Following a regrettably lengthy sojourn there, my father died at the Royal Blackburn Hospital on Sunday 15th December 2013. He was 83. He had been awaiting surgery for a cyst on his liver, but infections and other travails repeatedly delayed this and it was eventually discovered that cancer had developed in his bile duct. In the very early days of December we learned that the condition was inoperable. His transfer to a hospice in the Fylde was being arranged but in the event it became clear to me that his decline was rapidly accelerating, and it did not come as a surprise when I received the call from the hospital on the morning of Sunday the 15th. Fortunately I had been able to be with him for about seven hours on the Friday preceding.
Cremation took place privately at the Park Crematorium in Lytham on Friday 3rd January. This was in accordance with my father’s wish for the minimum of ceremony. However I felt it entirely appropriate to arrange for an “In Memoriam gathering” to take place, under the auspices of a humanist speaker who would conduct a “Celebration of his Life”. Friends and family attending were then able to remember my father in conversation during the buffet lunch which followed at the Clifton Arms Hotel in Lytham on Monday 20th January 2014 with some of his former colleagues from BAe and its antecedents. In keeping with the theme of “life celebration”, there wasn’t any expectation for those attending to wear “mourning” attire.