Obituary - Gerry Webster
PUBLISHED: 12:55 22 February 2007 | UPDATED: 13:51 04 May 2010
GERRY Webster, of Old Tiger, Northfield Road, Soham, died at his home on January 23 after a short illness. He was aged 75. Born and educated in Aston on Trent, Derbyshire, after leaving school he had 35 different jobs over 62 years and was never out of wo
GERRY Webster, of Old Tiger, Northfield Road, Soham, died at his home on January 23 after a short illness. He was aged 75.
Born and educated in Aston on Trent, Derbyshire, after leaving school he had 35 different jobs over 62 years and was never out of work. In 1945, Gerry started as a railway messenger boy and, with various other jobs, saved enough money to establish his first café. Two more followed the Oaklands at Fenstanton and Cortina Coffee Bar in St Ives, where he met his future wife, Jenny. Eventually he acquired the Red Lodge Café, building it up into a very successful business over 43 years.
During the 1960s, Gerry was involved in the music industry and managed three rock groups, The Donna Boys, Alan Wade and the Hawkers and The League of Gentlemen. This took him all over the country and on tours abroad supporting more high profile groups like the Barron Knights.
In the 1970s, Gerry also managed grass track and hot rod racing events, but his passion was always cars and horses. He loved big, bright and expensive cars and a highlight for him was the purchase of a gold Rolls Royce on his 50th birthday.
Gerry's interest in horses came when his daughter, Lorraine, started riding. Her career developed fast and this inspired Gerry to become one of the key founders of the Soham Pony Club. The club achieved national success when a team from Soham reached the final of the Prince Philip Cup at Wembley, with Gerry's daughters Lorraine and Rachel both riding. Lorraine is now the owner of the old Tiger Stables and, over the past few years, Gerry bred a number of foals which have taken part in numerous competitions.
His funeral took place on January 31 at St Andrew's Church in Soham and was led by the Rev Edward Green. A horse-drawn hearse led mourners to the interment at Soham Cemetery. The church was overflowing with mourners and was a sign of the high regard Gerry had among his many friends made over the years everywhere he went.
Gerry is survived by his wife Jenny and leaves four daughters Lorraine, Rachel, Marie and Denny, six grandchildren Matthew, Melanie, Benjamin, Luke Thomas and Ashlee and four great-grandchildren, Chloe, Victoria, Colton and Isabella.