To the shock of us all my Dad passed away quite suddenly on May 6, after a very short illness. I had the honour of writing and reading out his eulogy at his funeral on the 31st and I’ve put it below.
I wanted to share with you a bit about our childhood and what Dad was like. It seems so hard to summarise it in a few sentences but I’ll give it a go.
He was Star Trek and Doctor Who, he was egg butties and fried bread on a Saturday lunchtime and roast dinners and swimming on a Sunday, putting up tents in the rain, Monty Python, Radio 4 and motorbikes.
He was the Telly Man and organ music. He was the Beatles… always the Beatles and sometimes Queen, tales from the skills centre and stories of when he worked at Granada.
He was fish and chips on a Friday night after collecting the rent money for his TV’s.
He was Issac Asimof, Terrry Pratchett, Douglas Adams and War of the Worlds.
He was all the latest gadgets and too many tv remotes, the Goon Show and radio plays.
He was Wells Road in Guiseley and the smell of a soldering iron in the lounge – but only when mum was on nights otherwise she went mad.
He was pastry and gravy, the ZX 81 computer, he was Pateley Bridge at the weekends.
He was patience itself when we all learnt to drive, kindness and logic when I just couldn’t do my physics homework.
He was Sunday papers, Ceefax and trips to the seaside with ‘if you three don’t stop fighting I’ll pull this car over.’
He was school runs to Bingley Grammar and drops offs at the stables, Betamax videos and the beloved Ford Focus.
He was don’t forget to vote – you must vote Rosemary and watch the news.
For Jason, Giles and myself with the passing of our Dad we have lost our friend, our confidant, our resting place, our childhood, our links to our Mum.
We have lost the place where we could go to forgot our adult responsibilities and just listen to Dad.
Where he talked about mum like she had just popped out and two decades ago seemed like yesterday.
One of the greatest joys of my life has been the relationship between my Dad and my oldest son Harry.
I see in Harry Dad’s kindness, gentleness of spirit, good humour and also stubbornness!
And I’ll leave you with this little anecdote.
When Harry was about 8 or 9 we decided during his summer holidays to fulfil his dreams and take him to lego land. That same year we also took him abroad and had many days out.
For some of the holidays he also went to Dads.
That October at parents evening I picked up Harry’s exercise book it read. What I did this summer…
This summer he said.. I went to the tip with my Grandad!
I rang Dad to ask him what tip.
I think that story sums him up – he was just lovely to be with and be around, to chat to and to listen to.
Above all else I think that is what we will miss the most.