Book Of Remembrances

Alan Park - Lytham St Anne's and Kirkham and Rural Fylde 41 Clubs

Eulogy: Alan George Park

Amongst the sadness and strangeness one lovely feature is to be able to name the attendees today.

  • Louise, Jon’s wife whose unstinting emotional and physical support helped Jon to help Alan remain in his beloved flat at Barton Mansions until his final week.
  • Holly and Thomas, Elizabeth’s children, Alans grandchildren.
  • Cousin Paul and his wife Sue whose assistance to Alan immediately after Josie died and, in the period, when Alan was recovering from a serious leg infection will never be forgotten
  • Brian, dads neighbour and friend in Treales and who is also representing the 41 Club.
  • Richard, Brian’s son who visited dad every week up until the latest hospitalisation and who would send Jon a text or call each visit.
  • Kim And Paddy, Alans neighbours at Barton Mansions who always looked out him

With us of course is also Josie, Alans soulmate who he will rest alongside.

The family thanks to all of you for attending and forming the entirely appropriate guard of honour

Born in Rusholme, Greater Manchester in 1932 to parents George and Constantine (Connie) Alan was the second child with Eunice his older sister born in 1928 and sadly no longer with us.

George Alans father was a war hero winning the Military Medal in WW1 and serving as a Fire Warden in WW2. He made his living in accountancy and was immaculately turned out and the gentlest man imaginable. Connie was the archetypical 20s proud housewife. Handbag at the ready, starch, and step scrubbing equipment always at hand. Between them they instilled deep Christian values in Alan. Alan hardly ever cussed and made the best of himself from a very modest post war upbringing.

Alan was bright gaining a scholarship to attend Ducie Avenue School. Here he discovered an aptitude for numbers, a trait which seems to have skipped by the family until now. No pressure Thomas.

Aged 16 Alan joined the National and Provincial Bank and worked up to his National Service which was served in the Pay Corps at Devises and at Dorchester.

Post service, Alan re-joined the Bank and discovered an affinity with the new technology in computer tabulation equipment. This was the earliest commercial computerisation – the printed card systems.

Alan joined ‘Hollerith Ltd’ as what would now be recognised as a trainee developer. This type of work became the foundation of his career in payment systems.

With his first wife, Meike and his burgeoning family Alan became a set-up specialist for payment systems. The family began a UK tour with a new location every 18 months or so for many years.

Finally, Alan settled down with the Distributive Industry Training Board and worked for many years in an office overlooking Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester. He would always say that the best thing about the office is that there was no view of Manchester United’s ground. Alans passionate support of the blues of Manchester stayed with him right until his final day.

Alan retired at age 55. He did dabble with some casual work and Jon can remember happy afternoons with his dad when he was selling sheds. Selling is a bit strong as most on most of his visits Jon and Elizabeth found him asleep in a lounger inside one of the fancier sheds.

Alan was an accomplished sportsman and his passions were football and tennis both of which he played to a high standard.

With his football Alan represented Manchester Boys and Manchester City and Bolton reserves and ‘A’ Teams and later with Northern Nomads, the Corinthians of the North.

Tennis in the summer complemented the football. In early years Alan reached the final of the junior Northern which was even then a major qualifier for Wimbledon.

Nat Lofthouse, one of England’s finest post war centre forwards used to practice his penalties against Alan when he was with Bolton. Alan played in the Senior Northern against Ken Rosewall, a 15 times tennis grand slam winner. He captained many teams and served as Chairman for many clubs. Alan always joined in and gave back.

His love of sport never dimmed and it was lovely to see his enthusiasm when he witnessed the recent resurgence of his beloved Manchester City and the battles between the great modern tennis stars.

As a father to young children Alan was brilliant. He taught the children to play football and tennis and to fish and to recognise birds and their habits. He was happiest sea fishing in a boat or watching birdlife, particularly the woodpeckers at the house in Treales.

He was a DIY disaster and Mieke, his children’s mother despaired. Alan discovered home brewing with disastrous results. One night the whole family camped outside the airing cupboard as one by one the bottles from his latest batch of home brew exploded. It was all part of the family fun.

Alan and Meike separated in the late 70s and Alan found Josie who was Deputy Head of Horton Lodge Special School in Rudyard, Leek. Josie became dad’s soulmate and they had many happy years together in Leek and latterly Treales.

Alan and Josie were the perfect match, they holidayed extensively together and with close friends after Josie retired and were a regular feature in the social events for Alans beloved 41 Club where he was extremely proud that he had served as Chairman. It is fitting that Alan and Josie will lie together.

When Josie tragically died Alans found his final home in St Annes. Barton Mansions became the jump off point for his magnificent social life with the 41 Club and other clubs and associations. Alan continued his enviable social life for many years until his health began to fail a few years ago.

Alan will be remembered by his immediate family as a true gentleman and a very gentle man. Alan was old school, clean shaven and well dressed and polite. Alan rarely had a bad word for anyone or anything and would always look to see the positives.

Alans had a cheeky end-of- the pier type quick sense of humour. He would love to tell jokes which he repeated a hundred times. ‘Stop me if you’ve heard this one before’ was a favourite phrase. You normally had and you normally could not.

Alan loved his family and until his later years made every effort to keep in contact. The loss of Josie and then Elizabeth hit him very hard

As Alans world shrunk and he could no longer do the simple things he loved like his 41 Club dinners and meetings and his trips to the Bedford Hotel for his Sunday lunch Alan began to settle into what might seem to many a simple life at Barton Mansions. But he was happy and content.

Alan was adamant that he would stay in his flat until the very last moment and this was achieved through the fantastic help of home carers and others around him.

Alan never lost his cheerful gentle good nature. He was to the end interested more in others than himself. Jon thinks Alans ideal heaven will be a big dinner dance. He will be stood with his friends at the bar and he will make frequent glances towards Josie to make sure she is OK.

The bar will be well stocked with good proper ales and fine scotch. Alan will be centre stage telling his repertoire of awful jokes. Everybody will be having a good time. Perhaps a TV is quietly on in the background showing the Wimbledon men’s final or Man City pasting Man United.

Alan will be missed by many and never forgotten by those who knew him well.

There are a few moments now to reflect on your own memories of Alan as we listen to a guitar arrangement from one of the hymns he wished to be sung today – ‘Be Still For The Presence of The Lord’ before I ask you to …………………………(Christine to add)

Link to music choice.