This is the 2017 obituaries page


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2017 Obituaries


Roger Johansen writes:


Mike Bedford possessed not only an amazing facility for emerging from some of life's swamps  smelling of roses, but also for giving a vivid impression of having enjoyed being up to his backside in alligators.  After a group of us enjoyed a splendid dinner and cabaret at the Savoy Hotel on the eve of Mike's departure for the Chrysler Corporation's selling fields in Vietnam, the bank manager  wrote expressing surprise that Mike had issued a cheque to pay for the festivities knowing that there were insufficient funds in the account.  The bank official may well have recalled that some time previously by an unfortunate switching of envelopes he had received a love letter from his customer, intended for Mike's girlfriend of the time.  The lady was not only well stacked, but well-heeled to boot, and on receipt of the explanation, intended for the bank, of his temporary lack of funds, immediately sent him a cheque to relieve the situation.     


John Bedford, who unfortunately pre-deceased his younger brother many years ago, summed up Mike's charm when he said:  “Whatever one thinks of him, one always comes away from spending time with him in a happier frame of mind.”   John showed his understanding of his brother's character when, speaking at Mike and Mandy's wedding, he said: “When he was selling cars in Panama no man was too elevated to discourage him from approaching, and no woman too low...”   


Mike's lifelong association with Labrador's seemed to create a sort of symbiosis whereby he acquired the friendly, exuberant bounciness of the breed, however if one had to liken him to a fictional animal, he was Tigger to the life.  Speaking of Labradors I recall with lasting pleasure the occasion when he and Mandy visited us in Herefordshire, accompanied by their chocolate Labrador (Cocoa of course), who joyfully plunged into every decorative pond in the garden.   We went to a remote pub at Craswall in the Black Mountains, and there a middle-aged and very up-market lady made a great fuss of the dog: “Oh, what a lovely dog.” etc etc.  Mike observed tolerantly, and when she asked: “What breed is he?” replied without hesitation, “He's an Atlantic Crossing.”  “Oh yes?”   “Yes Alcock and Brown!”  Not original perhaps, but timed to perfection.  Equally apt, and probably more original was Mike's response to a priest friend who told him that he was: “Not just a priest, but a Canon”, “Well I hope you've got the balls for it!” 


Sometimes Mike's timing let him down, and there were occasions when he offended, usually women of a certain age and disposition, however it is true to say that one never saw the slightest trace of malice or meanness in his character.  He was generous with both his time and his hospitality, and succeeded in using his love of wining and dining to create an enviable client list for his company Duty Driver.  His heroes from an earlier age of Beaumont OBs included the Wolff brothers, Gus, Freddie, and Jack, and he admired them not only for their success and bonhomie, but also for the hard work, care and love they gave to the volunteers and the children of the Handicapped Childrens' Pilgrimage Trust.  He went on to emulate the brothers Wolff by leading pilgrimage groups himself, and in later years he lent encouragement with the unique band of supporters, the BOFs. 


Mike's firm adherence to his faith was inspirational, and his Presidency of the City Branch of the Catenian Association was an achievement that he never trumpeted, but bore witness to the enormous respect in which he was held by his peers in the Catholic establishment.  His was a rumbustious exterior that concealed a surprising sensitivity: one cannot be a successful salesman or marketing man without an awareness of the feelings of others.  His departure from this life leaves a lasting void in the lives of many, and Mandy in particular, who remains in our love and thoughts.         



Hugh Everard Scrope (34 -41)

Hugh passed away 11 February 2016.


 He was a scion of the Scrope dynasty, of Danby, co York, which can claim 5 Garter Knights, 2 bishops, one archbishop of York, a Lord Chancellor, 4 High Treasurers, and 2 Chief Justices, and the baronies of Scrope of Bolton and Scrope of Masham. Hugh was the 6th son of Stephen Scrope and his wife Ethalburga (Waterton, a granddaughter of Charles the naturalist and a descendent of 8 Saints). Hugh followed his brothers John (killed WW2) and Geoffrey (Lt Col, Knight of Malta and Vice president of the Heraldry Society) to Beaumont leaving to join the RAFVR. After the War he married Betty Wilkinson. Apart from that we know little of his life except that he owned a famous Percival Mew Gull; details below-




Scrope’s Percival Mew Gull G-QAEXF

“The 1938 King's Cup Race was a 1,012 mile event and  Alex Henshaw who owned the plane at the time came in 1st at 236 mph and Giles Guthrie in his red "standard"  G-AEKL placed 2nd. Edgar Percival flew a third Mew Gull, the E3H (G-AFAA) and finished 6th. Percival might easily have won, but as well as being made scratch-man by the Handicappers, he left the fine-tuning of his airscrew pitches until just before the race and his ground-crew were still tinkering with them as Alex Henshaw took off.


Alex Henshaw attempted to take the England – Cape Town Record in 1939, taking off on 5 February 1939 from Gravesend, landing at The Cape the next day, covering the 6,377 miles course in 39 hours and 25 minutes, averaging 209.44 mph while in the air. The return trip was just 11 minutes longer. It is interesting to note that during all of Alex Henshaw's adventures in this aircraft it was never damaged.


Henshaw sold G-AEXF to Frenchman Victor Vermoral in late 1939. During WW2 the aircraft was stored in a hangar in France with several owners continuing to hide it from German authorities. In 1950, Hugh Scrope found and bought it, and with Doug Bianchi's help, refurbished the aircraft to fly it back home to England. After restoration, G-AEXF continued its racing career but it was damaged in a landing accident in August 1951 at Shoreham.  It was sold in 1953”.




CRAIG WALLER Desmond Sean on 9th December 2016, aged 67. Dearly loved by Susie and by his children, Nick and Michael and grandchildren, Tom and Charlie. Much loved by his mother, Prudence, he will be deeply missed by his brothers and wider family and by his many friends. His Requiem Mass was on Wednesday 4th January 2017, at St Dunstan's RC Church, Shaftesbury Road, Woking.




Fr Joe’s sister Teresa writes:-


'Father Joe' was born on 18 January 1931 in Preston, Lancashire. From a Jesuit parish (Saint Ignatius) and a Jesuit school (Preston Catholic College) it was not surprising that he joined the Order immediately after leaving school.


His first teaching post was at Beaumont, followed by Glasgow and then back to Preston.


When his subject, classics, became less popular he was moved to parish work and was parish priest in Clitheroe for twenty five years, getting to know all his parishioners and their children and keeping in touch with them even after he left. They remember him as a devoted priest and 'a lovely man'.


He spent the last eight years of his life in Stonyhurst, enjoying the countryside and often being visited by old friends and pupils.


Joe died on 7 February 2017 and will be buried at Clitheroe.