Hi, my name is Lynne and I have been lucky to call Gran Alacant home for the last 6 years. People fascinate me and I love to hear about their adventures and life stories. Over the next few months, I will be sharing some interviews with GA’s very own Superstars!
This month’s interview is with Bryan Thomas. Former Kissogram, Salesman, Chef, Roadie, Photographer, Singer (to name only a few). Bryan’s work history is definitely colourful! He has lived in Gran Alacant with long-term partner Patricia for the last 17 years.
Born in Cardiff in 1954, Bryan was raised in the run down area of Splott in a house next to the local Steel Works. He has 2 much older siblings, sister Barbara 8 years older and brother Kelvin 14 years older. Bryan’s Dad Horace fondly described him as “The best mistake that ever happened”. Sadly, Bryan’s Mum Alice died of cancer when he was only 12 years old and his Dad passed away in 1983.
Bryan is best known in GA for his singing gigs in the popular bars and restaurants. From a young age, he was always involved in music, playing a range of musical instruments through infant and high school before moving onto play piano and guitar.
Bryan, what was the highlight of your music career?
“I joined a couple of bands in my 20’s which resulted in a recording contract and publishing deal when I was 23. We released a few records, but unfortunately it didn’t last.”
The adventure into pop stardom proved short lived but not before he appeared on many TV shows, including The Freddie Starr Showcase as one part of the duo “Movietone”. Check out their performance of Next Time Along on YouTube. Bryan plays the keyboard.
Tell me about your long-term partner Patricia.
“Trish and I met nearly 40 years ago when we both worked in a carpet showroom.
I worked on the shop floor and she worked in accounts in the office, our relationship was a bit of a slow burner at first. Trish invited me to her 21st Birthday party and we have been together ever since. She is my inspiration and my rock. I’ve asked her to marry me twice but she just laughed and said no!”
Bryan, tell me about your move to The Isles of Scilly
“Trish and I moved to The Isles of Scilly off the Cornish coast, in southwest England in the mid-1980s. We worked there for one season and loved it so much we decided to sell our home in Cardiff and bought an apartment and a restaurant there called The Pilot’s Gig. We stayed for the next 30 years.”
It was in Scilly, the mecca for bird watching, that Bryan developed a passion for birding and the progression to bird photographer soon followed.
Bryan, what is your biggest claim to fame in the birding community?
“I found the pursumed extinct New Zealand storm Petrel, a bird last seen over 150 years ago.”
Fellow bird watcher Bob Flood and Bryan photographed a flock of 20 Storm Petrels from a boat in the Hauraki Gulf off North Island. Bob Flood said, “It was just fantastic to be able to confirm that, against all the odds, the New Zealand storm petrel had managed to survive, undetected, for more than 150 years.” Their re discovery has been hailed by the bird-watching community as one of the most important of recent years.
What do you love most about birdwatching?
“I have always has an interest in nature. I am grateful that my passion for birdwatching and photography has taken me all over the world to places such as Africa, South America, Antarctica, Australia, Israel, Jordan, Egypt and New Zealand. Antarctica was my favourite, all kitted out in the gear in 15 degree Celsius summer heat.”
Bryan co-wrote The Essential Guide to Birds of the Isle of Scilly with 2 fellow twitchers with foreword by famous Bill Oddie OBE an English writer, comedian, songwriter, musician, artist, birder, conservationist, television presenter and actor (he was also a member of comedy trio The Goodies).
If you want to see more of Bryan’s amazing photography, check out his blog:
Birding Costa Blanca at