13 Nov 2008

Alec Alder dies

I was sorry to hear Randwick villager Alec Alder has died aged 88.

Photos: Randwick woods at the weekend - the strong winds have stripped many of the beautiful leaves - what a magical place!!

The great-grandfather, whose memoirs are being serialised in the SNJ, was also minister of the old Pentecostal church in Ruscombe for 40 years and brought fame to Randwick recently when he was on telly.

Here's some from the SNJ yesterday and below one of his memoirs that the SNJ are publishing each week:

Mr Alder, who had a heart condition but was otherwise very healthy, passed away peacefully during an afternoon nap on Friday at his home at The Martins, Westrip. His family said this week that he had a very strong faith and would be sadly missed. Relatives added they would like the SNJ to continue printing Mr Alder's memoirs as they have been so popular with readers.

Born at Ocker Hill, Randwick on December 12, 1919, Mr Alder grew up in the village before working in maintenance at Strachans Mills and at a contract electrical firm. He met his wife Ada in 1936 and married in October 1939. When the Second World War broke out, Mr Alder was conscripted to fight in the Glosters. During the war, Mr Alder survived many near-death experiences.
Among these were narrowly missing out on being sent to Dunkirk and surviving after a fighter plane crashed into his bedroom. Towards the end of the war, Mr Alder was posted to Burma where he broke his leg on patrol. He was sent to a hospital in India and became a devout Christian after discussing faith with a nurse.

After the war, he worked as a church minister in the Stroud valleys.
In September the SNJ reported how Mr Alder, who owned a coal merchants and A & A Taxis in Stroud during his career, believed God had saved his life 14 times. His friend Nancy Bellhouse, 83, who met him on a posting to Yorkshire, said: "He was sort of the big brother we never had. He was just a very special person and the reason I joined the forces."

Mr Alder was due to read the names of fallen soldiers on Sunday during a remembrance service at Stroud Congregational Church. He is survived by his two children, Paul, 68, and Maureen, 59, six grandchildren and several great grandchildren. His funeral will be held at Stroud Congregational Church at 11am on Monday, November 17. Donations will go to St Rose’s School. Mr Alder will be buried at St John the Baptist Church, Randwick beside his wife Ada, who died in February last year.

And here is this weeks memoirs in the SNJ from Alec - great to read about this local area:

In the latest instalment of his memoirs, Mr Alder recounts a tale about old fashioned buses that would terrify modern day health and safety advisors.

THE second day of the year that we all looked forward to was the Sunday School Outing.

We saved up all the year round for this day out. About six charabancs would line up, down at More Hall - they couldn't come up towards Randwick any further, because the road wasn't wide enough. Only a small bus would come up as far as The Stocks at Randwick. It would be there all day, every hour going down to More Hall and picking up the people from the service bus from Stroud.

That was a joke – the people, especially towards the 1930s, coming from work would transfer to this bus, and it could never make it up Blenheim Pitch, because it was too steep, and the bus would be too overcrowded.

Almost invariably, as the bus chugged up the hill and got as far as Westrip Turning, it stopped.

But don't worry, Plan B then came into operation. Just inside the bus was a block of wood with a handle, and as soon as the bus was on its last breath, one of the passengers would grab this and quickly push it under the back wheel.

Simultaneously, the first half a dozen passengers by the door would all jump out and push and push and stop and push until it got to the flat at the end of The Change. Now then, there was another hill up by the pond and the church, so the driver, usually Poopie Smith, would accelerate along The Change as fast as he could.

Sometimes he made it to The Stocks, sometimes he didn't and then the process of blocking and pushing would start all over again. Now back to the charabancs. We would start off at 6am.

Sometimes it was Weymouth, other times Bath, Cheddar or Weston. Another time Barry and Penarth, but wherever it was, it was a great day out. Except for these outings, the farthest we went was Stroud.

Anyway, we would get home between seven and eight, tired but happy, and would you believe it, I doubt whether anybody had even locked their doors. What a difference to today.

The third day was, of course, our Christmas party. Plenty of batch cake etc., and then our prize giving. Great fun – happy days.

1 comment:

Merci said...

I never met Alec Alder but would nonetheless like to send my condolences to his friends and family.