I am the swift uplifting rush. Of quiet birds in circled flight
Dennis was a man of Crewe. He was born there, in the summer of ’65, raised there, went to school there, worked there,died there, a bachelor, aged 54; never lived anywhere else.
His job – working in a storeroom at the Depot, housing the kit needed for maintaining trains – was also in keeping with a town that grew because of the railways. His job was a big part of his life,and he was popular at work. Many’s the time we’d been down at the DOG (Duke of Gloucester – local pub – named after a train, appropriately enough, rather than a member of the nobility), having a few Guinnesses, waiting for the Chinese food to be cooked over the road, and Den would regale us with tales of banter from work, usually ending with, funny bugger, he is.” He felt a strong sense of comradeship with everyone at the Depot. His work-mates made it an entertaining and happy place to work.
He was an unassuming soul, modest but gregarious, always willing to chat even with – perhaps especially with – complete strangers, engaging them with friendly chit-chat. With friends, family and
work-mates he enjoyed a bit of banter and friendly teasing. I would say he had a slightly unworldly innocence about him – his work-mates called him Forrest Gump for a while after that film
came out – that meant he took everyone at face value and always assumed they were as friendly and honest and open as he was. It would be a cliche to say he was larger than life and a gentle giant, but nonetheless true. He was a character.
He had a great love for, and an encyclopaedic knowledge of film. He was, quietly, rather proud of his library, which had pride of place in his sitting room, and he read voraciously, especially history, travel and biography. And he was very fond of period British TV comedy, and anything that featured Ronnie Barker, whom he adored, like the Two Ronnies, Porridge and Open All Hours.
The whole family, and especially my two daughters, loved him tobits. He was very attentive of our mother, doing her gardening and telephoning her every day.She will miss him greatly, and it is
especially sad that his sudden death followed the death, after a short illness, about five years ago, of my sister in her late fifties.
Den will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him. May he rest in peace.