|It is a real shock to find one of your good work colleagues stricken with cancer after a rather short retirement. Typically Henry (or Grahame, his real name) made light of it, breaking the news that - "You know the old joke about the BBC pension fund and how it was always so healthy because people left the BBC and then only drew their pensions for a couple of years. Well it seems in some cases that can be all too true!"
In retirement when there is (supposedly) more time to socialise, you can get to know some of you workmates a bit better than you ever did whilst working in VT, even for twenty or thirty years. This was so with Henry, he and his family would stay over when they started to go out with Debra, myself and a host of Post Production mirth seekers on our annual Rixon Ramble, and bit by bit we all got to know Henry better. A thoroughly caring and loving family man, never would say a bad word about anyone, and devilishly clever... especially on all things associated with computers. From as long as I can remember he had knowledge (mostly put to good use... but sometimes for just devilment sake) far beyond most of us at the BBC.
He was a very competant editor and worked on a whole range of programmes like the Late Show, Sky at Night etc, etc, and embraced the lot with good humour, and like us all in later years, suffered the lack of decent programmes to work on as the rot set into Post Production. A trusty union representative he appeared to have held that post for longer than any other rep I know, and put his heart and soul into it too fighting for the cause.
Henry also fought his illness with strength, bought an MX5, and finally married Moira on 30th July, "a thing he had been meaning to get around to" after their engagement seven years ago. Just when life was getting good he passed away only nine days later on the morning of the 8th of August. We will all miss him, and now I will never know why we always called him Henry instead of Grahame.
|Henry was one of the people responsible for some of my initial training back in 1980, and thus in no small part responsible for where I am today. He was always generous with his time and patience when explaining what I later came to realise was the blindingly bleeding obvious. Equally he was always witty, although a few evenings on the 4th floor after an early may have made it seem funnier.
I was always given to understand that the nickname went back to his schooldays and somebody with the same name, of course 30 years down the line, even the memory of a then 19 year old can be wrong. The world is undoubtedly a lesser place for his passing!
|I knew Henry from the time he and I were on the TV2 Branch Committee in the 80s. VT were very lucky with their reps and Henry was one of the very best. It seems so unfair that such a fine man should see so little of his well-earned retirement. My sympathies to all who worked with Henry, and will therefore have known him much better than I did.|