- Funeral Director
- Oliver J. Knapman Funeral Service
From his early years Brian showed that he was going to plough his own furrow.
Spending his teenage years on a smallholding, isolated from his friends, he decided that this life was not for him and embarked on a degree course in Statistics at Brunnel in London. Here he developed his lifelong passion for film making, being able to visualise the end result of what he was trying to create and taking the necessary shots, using the camera to do a lot of the editing. His creative talents were given free rein in his vision for fitting film to music - long before it became accepted practice.
He considered a career with the BBC, but this was his hobby, so he followed his degree training and started work at English China Clays in St. Austell. Here, at our first jobs, Brian and I met.
We were married from there - 50 years ago - then moved to North Devon for a few years where he lectured in Statistics and Busines Studies, before moving south to take up a position with South West Water, where he stayed for the next 30 years to provide stability for the family.
However he didn't stay still. He undertook many roles at work, and became widely respected nationally, this being recognised by the award of his MBE, in 2004, for 'Services to the Water Industry' - the highlight of his working life.
He developed many interests outside work and had his finger in many pies, but he was also, at heart, a family man, and although an uncertain father at first, he was never happier than when surrounded by his family.
They remember his endless circular walks with the promise of an ice cream just around the corner that invariably never materialised. His impromptu ability to bring any conversation around to include sewage treatment and the uncanny ability to find them on any trip. More recently they remember their dad for his genuine interest in their lives both personal and professional and being there to provide advice, guidance and ultimately bail Rosie out! He was the king of procrastination for the mundane things in life; if he wasn't planning a holiday he would 'get to it drekley'.
When he felt they were all 'Launched' , he gave his enthusiasm free reign.
He left South West Water and set up his own business, taking his expertise out into the wider Water Industry where his skills with people and a lifetime of knowledge built him a reputation nationally as an expert in his field.
At this time he also embarked on exploring the world - a desire for travel that had been curtailled by his working life and which frightened me, but which he encouraged me on to enjoy and gave us both much pleasure. He had so much more to see.
Without his spirit of adventure my life would have been so much more narrow.
He was a trailblazer, with the vision to see where he wanted to be and how to get there - A man with a large personality who leaves a huge hole in my life.