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Bright grave, Wimborne Road Cemetery, Rush Corner / Cemetery Junction, Bournemouth, Dorset

Percy May Bright died Feb 7th, 1911.

Mayor of Bournemouth 1929-1932

 

Percy May Bright (1863-1941) was born in Mirzapur, India, where his father, Frederick, from Braintree in Essex worked for the London Missionary Society. His mother's ill health forced the family to return to England; living first at Poole, then Lymington, where they had a business for six years. Opening a branch at No.9 Bournemouth Arcade in 1871, the family moved to live at Montague House, 11 Durley Road, later moving to Eldon Lodge, West Cliff Road.

 

Bright's first sold needlework and Berlin wool. Frederick then opened a bookshop at No.6 The Arcade, later moving this to No.8. From 1886, Frederick produced Bright's Illustrated Guide to Bournemouth. By 1894, Bright's occupied four shops in the Arcade, Nos.8-11, later adding a newly built stationers and fancy good emporium at 14-26 Old Christchurch Road, with its own restaurant.

 

Frederick, a strong Congregationalist, joined the Richmond Hill Congregational Church in 1871 and was its secretary for 25 years. Percy was a keen philatilist and founded a stamp market in London. He was also a lepidopterist and was a Founder of the Bournemouth Natural Science Society. Bright's department store was one of the big four when Percy became head in 1920s. He was also Chairman of Bright's (Southsea) Ltd and the first president of the Bournemouth Chamber of Trade.

 

Percy Bright became a magistrate in 1917. he joined Bournemouth Council, representing the East Cliff Ward (1924-1932), hving lost the 1921 election in the Central Ward to Harry Thwaites. He was an Alderman (1931-1939) and was thrice Mayor of Bournemouth (1929-1932) and his portrait hangs in the Mayor's Parlour.

 

In 1941, whilst crossing Charminster Road near the cemetery, he stepped into the path of a coal lorry. Thrown to the road he was taken to hospital where he died aged 78. Greatly mourned he was buried in the Wimborne Road cemetery in Bournemouth.

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Taken on May 30, 2012