My friend, the unsung hero writes Roy Edmonds
WE’VE just lost another old friend and neighbour, though not to Covid this time.
Alan Cross was a Fylde Council head gardener, at beautiful Lowther Gardens, but long ‘retired’. I put that in quotes as he never stopped working or helping others and, in that way, affected and improved many lives.
An octogenarian, his life had been long and full but, mercifully for him if a shock for others, its end was sudden, from a brain clot he knew little about.
His funeral and burial were this week at Lytham, where he’d been born and brought up.
But Alan (pictured) lived in Blackpool and will be missed by so many people whose lives he touched. He was one of those unsung heroes, in his case mainly at Blackpool Cricket Club. As a keen volunteer, he maintained the grounds through all weathers and, with the site’s impressive renovation for more county games, personally replaced hundreds of seats around the outfield.
He was also a leading light and technical consultant for the Campaign for Real Ale, setting up many beer festivals with wife and ever-close partner Christine, including the cricket club’s own, usually in August. Alan had an astounding knowledge and experience of brewing and pubs around the country. It was an indication of the man’s sharpness and wit, behind that laid-back gardener’s veneer.
He also loved his seafood and the centres of excellence for it on the Fylde, harking back to years shrimping as a lad. But Alan had his feet firmly on the ground.
“Mother Nature always has her way,” he told me, after a challenging period of weather.
That’s a lesson we’ve all had to learn recently, through this pandemic and our alarming awareness now of climate change.
Many of us will raise a glass to him in thanks – during happier times to come.
* Read Roy’s books in paperback at FeedARead.com , also on Amazon Kindle or through Waterstones.
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