Alan Smith

Hello  I’m back, I have kept away from here since the last post because I was so annoyed with the things that I had seen at Paddington and then listening to all and sundry in the trade moaning about how badly we are being treated.

I have had a strange couple of weeks working my way through the “kipper season”,one day flat out and the next day searching the streets for hours looking for a ride.

A couple of weeks ago I even got a call at 1.30 am from Errol so times must be hard if the OLD FELLA is still out after midnight.

But to put all this in to perspective, the same day Errol phoned I got a call from the brother of my oldest friend , Alan , to tell me he had died from a heart attack earlier in the day aged 47.

Now I’m not going to get all sad and miserable here but I it was a bit of a shock and it took a bit of time to sink in.

Let me tell you a little about Alan or SMITHY as he always introduced himself when he phoned us, Alan was born in Kilburn about a year before me and his family lived just up the Road from my family.

His dad and mine were friends from a early age so when they had kids it was enevitable that we would end up knocking about together.

As families we went on holidays together to places like Dungeness in an old Austin van that my dad converted to a caravan. We went to the same schools and grew up in the same group of friends.

I remember being at Alans mum and dads one november, they had moved to a new block of flats in Kilburn called Winter Leys a few years earlier and lived on the 6th floor, and we had got hold of some bangers which we put into some airfix models that Alan had made. You can guess what happened next.

Me, my brother William and Alan put the bangers in these old Spitfire and other airplane models,lit them and launched them off the 6th floor balcony. It was like the old war films GREAT.

I dont think we would get away with it now after all we didn’t even do a health and saftey assessment.

As we grew up we went our seperate ways, me and William went to work with our dad and Alan got an apprenticeship at Park Royal vechicles making London buses but we still kept in touch.

Alan started doing little jobs on peoples cars in his little lock up opposite his parents flat and I used to go and see him from time to time. He was a very good mechanic and car body repair man I suppose his Park Royal vechicle training was coming into its own.

I got married and moved away to Southall and lost touch with Alan for a while but bumped into him again after he bought a house in Yeading and me being a man with a van moved him and his wife in.

Alan and his wife split up after a few years and I moved him up to Milton Keynes to be nearer to his family, his mum and dad followed his brother Raymond up there a few years earlier.

He brought a house up there which became like an open house to all his mates and there was always a cup of tea on the go if I was in the area.When my first marriage ended he was the only person who said come and stay till you get back on your feet and when Lyn and I moved into our house he was the only person to come and help us.

Alan drifted through a fair few jobs over the years from dustman to driving instructor to milkman and then to work with his brother Raymond working with sheet metal. He lasted  8 years or so with Ray and in this time he met a girl and had a daughter who was the most important person in his life.

The relationship with his girlfriend broke down and Alan sold his house and moved nearer to his mum and dad. He got a job driving lorries and ended up delivering pianos up and down the country but the greatest thing for him was being with his family.

Alan was a great friend to have and Lyn and I am proud to have been a friend of his and shall miss him greatly.

Now this isn’t meant to be a sad story just something that I wanted to put down as a tribute to a good friend.

So the next time one of your mates phone up and say come over for a barbecue or out for a drink go, don’t put it off as you never know.

I shall be back next week with more cab related tales so take care.

Cheers Del Boy.

2 Responses to “Alan Smith”

  1. steve says:

    <p>Del I’m sorry to hear about your friend Alan.<br />
    My condolences to his family and yourself.and anyone else that knew him.</p>
    <p>So when it gets warmer i’ll be having a BBQ and I take it that you’ll be coming.Cheers Steve.</p>

  2. Errol says:

    Derek & Lyn, my condolences on the death of your close friend “Smithy”.
    (I’ll respond to the “old fella” comments another time…lol).

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