Thursday 4th – Saturday 6th August – Newcastle and Derby   2 comments

The Angel of the North

Five bridges cross the Tyne – but I think its now six.
I visited Newcastle-upon Tyne on Friday the 5th, stopping at my brother’s in Derby on the way up and way back.
These photos were taken in 2010 when Margaret and I visited one of my oldest friends, Clive Taylor.
On this visit I had no time for sightseeing because tragically, I was attending Clive’s funeral.
CLIVE TAYLOR 1949 – 2011
Clive hailed from East Anglia, in 1970 he started a Microbiology Degree course at Leeds University, where we met. We soon found that we had the same taste in rock music, and Clive would spend so many nights kipping on our floor, after a evening of music appreciation, that we told him he might as well move in.
Thus five of us lived in a decrepid slum for three years for the princely sum of £1.20 a week each (plenty of money left to spend on albums, concerts and beer). We had free reign of the place so we painted murals on the wall and ceiling and a ten foot Zulu on the stairs and drove the neighbours mad with our musical tastes.
After University moved to another place with four friends, including Clive’s partner Di, so although he was now in Littlehampton working with plant viruses, I saw him regularly. Like me, Clive’s main academic interest was clinical virology and after they married Clive took a job in the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, but unlike me, Clive had drive and ambition and studied and worked hard until he was appointed director of the lab, something that would take up all of his time later in life.
We had many interests in common apart from work and music, Clive was interested in wildlife, especially birds and now, after retirement, did voluntary work for the RSPB. We often said that when we both retired, I would show him many of the species that he just didn’t have time to search out before.
Clive’s other great love was his motorcycle. He was travelling through Scotland with two friends on the 23rd of July when his bike was hit head on by a car that was on his side of the road. He was killed instantly.
We last met in April this year, when another of our gang had a retirement do in Leeds. We made plans to meet up later in the year. He was such a kind, understanding and well-meaning guy; I feel privileged to have known him for the last 41 years. Our thoughts go to his daughter Hannah, son Saul and partner Frances.

Frances and Clive - June 2009

L-R myself, Dave Rolfe, Clive Taylor, Nigel Mackie - Leeds April 2011

The sad theme continues as today, 6th of August, is the seventh anniversary of first wife Janet’s death. Whilst the emotional impact of this anniversary does fade with time, it still remains a very poignant moment, especially in view of the other tragic event.

Janet Lewis - Hawaii 2003


Posted August 6, 2011 by gryllosblog in Uncategorized

2 responses to “Thursday 4th – Saturday 6th August – Newcastle and Derby

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  1. Ca’t believe it was seven years ago that Janet died – time accelerates at a horrific rate as we get older, don’t you think?
    I thought of you yesterday, knowing it was Clive’s funeral.
    We have plenty of birds up in the North West, so perhaps we’l see you round these parts one day.

    Regards, Nia (Phillips, as of last Tuesday)

    p.s. I remember well the Ten Foot Zulu!

    • Dear Nia,
      sorry I haven’t got back to you. I was looking for a e-mail message rather than a blog reply.

      Yes it was a very sad day in Newcastle.

      Glad you have got some good news, congratulations on your wedding.


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