Obituary: David Aldridge

Carol Goodliffe writes to inform us that her uncle, David Aldridge, passed away in December. David was a past pupil of Bournemouth School and an Old Bournemouthian. She writes:

When I last saw my Uncle a week before he died he said he was a life long member of what we understood to be the Old Bournemouthians. I can’t find any more information other than him receiving communications in the 1950’s. He was anxious that we understood this membership as he wanted you to be informed of his death.

David was born and brought up in Bournemouth. When he was in the army he worked with radar. He recalled to his friends rides on packed trains when he served in India.

Following in his father’s footsteps, he trained to be an Architect. After settling in London, he became a noted member of the Westminster Chapel where he met many of his long standing friends. One special friend was Gwen Whitmore who always had a special place in his heart.

He had a passion for transport especially paddle steamers and would travel to various parts of the country to ride on the Kingswear Castle, Balmoral and Waverley. He also gave the impression that he could at one time tell you which trains to catch to travel almost anywhere from anywhere.

He enjoyed walking and when he was more able could often be seen around Tunbridge Wells. He was not particularly interested in Television but when you visited him he almost always had Radio 3 or sometimes Radio 4 on in his room.

His nephews and nieces recall his visits when they were small children. Happily joining in their rough and tumble games which often led to pulling of his moustache. When one of them recalled his antics the response was that ‘it sounds as if he made a good climbing frame and trampoline’! A great nephew remembers ‘a real gent who he went with collecting teasels’.

Those who knew him well can recall the glint in his eye and the half smile rather like a cheeky school boy. The unhurried getting ready that resulted in the mad dash to get him to the station in time to catch his train home. His thriftiness – he once told his sister, in a letter during the miners’ strikes and power cuts, that you can make candles from the wax coating on Edam cheese and string! Nothing that could have a possible alternative use was thrown away.

Although he was very humble he gave in many ways. Most of us didn’t realise that when he lived in London he often helped to give soup to the homeless on Christmas day. Although many of us found him frustrating sometimes he was also dearly loved and a dear friend to many more.

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