doing new things, meeting new people, trying new things."

Harry Pascoe, July 1914 to May 2010 leaves two daughters, five grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

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