THE Starry Eyes Performance Foundation at Westbury has sadly lost another valued member.

Ernest George Priddey, husband of Starry Eyes co-founder Val Priddey, who died last year, was cremated on Thursday June 25 at the West Wiltshire Crematorium at Semington.

Mr Priddey, known as 'Ernie' to family and friends, had also been involved as a Starry Eyes director from its conception in 2000.

He died unexpectedly at home on May 31.

Born in Birmingham on January 8, 1949, he was orphaned at a very early age and spent most of his childhood in a Dr Barnardo's Orphanage.

However, at 13 years old he was adopted by an uncle and went on to being educated and living for a time in Bath.

Most of the friends at his funeral knew Mr Priddey from his time when he worked in the engineering department at the Bath District Health Authority.

It was there that he met Valerie, the love of his life. They used to do crossword puzzles together in their lunch breaks and love blossomed.

The couple married in 1984 and bought a house in Trowbridge, where they spent their entire married life until Valerie died last year.

Both were big animal lovers and over the years they shared their home with numerous cats and dogs, at one point having 21 cats.

Ernie's main passions were classic cars, steam trains and any new gadget that came out. He liked nothing better than to tinker with a car engine or something electronic that needed fixing.

Over the years, he built up a collection of magazines on subjects in which he was interested.

Another of Ernie's passions was food and he enjoyed going out with Valerie and their friends to partake of good food and wine.

A friend said: "If there were any leftovers, we could always rely on Ernie to finish it off."

Mr Priddey was very artistic, talented and knowledgeable, with a beautiful rich voice which was in demand for storytelling and voiceover work.

Both he and Val were part of the Devizes Light Opera Company where not only could he act and sing very well, he was also an expert on electronics, sound and lighting.

He was a member of the Wessex Carnival Club and he and Val took part in many carnival circuit events, including the large one at Bridgwater.

Because of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, only 18 mourners attended his funeral on Thursday. An online link was set up to allow people to be there virtually.

Friends are looking for any family that might exist as he and Val were both only children and had no children of their own.

Their family were the Starry Eyes members and close friends.