South West Wales

Swansea man leaves friends holiday money in his will

Friends in Berlin Image copyright Gerallt Davies
Image caption The seven men did lots of sightseeing in Berlin along with sampling the local ales

A man gave his friends of 40 years a surprise from beyond the grave when he left them £3,500 in his will - on the condition they went on holiday with it.

Roger Brown, from Swansea, who died of cancer aged 67, secretly left his seven friends the money, stating they had to go on a European city break.

The men, from Sketty, were regulars in the Vivian Arms and teamed up for activities and trips over the years.

They have just returned from a weekend away to Berlin.

The men - Roger Rees, John Harries, Bob Beynon, Gerallt Davies, Ernie Macey, Roy Thomas and Peter Pelosi - said Mr Brown was never far from their thoughts during the trip.

Roger Rees told BBC News Mr Brown's sister had suggested before his funeral that her brother was doing something for the group, but he assumed it would be something like a round of drinks.

"About three or four days later, Roger's son rang me up. I thought he was joking. It took me a long time to get it into my head that he was serious," he said.

Image copyright Bob Beynon
Image caption Roger Brown raised money for Macmillan Cancer Support during his last years

The group were used to going out on day trips in the area, but the logistics of organising a holiday further afield proved difficult, with seven separate schedules to coordinate and a destination to decide upon.

It took some heated discussions over a few pints before one of the group suggested Berlin and said he would organise it.

During the trip, they remembered Mr Brown's generosity at every opportunity.

Mr Rees said: "We got a hop-on hop-off bus. It takes two-and-a-half hours to do the circuit but you can get out wherever you like. At every historic site there was a bar.

"Every bar we went to, we had a drink and we raised our glasses to him - and we went to a lot of bars."

Mr Brown was described as an active man whose job as a structural engineer had taken him around the world. He was a keen cyclist and rugby player in his younger days and took part in golf, bowls and fishing in later life.

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