Dad

Russell J A Alton

This is the home page of russellalton.co.uk and is a tribute to my father, who died on 12 April 2008. This page contains links to photos of Dad through the 83 years of his life, a copy of the service book, photos of the flowers and their message cards. There are also some facts and fond memories scattered across this page from family members, friends and me.

Through The Ages

Dad’s Memorial Boulder

On 23 May 2008, Jezz and I went to see the memorial boulder that I had organised and paid for with Nik and Michèle. It’s located at the same crematorium where Dad’s funeral service took place, Kingston Cemetery & Crematorium, and the area is called the Rose Circle.

Dad’s Funeral Flowers
Tap/Click on the image to see the tribute flowers that were displayed after the service.

Dad’s Book of Service
This is a link to the file that allows you to view/download a copy of the funeral service book that Wayne created for his Dad’s service. It has tributes from all that wanted to say a few words. The centre pages have photos, recent and vintage and the book includes a poem written by Dad in 2006, but only discovered, two years later, in 2008, after he died.

Dad’s Flowers Cards
Tap/Click on the image – Before disposing of these cards, I thought I would scan all of them with the lovely tributes and well wishes from the friends and family that knew Dad.

Dad — Thank You, a son’s tribute to his father

This was the script that was used for my eulogy. Its intention was to provide a light-hearted look back at our lives and how much our Dad was involved with us. It touches affectionately on some of the memories that I have and wanted to share with everyone present at the ceremony.


DAD’S ENTRY INTO THE BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE
This is the entry that has been entered in the Kingston’s Book of Remembrance in 2009.

I remember…

Every Friday I used to stay at Grandad’s. Our thing was watching the TV series ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Just before it started each week, Grandad would make us both a cup of hot chocolate and make a space for me in his armchair with him.
Years and years later, once I was a teenager, the same TV series came back out… Grandad rang me and said: “do you fancy coming over every Sunday to watch Beauty and the Beast with me?” Of course, I did. By this point Grandad could no longer drive, so he used to send his friend Andy to pick me up and drop me home and called him my ‘chauffeur.’
One of my favourite memories.
~ Zoe

I remember…

One time when Mum and I tried to give him a haircut because his hair was so long, but he refused to go to the barbers or pay for anyone to cut it, so we had a go.
Well, you can just imagine what poor Grandad looked like after letting us loose with the scissors. We looked at him after we finished and thought; OMG. What have we done?! Luckily, Grandad saw the funny side of it, and we all ended up in stitches.
~ Zoe

Where are you now, my Daddy?


 Where are you now, my Daddy?
I went to phone you again, today
I needed help with a long word
Oh well, never mind, aye?
Where are you now, my Daddy?
I need the sound of your laughter
Can you hear my jokes still?
I still say them, but there’s no sound after
Where are you now, my Daddy?
Please try and give me a sign
I’m not doing that well without you
Just a ‘hello mate’ would do fine
Where are you now, my Daddy?
Why do I feel so lost and alone?
I can’t go on without you to guide me
Or driving to Tesco’s on my own
Where are you now, my Daddy?
Are you looking? Am I making you proud?
If you could just give me a signal
A sound or a shape in a cloud
Where are you now, my Daddy?
Will this empty feeling ever end?
I sit here cold and lonely
With a broken heart that will never mend
 
~ Wayne Alton (27 April 2008) ~

I remember…

Being round at Grandad’s, he’d be sitting in the armchair, snoring. I’d say: “Grandad… Grandad, you asleep…? Grandad?” Then he’d jump and say: “No. No, I was resting my eyes!”
~ Zoe

So Sad Without Dad


He was the force that dried my tears
He was the comfort of all my fears
When I think of all I had
I am left so sad, without Dad
Sitting, staring at the screen
Without him, where have I been?
With him alive, I felt only glad
Now it’s only sad, without Dad
It’s not just him that has gone
It’s the strength I had for so long
The order that kept me from going mad
That reminds me now why I’m sad, without Dad
Wonderful memories caress my heart
They mend and stop me from falling apart
I think again of all I had
Only then, is it not so sad, without Dad
 
~ Wayne Alton (22 June 2008) ~

I remember…

A saying Russell always used, which I use today. He used to knock on the bedroom door when we were in there and say: “stop that horizontal jogging!” Always made me laugh, and I used it with my kids when I thought they were up to no good! 
~ Debbie

That’s What’s Life’s Like Now, Without Dad Here


Like one leg without a crutch
Or a feel without a touch
Or perhaps Starsky without Hutch
Is how I miss Dad so very much
To be a pair of shoes without the heels
Or a café that serves no meals
A chauffeured car yet no wheels
And without Dad, that’s how it feels
Oh, I’ve got the cuddle, but no teddy bear
I have the thrill of the rides but no fun fair
A never-ending road yet going nowhere
That’s what it’s like without Dad there
A group of cheerleaders, silent without cheer
Alone, sat at the bar in a pub with no beer
A sad song and a hankie, but without a tear
That’s what life’s like now, without Dad here
Oh, I could have a life of luxury and no debts to pay
To spend the rest of my life having my own way
But when I think of you, Dad, d’you know what I say?
I’d give it all up in an instant, to have you back for one day
 
~ Wayne Alton (14 October 2008) ~

I remember…

Dad lining us up in the kitchen at Gran’s and instructing new bedtimes. Pointing at me, said: “you, quarter past 7,” pointing at Nik, “you, half past 7 and you,” pointing at Michele, “quarter to eight.”
I thought my life was over, having to go to bed first… without anyone else but the bogey man upstairs.
~ Wayne

Was That You Last Night?


