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Patrick Gower, of The Camera and Hi-Fi Centre in West Street, Sittingbourne, has died aged 81

17 February 2014
by Sittingbourne reporter

Patrick Gower, owner of The Camera and Hi-Fi Centre in West Street, Sittingbourne, was a familiar face in town.

Born in Willesborough, Ashford in 1932, Mr Gower was inspired to take up a career in the photographic industry after leaving school, when his mother Violet, wife of Wilfred, showed him how films were developed and printed.

Former Sittingbourne businessman Patrick Gower who has died at the age of 81

Former Sittingbourne businessman Patrick Gower who has died at the age of 81

He found the process fascinating and became interested in the mechanics of cameras.

Mr Gower began his career as a shop assistant working in London and Ashford, before he was called up for national service with the RAF where he worked as an aircraft mechanic.

He was later employed as a manager in an Ashford photographic store and then met Phyllis Newman, who he married in July 1957. The couple had two sons, Ian and Robin.

His career continued apace and after becoming manager for Sittingbourne photographic shop CP Studios, he achieved his ambition of owning his own business when he opened The Camera Shop, next to the cinema, before moving to the The Camera and Hi-Fi Centre premises.

Mr Gower’s son Ian said of his father: “He was very successful, due to his hard work, happy and cheerful nature and great knowledge of cameras.

Sittingbourne High Street where Mr Gower first set up business

Sittingbourne High Street where Mr Gower first set up business

“Always the gentleman, with a great sense of humour, he was always willing to help others and was loved by many.”

Mr Gower, retired in 1993, spending his time with wife Phyllis in the couple’s holiday home on the Isle of Wight and pursing his hobbies of gardening, decorating and selling vintage cameras.

The devoted family man was grandfather to Mark, 22, Sarah, 20, Tania, 20 and Carl, 18. His last few months were spent in Whitfield Care Home, near Dover, where he died peacefully on January 23.

  • Mr Gower’s funeral is being held at Barham Crematorium near Canterbury on Wednesday at 10.40am.

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