Percival Denzil Ross Webber

Meet Denzil, the first of our wonderful residents in new, wee series where we want to focus on their lives and times: to shine a light on the hopes and accomplishments of a life well-lived. Lianne Webber, Denzil’s daughter, tells us all about her dad, and some of his life story.

Tell us about Denzil’s start in life – when and where was he born?

Percival Denzil Ross Webber was born on 20 November, 1937 in a small village called Wheal Gerry, Camborne in Cornwall.

His mum and dad were never married, which was frowned upon in those days. His mum was Ethel Maud Webber and his dad was Percival Gamble. My dad had five sisters and one step brother.

What was his main occupation?

He worked in various different jobs in his time, including a stint in the army where he served in Jamaica.

He met my mum, Eleonore, when he was working in the kitchen at the Carbis Bay Hotel in St Ives. My mum was working as a waitress after moving to the UK from Switzerland. She’s German but she moved around a lot, working all over. Apparently, the first time my dad saw her he said to his friends “I’m gonna marry her!”

And he did! They got married 23 January, 1960 in a registry office. My brother, Michael, was born that year and I came along in 1965. We’re unsure of the origin of this particular photo but we think it was possibly for his passport. In those days there were no restrictions on the kind of photograph you could use.

As time went on, dad and the family often travelled to Germany in a VW Campervan, driving through France, Austria, Switzerland and eventually Germany. They were the most fantastic holidays ever.

Tell us about his adventures and pastimes…

Dad loves his grandchildren a great deal and would spend so much time with them, painting, drawing and acting the fool.

He used to play cricket for Morlands in Cornwall where he was a Manager and Morlands was a tannery. This eventually took the family to Australia, where we lived for almost nine years. We returned in 1989 where he undertook charity work, driving a van and dropping off donations for the needy.

Dad now has four grandchildren and four great grandchildren. His hobbies included gardening, making things – like his own BBQ – and also crafting toys for the kids.

He was and still is a very stubborn person. Everything is black and white to him and he’s never wrong!

Dad does have his secrets though and one of the funniest was when he was caught smoking in his garden shed by his granddaughter!

Music-wise he loves Roy Orbison and saw him play live. He also appreciated Elvis and the Cornish singer Brenda Wooten, but he hated Kylie Minogue with a passion!

He loved car boot sales and used to enjoy a good haggle. One of his proudest moments was when the family organised a surprise party for him in Perth, which nobody had done for him before. He shed a tear.

How is life for Denzil at Dalnaglar?

We were all very wary about moving dad into a care home but our worries were soon allayed. Dalnaglar has been absolutely amazing and the staff certainly stand out. We couldn’t have asked for a better home and he definitely seems settled.

Thank you for all you do for him.