Brian Coombs, the man behind Coombs Travel and Weston Carnival, dies aged 75

PUBLISHED: 07:27 13 November 2017 | UPDATED: 07:32 13 November 2017

Brian Coombs was presented with a Community Champion award by MP John Penrose earlier this year.

Brian Coombs was presented with a Community Champion award by MP John Penrose earlier this year.

Archant

Brian Coombs, the man behind Coombs Travel and the long-serving linchpin of Weston-super-Mare Carnival, has died at the age of 75.

Mr Coombs died at Weston Hospicecare on October 26 following a 14-month battle with illness.

Weston-born, he was best known for orchestrating the town’s carnival for 43 years and running coach business Coombs Travel for more than half a century.

A family statement said Mr Coombs will be ‘greatly missed by family and friends’.

Mr Coombs’ loved ones told the Mercury: “Brian had been ill for 14 months but managed to continue working part-time until this summer.

“He was hoping to retire but had been overtaken by illness. Coombs Travel and the Coombs MOT station ceased trading as he planned on October 28.

“He died peacefully at Weston Hospicecare after a short stay on October 26 and leaves his wife Ruth, four daughters Mandy, Sonya, Emma and Midge and one granddaughter called Eloise.

“He will be greatly missed by them and his much wider family and friends.”

Weston Carnival Committee said it had lost its ‘leader and good friend of 50 years’, adding ‘he will be sadly missed’.

The family statement added: “He has always tried to encourage and inspire others in Weston to help organise the carnival or take part. He enjoyed being part of the larger county carnival family.”

He founded Coombs Travel in 1965 with just two minibuses before becoming one of Weston’s largest transport providers, with a sizeable fleet based at its depot in Searle Crescent.

In April, his 43-year stint on the carnival committee, most recently as secretary, was rewarded with a Community Champions award. The judging panel said his contribution to the town had been ‘enormous’, and Friday’s carnival was the first one without Mr Coombs involved for more than four decades.

He was involved in a number of community groups in the town, including guides and scouts, Weston Lions, crime prevention teams and North Somerset Coach Operators Federation.

He also spent several years as the vice president of Weston Operatic Society.

His funeral will take place at Weston Crematorium, in Ebdon Road, on November 20 at 1pm.

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