DIDCOT’S first gasman Leslie Pointer has died, age 100.

Mr Pointer spent three decades making sure Didcot residents had enough fuel to get them by, and guarded the gas holder during the Second World War.

He was a talented cornet player and joined Abingdon Town Band aged 14, the youngest member at the time.

When not playing, he grew vegetables, owning an allotment nearly all his life.

Leslie Pointer – known as Les – was born on September 26, 1915, at The Vineyard in Abingdon to parents Eli and Bessie. He had seven siblings; Cornelius, Frank, George, Frederick, Elsie, Bert and Violet.

As a boy he attended the Council School in Abingdon until 1929 when he started an apprenticeship with the Oxford Gas Light and Coke Company, earning 15 shillings a week; the equivalent of 75p today. His father, Eli, died just before he began work.

He became a qualified plumber and gas fitter after completing a seven-year apprenticeship.

In 1936, when he was 21, Mr Pointer married 21-year-old Daisy Welch at St Michael’s Church, Abingdon.

They lived in Thames Street, Abingdo,n before moving to Bridge House in Didcot a couple of years later, when Mr Pointer was given the opportunity to set up a new gas depot there for Oxford and District Gas Undertaking.

Their daughter Stella was born in 1938.

Mr Pointer was known as Didcot’s Mr Gas during his career, as all telephone calls about gas from the town would come straight to his home telephone.

During the Second World War, the gas holder was a potential target for bombs and Mr Pointer was in charge of protecting the site, as well as his family and anyone near at the time.

In the summer after the war, in 1945, Mr and Mrs Pointer had a son named Roy. His children, today in their 70s, said some of their father’s happiest times came after the war when he could spend time with them.

They all enjoyed many day trips on his Triumph motorbike, with the children in a sidecar.

Outside work Mr Pointer, loved gardening, growing all manner of vegetables. When interviewed by the Oxford Mail on his 100th birthday earlier this year, he said owning an allotment was one of the highlights of his life.

He was also something of a handyman, and made a swing set for his children for the garden.

In 1972 Mrs Pointer died four days after a major heart operation.

Mr Pointer looked after himself and his children and, in 1974, found love again with colleague Peggy Putman. The couple were married for 40 years.

After serving 50 years in the gas industry, Mr Pointer retired in 1979.

He lived in Loyd Road in Didcot with his wife Peggy for the remainder of his life.

Mr Pointer died at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford on November 3.

He is survived by his wife, son and daughter.

He also had one grandson, Stephen, who was killed in a road accident at the age of 17.

He had three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren on his wife’s, side.

His funeral will be held at Oxford Crematorium, Bayswater Road, Barton, today at noon.