Hubert Victor Stallabrass 1904 -1998

Grandpa was as large in personality as he was in stature, with a voice to match. Pity his neighbours, as the walls shook with his gargantuan sneezes and renditions of his favourite songs “Sailing” being his all-time number one. He always made his presence known, and there are few who came into contact with him that do not have a lasting memory of his unique personality.

Grandpa was full of catch phrases and little snippets that fascinated us: “All of a sudden”, “Black cat – missed it”; “I’m speaking on behalf of the British Bible Society!”. Strangely inappropriate quotes were recited with mock solemnity – “On such a night as this did gentle Jessica mount the Trojan wall”; we never knew where he learnt them, but they now remain as ingrained in our memory as they were in his.

Grandpa had a total disregard for authority and rules if they stood in the way of what he was trying to achieve. If going up a one way street the wrong way was the quickest way to get somewhere, then so be it – and blow anyone who tried to tell him otherwise. One of my most vivid memories is being hustled by Grandpa to the front of the check-in desk at Heathrow – other passengers stood to one side to let me through as Grandpa muttered into an imaginary walkie-talkie, no doubt assuming I was minor royalty with my bodyguard. He could blag his way in to the Rugby Final or the doctor’s dining room at Middlesex hospital without turning a hair, while those accompanying him quaked with the fear of being discovered. Read more

This entry was posted in Memorials and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply using Twitter or Facebook