Was that you last night?
It did give me quite a fright
A strong yet gentle breeze
That started way down at my knees
It then gradually came up to my face
It was at a constant and steady pace
It was an unusual breeze of air
Unlike any, I’d felt before, sat there
It’s just, and I don’t mean to be rude
But if that was a sign, it can be so misconstrued
I’m longing to know and feel that you are there
If you are, then why am I still so unaware?
I’ve been without you for a whole year now
How I have managed, I just don’t know how
But then listening to music that reminds me of you
Has both brought on and held back a tear or two
And with each day, I look up at your face
Hoping, yet knowing you’re in a much better place
Instead of this vile, decaying world so rotten
Where great men like you are so readily forgotten
Dad, you’re the last of the best, that’s for sure
They really don’t make them like you any more
 
~ Wayne Alton (9 May 2009) ~

I remember…

I have a funny thought about Grandad at Christmastime when we would all go there, and I used to watch him make vol-au-vents and his nose would drip into them. I’d say: “Grandad, your nose just dripped into the food” and he’d say: “Nonsense! Anyway, gives it a bit of flavour!” 
~ Zoe

Seventh Christmas Without You, Dad


This is our 7th Christmas without you Dad
I said a few years back I ain’t doing so well
But it’s the real reason why I am so sad
I try to hide it… and I think they can’t tell
I feel the emptiness you felt back then
When Betty died that Christmas Eve
Will I feel happiness at Christmas ever again?
Will this ache in my heart ever leave?
They say: “Stop living in the past! It’s time to let go,
Get on with your life and move on”
But they didn’t have a Dad like you, so what do they know?
Besides, thinking of you helps me along!
So wherever you are, Merry Christmas Dad
You’re not forgotten in my heart or my head
And when I think of all the things that I once had
I forget them all and think of you instead
 
~ Wayne Alton (Christmas Eve, 2014) ~

I remember…

When I was 18, we had a row and I left home. I was away a couple of weeks and couldn’t bear it, not seeing him. I went to see him, and he just put his arms out to me and cuddled me and told me that he loved me. It’s my first memory of him telling me he loved me.
~ Michèle 

A Catch Up Chat With Dad


Hiya Pops, how’s it going?
“How’s yer bum for spots?” Whatcha’ knowin’
It’s been eight years now, did you know?
Blimey, where does the time all go?
Do you remember that sweet wrapper you made?
I’ve still got it and while colours fade
The shape and the folds remain
M for Michele, N for Nik and W for Wayne
Well it gave me an idea or two
I created a design from it and had a tattoo
It’s just down from the other one I had done
It’s of your signature, I love that one
I was talking to Zoe about you last week, as you do
She’s got some fun and lovely memories of you
She recalled some of the funny sayings you had
Such an odd feeling… laughing while feeling sad
Oh and Dad, I went to the crematorium the other week
Sorry I haven’t been in a while, it did look a bit bleak
But I refreshed the flowers and cleaned the plaque
And did my usual walking away but looking back
I haven’t spoken to you since Aunty Gwen passed away
That was another sad and mournful day
But I hope you got to hear my eulogy I read out
I can’t be sure but I reckon you were about
Well the move went ok and we’ve settled in now
We got here in the end but I don’t know how
Don’t know what you’d think of shoes off at the door
No smoking outside, let alone indoors!
Hey, Dad… you’d be proud, I’m looking after your tools
Everything in its place… the household rules
And although your shrine has reduced just a tad
There are keepsakes of you around so it’s not so bad
And have you seen me at the gym, trying to keep fit?
It’s not helping me fitness much and I ache quite a bit
And I’m not noticing much change on me weekly weigh-in
But if you’re there watching… I know what you’re saying
‘Cos remember what you’d say when we were out and about?
An old bloke in shorts running by, all puffed out
Instead of us admiring his concerns for his health
You’d say aloud: “The silly sod… he’ll kill himself”
Anyway, just wanted to say hi and that I still think of you dear
There’s not a day goes by that I don’t have you near
Right me old man, I’ll be off now then
Speak to you again soon, TTFN
 
~ Wayne Alton (14 April 2016) ~

I remember…

Grandad, Michele and I were all upstairs getting ready one morning when the ‘Bartman’ song came on (from the Simpsons). It was very popular then, and it had a dance to go with it. So we all lined up in the hallway and did the Bartman dance going down the hall… It was so funny seeing Grandad do it. 
~ Zoe

I remember…

He was a wonderful man, the few times I met him made me wish I had a relationship like yours with my dad. 
– Tony

I remember…

I have so many wonderful memories of Russell. I still have pleasant dreams about him today. 
– Pete

I remember…

Dad once summoned us all downstairs to tell of us of his findings after working out that 3 toilets rolls had been used in one Sunday afternoon and based on their cost, how much we are spending, per sheet, per day! Lol. 
– Wayne

I remember…

Being chased round the bedroom with a frying pan, then hit on the head with it.
– Nikki

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