Peter Bardgett tributes: First mayor of Frome gave so much to town
Peter Bardgett, who was a veterinary surgeon in Frome for 33 years and the Somerset town's first mayor in 1974, has died at home after a long illness.
Mr Bardgett went to Frome in 1965 following his graduation from Liverpool. He wanted to have a few years' experience working with cattle after time in Lancashire and North Wales caring for pigs and sheep.
Those few years became 33 – he was asked to manage the small animal practice at Garston, then Stephens and Stephens, and worked to build it up.
He was also secretary of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association for several years, an honorary member of the French Small Animal Association and represented the UK in Brussels as a practitioner on the veterinary committee concerned with legislation surrounding the training of vets in Europe.
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Mr Bardgett started married life in Frome with his wife, Dinah. Their two sons were both born at the town's Victoria Hospital.
He contributed much to the life of the town from the start – initially as chairman of the Frome Bypass Association, then as an independent councillor in the old urban district council.
Following the reorganisation of local government, he became Frome's first mayor from 1974 to 1976. He initiated twinning with Chateau Gontier in north-west France and was for many years chairman of the twinning association.
He was a governor of Vallis School, then served on the Frome College board of governors, taking the chairman's role from 1988 to 1996
Mr Bardgett, the son of a choirmaster, spent his early years as a chorister at King's College Cambridge. He continued his love of music in Frome, singing with his sons in the Frome College Choir and, subsequently, with Frome Singers and Oakfield Choir until lung problems curtailed one of his favourite hobbies.
After retirement from veterinary work, Mr Bardgett carried out further voluntary work in the town, enjoyed time in France and went travelling. He visited New Zealand and Africa, when his younger son was in medical practice there.
The funeral service for Mr Bardgett is a private one at Wells Cathedral for family and close friends only. A memorial service will be held on April 6 at St John's Church, Frome, starting at 3pm.