A long-term Stanmore resident and previous Vice President of Harrow Rugby Club, Peter Garratt has died at the age of 71.

Born the younger son of George and Queenie Garratt of Craigweil Close, Stanmore, Peter was educated at the progressive Aylward Primary School, Stanmore, then Blackwell Secondary Modern and Willesden Technical College before reading engineering at Loughborough University.

He joined British Rail in the track and signalling division and became nationally recognised for his professionalism.

Peter realised early on that if he worked mainly nights and weekends he could raise money to follow his two sports of skiing and scuba-diving. He became an instructor in each.

He was a stalwart supporter of Harrow Rugby Club and later elected as a Vice President. Although never in the top team he enjoyed his games as a ‘muddied oaf’ and even more his ability to arrange the after-match social activities.

Peter was able to arrange fireworks displays because he held an explosives licence and these were much admired, even if in those days he was allowed to store the fireworks in his mother’s spare bedroom. He was also an active member of the Fourth Harrow Scout Troop.

He retired three times to Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, and his beloved gaff-rigged boat Furstin, but was brought back a second time to help resolve a seemingly intractable technical and legal problem in taking the newly proposed Eurostar tracks from St Pancras over the complex of railway lines at Kings Cross and into the new tunnel.

He was an active member of the Royal Solent Yacht Club in Yarmouth, completed The Arc transatlantic race in 2016 and on arrival in Antigua joined the Nelsonian Tot Club, becoming a corresponding member back in Yarmouth.

Peter participated widely in the local community and used his explosives licence for local fireworks displays as well as lighting the coastal beacons for various royal celebrations and the Millennium.

He died of oesophageal cancer on September 15, 2020 in the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Yarmouth, five days short of his 72nd birthday.

The date of his death coincided with the anniversary of the Battle of Britain. This would have pleased him greatly as he had achieved a life-time ambition to fly in a Spitfire in 2016. It also coincided with the anniversary of the death of his professional engineering hero, Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Writing on the club website following Peter’s death, Harrow Rugby Club chairman Andrew Smart said: “Peter never played at the top end of the club but he was a great club man, giving back so much to the club that he loved and had given him so many memories.

“He always brought fun and laughter with him wherever he went. Generous and loyal, he was a top man who will be much missed.”

Peter Garratt is survived by his brother Robert and sisters Linda and Susan.