A FAMILY has paid tribute to the man described as a “larger than life character” who always had the Barry community at his heart.

Bryan Foley, of Guthrie Street, died unexpectedly on Saturday, June 6, aged 58.

Mr Foley was well known in Barry for his prolific voluntary work.

Following his death, the cenotaph outside the Barry Memorial Hall, was lit up in tribute.

He was a community first responder, a group scout leader with 11th Barry Seas Scouts, and volunteer with the Royal British Legion (RBL). He was involved with the RBL Poppy Appeal and the Merchant Navy Association as a standard bearer.

He assisted the Tall Ships Youth Trust and was with the British Red Cross and St John in his teens and early twenties.

Mr Foley also had links to Barry Coastguard and was a member of Cadoxton Methodist Church which he attended regularly for 30 years.


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He was born in Australia, when his parents were seconded to the Australian Navy, and on returning to Barry, aged five, he attended Cadoxton Primary school and Barry Boys Comprehensive. He was also a member of the Vale of Glamorgan Brass Band in his youth as a drummer.

Professionally, he was once an assistant manager in H Samuels Jewellers. In his younger days, he worked for Provident Personal Credit and was a financial advisor.

Most recently a change of career led him to become a bus driver for Cardiff Bus, which turned out to be his most rewarding job – following in his dad’s footsteps.

Speaking about him, his children Emma Foley, 26, Rachael Worthy, 23, and Aled Foley, 22, said: “All Bryan needed was a roof over his head, clothes on his back and food in his belly. He was the least materialistic person we knew.

“He was enormously generous with his time if somebody needed help. He would drop what he was doing and disappear, sometimes for several hours, to assist someone in need.

“He adored his children and there isn’t anything he wouldn’t do for them - unless someone else’s needs were greater in the moment. He could talk a glass eye to sleep as many people will attest. It has been known to ignore a phone call from Bryan for fear of an hour plus conversation.

“He was incredibly loud; everyone knew they were in his company. Ironically, for all his community presence, he has very humble and hated the limelight and chose not to recognise his achievements.”

They added: “When he wasn’t working, devoting his time to the many charities or spending time with his family, dad would provide first aid and training at events across the UK. There are no words great enough to describe how special he was to us and everyone who he met along the way; he was just our dad.

“A part of Barry was lost on June 6, an amazing father, but also the greatest citizen a town could ever had.”

The funeral in the Cardiff & Glamorgan Crematorium & Memorial Park is at 11am on Tuesday, June 30. The route goes from Guthrie Street to the crematorium, up Tynewydd Hill along Barry Road, to Colcot Road, and the first exit onto Port Road where the vehicles will drive past BESS to pay respects. It turns back to head to the crematorium along Port Road.

The funeral is restricted to minimal numbers. All are welcome take part by lining the procession route streets or at the crematorium outside on the grass area (social distancing measures apply).

There will be a webcast available of the full ceremony - call A G Adams on 01446 735128 for access information.

More tributes online and in next week’s Barry & District News.