Fred was always there to offer help and advice

Tributes have been paid to a well-known Gainsborough pharmacist and volunteer who devoted his working life to the town.

Sunday, 2nd June 2013, 12:15 pm
Fred Bunster pictured on his 90th birthday

Fred Bunster passed away earlier this month, aged 92. He had been suffering from cancer.

Born in Pontypool in Wales, Fred moved to Manchester when he was 18 to study to be a pharmacist at university.

“He started work in Gainsborough in his twenties after he qualified, and that’s where he met my mum,” said his daughter Clare Tooley.

“She was a Gainsborough girl and they met at a dance at the Assembly Rooms.”

The couple were married at the Parish Church and spent a year in Great Yarmouth before returning to Gainsborough.

“My dad always said they had a year long honeymoon, but my mum said she didn’t have one at all,” said Clare.

When the couple returned to the town Fred started Bunster’s Chemist on Church Street, and quickly built up a reputation. He went on to form a partnership at Lawthorpe and Bunster, which was based in what now is the Co-op.

“He was well known in the community, and was always ready to help people,” continued Clare.

“He saved one person’s life because he noticed they hadn’t turned up and he went round to see them and found them collapsed.”

“People would often go to him for help and advice. And he was still doing locum shifts at the pharmacy in Morrison’s up to 2009.”

Fred wasn’t able to serve in the forces during the war due to a childhood illness, serving in the Civil Defence Force instead.

He was a long standing volunteer with St John Ambulance, working his way up to be a superintendent and an amateur dramatics fan.

When he found some spare time in later life Fred became a keen golfer and was made senior captain of the club in 1990.

“He was still playing golf in October, and only stopped then because the water logged course meant he couldn’t use his gold buggy,” said Clare.

“He used to play rugby and was very competitive. He liked nothing better than beating people at golf who were 20 years younger than him.”

Fred leaves behind daughter Clare, son-in-law, and granddaughters Laura and Joanna.

“He did have a strong sense of duty and could be stubborn at times, but he lived life to the full,” added Clare.

“He will be sorely missed by a lot of people.”