Stoke & Staffordshire

Drayton Manor Theme Park founder George Bryan dies, aged 92

George and Vera Bryan
Image caption George Bryan and his wife Vera opened Drayton Manor Theme Park in 1950

The man who founded and owned Drayton Manor Park Theme Park has died aged 92.

George Bryan bought the 80 acre (32 hectare) site near Tamworth, Staffordshire for £12,000 in 1949 and opened the attraction the year after.

In 2004, Mr Bryan was awarded the OBE for hospital services, for his work as the chairman of a local Community Health Council and services to tourism.

A spokesperson for the theme park said he passed away peacefully at home on Friday morning.

Mr Bryan, was a trained engineer and started his career manufacturing penny arcade machines with his father, William.

'Passion and humility'

When Mr Bryan and his wife Vera opened Drayton Manor Theme Park in 1950 it had one restaurant, a tea room, three hand operated rides, and a set of second hand dodgem cars.

Mr Bryan's son, Colin, is the managing director of Drayton Manor which now covers 280 acres (113 hectares) and attracts more than a million visitors a year.

A spokesperson for the theme park said: "George Bryan inspired all people he met, with his passion and humility.

"He was a devoted husband to Vera, father to Colin, Jane and Andrew, grandfather and great grandfather."

Mr Bryan is survived by his wife Vera, who is 95 years old.

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