‘You’d see him barbecuing in the sun’: Bernard Cherrington, died aged 79, of Covid-19

A keen reggae fan, he worked as a train shunter until he retired to look after a Manchester garden full of Jamaican flowers

Reggae music, food and gardening: these were Bernard Cherrington’s great loves. He came from a farming family in Jamaica – they had a smallholding in the Blue Mountains, on the eastern side of the island. His love for growing things never left him. Throughout his life, Bernard could often be seen pottering about his garden, in the morning or late at night, in his bathrobe. “It was his pride and joy,” says his daughter, Desiree, 52, a relationship manager. “He liked big, bright flowers, roses and peonies, like a Jamaican garden. You’d see him there, sometimes barbecuing in the sunshine, or sitting with a can of Red Stripe chilling on his bench under a tree on the drive.”

Bernard moved to the UK in 1960, settling in London before moving to Manchester. He married in 1968 and had Desiree and a son, Alwyn, before divorcing his wife, Hyacinth, in 1977. (Bernard had another son, Devan, in 2001.) Desiree and Alwyn stayed in the family house with their mother until her sudden death, from pneumonia, in 1978. “When Mum died, Dad came home and we muddled through,” says Desiree. “It was strange, at first. We had just gotten settled. We were used to seeing my dad on weekends.”

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