Tributes paid to Man from the Pru

John Bernard Kirk
John Bernard Kirk

TRIBUTES have been paid to a Scarborough man who will be remembered as “the Man from the Pru”.

John Bernard Kirk died suddenly on Monday at the age of 84 years.

He was well known in Scarborough both for his long-standing role at the Prudential and his involvement in the snooker scene.

Originally from Normanton in the West Riding, John came to Scarborough in the early 1970s.

After serving in the Signals during the Second World War and travelling all over the world, John started work with the Prudential and stayed with the company until retirement.

He served customers in Scarborough and the surrounding areas for many years, giving professional advice on insurance and finance.

Towards the end of his 60-plus-year career with the company he worked as a Pru Pension Visiting Officer, a role which he held until this year.

His partner of over 30 years, Jean Colling, said: “It was the only job he ever had and he loved it.

“He was a convivial man who enjoyed talking to people – he would talk to anyone!

“But he was also a strict person too, he was no pushover.”

John will also be remembered for his long-term captaincy of local snooker teams at the Corporation Club in Dean Road and the Scarborough Club and Institute in Westborough.

Jean, of Washbeck Close, said: “John was an avid snooker player and a high achiever. He was playing up until the week before he passed away.

“He was very competitive and played every game to win. He could possibly have been the oldest league player in Scarborough and was still winning matches at the ripe age of 84.

“John will be remembered by his opponents for his safety play, wearing them down for victory.”

John was a keen sportsman is other areas too and was a Huddersfield Town season ticket holder all his life.

He travelled far and wide to watch his team play, visiting almost every football ground in the league.

Jean said: “He loved most sports. He played tennis and cricket and loved watching football.”

In their free time Jean and John enjoyed getting out and about together, particularly spending time in the South Cliff gardens.

He was also a dedicated family man who enjoyed being with his children, grandchildren and great granddaughter.

His daughters Susan and Lynne both live in Australia and will be coming to Scarborough for the funeral.

Jean said: “John was a real character, once you met him you’d never forget him.

“The first thing people noticed was his height as he was 6ft 2in.

“He could be very authoritative, but with a softer side to those who those who knew him. He will be greatly missed by family and friends.”

A funeral service will be held at Woodland Crematorium on Friday at 1.20pm followed by a private interment.