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Andrew Bryden an Obituary

Rick Strerry

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>Andrew Bryden, April 1929 November 2008

Sadly, we have had to say goodbye to a long-standing and respected member of the Wakefield RISC OS Computer Club Andrew died on 4th November at the age of 79. A week later, on Armistice Day, a very warm and moving humanist (non-religious) ceremony was held for him at Wakefield crematorium. It was well attended by friends and family, and I'm happy to say that four of us from the club were there to pay our last respects.

Andrew was born, brought up and educated in Leeds, the youngest of three sons. He was an engineer by profession, and over the years he had many interests, including photography and film, boat building, and (believe it or not) Vespa scooters. Some of you may have seen Andrew talking about the old days on the YTV series "The way we were". For about the past ten years he and his wife Lillian have spent quite a bit of time at their holiday chalet on the coast at Humberston, where Andrew was one of the more active residents campaigning for improved facilities.

Andrew was already a keen home computer user even before the BBC Micro came on the scene. He became a member of the then Wakefield BBC Micro User Group very shortly after its formation in April 1983. He disappeared off our radar for a while, but eventually returned as a regular member and has been with us ever since, serving as Treasurer for the past decade. His former work as Quality Control Manager at Birkby's Plastics Ltd, and his love of mathematical and word puzzles, taught him patience and a meticulous attention to detail which proved very useful in his duties as Treasurer. If a job was worth doing, then it was worth doing well that was Andrew's way. To celebrate WROCC's 25th anniversary meeting this April, Andrew was one of two people to be made Honorary Life Members in recognition of their valuable contribution to the club.

Over the past year or so, Andrew challenged the I.T. skills of WROCC members Chris Hughes and Steve Potts on several occasions, as they tried to figure out what he had managed to do to his RiscPC to stop various applications or peripherals working properly, or even to stop the machine booting up altogether. I don't mean to be the least bit unkind when I say that Andrew's talent for inadvertently doing bizarre things to his computer did cause some amusement within the club committee. Andrew was very tolerant of our good-natured leg pulling, but always insisted that he had never done anything untoward to the machine!

It had been evident for some time to those of us who saw him regularly, that his failing health was gradually getting the better of him. Despite this, his dedication meant that he rarely missed a monthly club meeting or a committee meeting. At the time of his death he was being treated in Wakefield's Pinderfields Hospital for water on the lungs, and had been expected to return home within a few days. Indeed, he was looking forward to putting in a bid for the Unipod module advertised in the WROCC newsletter; poignantly, a reminder note to this effect was still stuck to his computer monitor. He was also looking forward to attending an informal seasonal dinner with the other members of the committee in early December. For our part, the rest of us were very much hoping to see him at the dinner, but instead we will have to make do with a toast "to absent friends".

Andrew was a kind man, but quiet and shy in the presence of people he didn't know well. They say "still waters run deep", and this could certainly be said of Andrew; there was much more to the man than appeared on the surface. He was clearly a much loved husband, father and grandfather, and we in the club are lucky to have known him and had the benefit of his services. He leaves his wife Lillian, son Matthew and his wife Rebecca, and two young granddaughters Alexandra and Elodie.

Rick Strerry - WROCC Chairman

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