Obituary: Rev Peter Lymbery – the man who revived town’s carnival

Rev Peter Lymbery receives his Honorary Burgess accolade from Cllr Mark Freeman in 2007
Rev Peter Lymbery receives his Honorary Burgess accolade from Cllr Mark Freeman in 2007

A man who was once honoured for his significant contribution to Leighton-Linslade – including reviving the town’s carnival – has died.

Rev Peter Lymbery passed away peacefully on November 23, aged 84. In 2007 he was one of two respected Leightonians to receive the town council’s new Honorary Burgess award at a special ceremony at The White House.

Mr Lymbery moved to Leighton Buzzard aged two when his family relocated from Farnham, Surrey.

He lived in Highfield Road, then Hartwell Crescent. In the last few years of his life he was looked after at Elm Lodge care home and had developed Alzheimer’s.

Mr Lymbery started voluntary work around 1950 when he became a church youth club leader.

From the 1960s, he organised and conducted the Leighton-Linslade Carnival, reviving it after it had ceased through lack of support.

He became a magistrate at the Leighton Court House and he spent many decades with the local St John Ambulance Brigade.

Mr Lymbery was ordained in 1998 and became curate at All Saints Church, Soulbury where he had been a church warden for many decades.

His wife of 40 years, Evelyn, died in 2004. He leaves three children, Philip, Stephen and Teresa, and five grandsons.

Teresa said: “He was a very caring person and showed that care by giving his time to many organisations. Right to the end he thought about other people.

“A lot of people give money, my dad gave his time. We will take inspiration from how he lived his life.”

Town councillor Mark Freeman, who presented Rev Lymbery with the Honary Burgess, said this week: “It was due to his efforts that we have a carnival now. In the late 1950s it had declined badly and one year there was a Queen chosen, but no carnival day.

“In 1962 Peter, in his capacity as Youth Club Leader, decided to run carnival and his efforts were successful leading to a carnival being held in the town every year since.

“It is sad that 2016 has seen the loss of two of carnival’s past stalwarts in Peter and also Doreen Rolls. Their commitment has left a real legacy for our community.

“It was a pleasure to be able to present Peter with his Honorary Burgess award on behalf of the town, one of the first people to be granted that award by the town council.”

> Rev Lymbery’s funeral will take place at All Saints Church, Soulbury on December 14 at 2pm.