Peter Berry, accountant and fundraiser

Peter Berry
Peter Berry
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Peter Berry, who has died at 83, was a renowned fundraiser and horse racing expert who had been a pillar of the Scarborough business community for decades.

The senior partner of the chartered accountants Ashby, Berry and Co for more than 35 years, he built up a large clientele of trainers and jockeys, some of whom stayed with him until he was 70.

Born in Scalby Avenue, the eldest son to Edwin and Emma Berry, he went to the village school and then to Scarborough Boys’ High, joining Cedric Ashby in business at age 16, as an articled clerk.

Mr Ashby saw the potential in his protégé and made him a partner in 1959, following his return from National Service, and the two men put to work their mutual interest in the horses.

Mr Berry was an active member of Beverley and York racecourses and never missed a Cheltenham Festival, even hitchhiking there before he was demobbed.

An active volunteer and fundraiser, he was honorary treasurer of Scarborough YMCA for a quarter of a century, and held a similar role at St Catherine’s Hospice, overseeing the establishment of premises on Scalby Road and a network of charity shops.

He was also honorary treasurer and a past president of Scarborough Rotary, and was recognised by the organisation with the bestowal its highest honour, the Paul Harris Fellowship.

Mr Berry met his wife, Pat, a tax collector, after a chance encounter when he visited her office to complain about an assessment on one of his clients. They proved a formidable team and he supported her when she acquired Bickerdike’s leather goods on Newborough, a business she ran successfully under the family name until her retirement, 20 years later.

When she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1999, she founded and chaired a branch in Scarborough of Parkinson’s UK, with her husband as treasurer and administrator. The branch helped secure NHS funding for a specialist Parkinson’s nurse at Scarborough Hospital.

Mr Berry is survived by his brother Michael, children Lisa and Adrian, and five grandchildren.