Tributes paid to Bill Fry, much-loved founder of Portsmouth estate agency Fry and Kent and former Portsmouth councillor

A FORMER city councillor and founder of a well known local estate agent has passed away at the age of 93.

Friday, 4th December 2020, 4:32 pm
Updated Sunday, 6th December 2020, 12:39 pm
Bill Fry during his time as councillor for Drayton and Farlington.

Bill Fry served as a councillor for Drayton and Farlington between 1974 and 1984 and also established Fry and Kent Estate Agents who have been helping people get on the property ladder for almost half-a-century.

Reflecting on his time as a councillor, Bill’s daughter Rosalyn Huxley, 61, said: ‘His education was interrupted by the war but my father was a clever man who always had an interest in politics. Following a speech he was asked to stand for election as councillor for Drayton and Farlington and one of his proudest achievements was getting a mobile library for residents.

‘I used to join him on election campaigns where you would drive round the streets to canvass support. I used to shout down the megaphone ‘don’t be shy vote for Fry’.

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Bill Fry in his latter years.

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After hearing of Bill’s death, Portsmouth City Council Lord Mayor, Cllr Rob Wood said: ‘We were sorry to hear of the passing of former Councillor Fry who gave great service to his city and community.’

Bill became equally well known in the local area as an estate agent after opening Fry and Kent on Marmion Road in 1971. His wife Rosemary, whose maiden name was also used in the businesses name, ran Yesterdays Antique Ship which was next door.

Rosalyn said: ‘My mother and father were from quite a humble background and when they first moved to the area in 1964 they lived in a prefab house in Gosport. One of the fundamental principles of the business was to help provide affordable housing for people.

‘He was a big believer in the importance of owning your own home and liked to help people who may not have thought they could do so to get their own mortgage.’

Despite his political and business exploits it will be as a loving father and grandfather that Bill will be best remembered.

Rosalyn added: ‘He was a very generous and funny man who loved to tell a story.’

Bill was born in in Southampton in 1927 and served with the Royal Corps of Signals in Egypt from 1945 to 1948.

He retired with his wife Rosemary to Askerswell Village in West Dorset where on Thursday November 26 he passed away with Rosalyn by his side.

Bill will also be much missed by daughter Frances Fry and grandchildren Matthew and Dominic Huxley and Ossie and Manny Fry.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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