Lovely times and memories spent with Ted and Monica
Edward "Ted" Sibbons (17 Nov 1938 - 6 Oct 2023)
Donate in memory of
EdwardSt Christopher's Hospice
- Beckenham Crematorium Elmers End Rd Beckenham BR3 4TD
- 17th Nov 2023
- West Beckenham Club 1 Sidney Way Beckenham BR3 4PX
- 17th Nov 2023
In loving memory of Edward "Ted" Sibbons who sadly passed away on 6th October 2023 after a short stay in hospital, following complications arising from pneumonia.
Ted was almost 85 years old, and was widowed in 2022 after Pat, his wife of 60 years, died. Ted is survived by his two daughters Tricia and Jo-Ann, son in law Douglas, and younger brother Fred. (His elder brother Bill and sister Joyce pre-deceased him). His very close friend and cousin Terry died earlier this year, and Ted felt that loss very deeply, on top of the death of his wife. He was, however, looking forward to his upcoming birthday with friends Esther, Dave and his brothers and sisters-in-law from the McCann side of the family on November 17th. We anticipate celebrating Ted's life on that day with everyone who will be able to join us.
Born in East London in 1938, he was a life long football fan, and had enjoyed the women's world cup. Ted was a true working class hero in that he left school at 15 and went to work, becoming a skilled metal worker, working six days a week as was typical in those days (though Saturdays was a half day). Time with the family was precious and our summer holidays were important as much as Sunday afternoon card games. Ted never took time off for illness, and was conscientious as an employee and colleague until his retirement at aged 60. Then he really put his feet up!
Before he met Pat, (who he renamed from her 'real' name of Monica!), he did national service and always had a deep respect for military service and those he met in later life who were serving. Ted met Pat on a double-date and they married in 1961, settling where Pat was based in South East London for a while. When first daughter Tricia came along two years later, they had to move out of their rented flat and lived with Ted's parents and sister for a while in East Ham. They soon settled back in South London in a flat off the Old Kent Road where Jo-Ann was born in 1966 (after Ted fell down the stairs and sprained his ankle) and where the family lived until 1975 when they moved to a larger maisonette in Rotherhithe. Ted had a motorbike for commuting in his early working life, but he never took to car driving, so we were always an eco-friendly family as regards travel.
Ted and Pat loved socialising and dancing. We often had parties at our house, and Ted was a member of the local working men's clubs so we were often out on weekends, meeting like-minded families and new friends across South London. Pat and the girls were church goers, so church socials would entice Ted out, but never to church (probably because that was truly his only day of rest!). On Sunday, Ted was always with mates at the pub (the Swan); sometimes we were at the park opposite (kids not being allowed in pubs in those days!) and would link up for the walk home, bringing the unique perfume of beer and cigarettes with us. We have to mention the famous 'beanos' - day trips by coach to the coast, to pub crawl all day, followed by fish and chips, and sticks of rock brought home for the girls - always resulted in stories to make our eyes pop. And a very large hangover!
Ted was a natty dresser, and has a collection of fine crombie and trilby items. He was a bit of a 'teddy boy' back in the day, known for drainpipe trousers and winkle-picker shoes. He and Pat made a fine couple and 'going out' was a regular thing. Sometimes it was darts, or a dinner and dance - and later in life, 'up the club'. Friends will remember the fancy-dress occasions with a smile - a tradition Jo-Ann has kept up!
Our childhood holidays to the east coast were always memorable for foraging ('cockle-ing' we called it) for shellfish - cockles and other Cockney delights such as whelks, shrimp and jellied eels. Ted loved pie and mash and jellied eels! He always enjoyed food from his childhood days, which was working-class fare, but he developed a taste for other cuisines, not least Chinese food (very handy when son-in-law Douglas came into the picture). In recent years we went back to our childhood butcher to buy rabbit for Dad - he was a keen cook and experimented in the kitchen - his apple pies were always a treat. He cooked pretty much for Pat and himself up to turning 80 years old, making rabbit stew and comforting dishes he really enjoyed.
After a number of years working in the stevedore corps and enjoying the camaraderie, (although the work was tough and very physical) Ted moved to join the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a civil guard, where he enjoyed keeping the 'toffs' in line with regulations! He certainly knew which ministers and politicians treated people with respect, and those who earned a different kind of name.
Ted had a good bunch of friends in the civil service who remained close after retirement, and he also spent time with family in Ireland, and with his cousin Terry and wife Babs; they enjoyed travelling together and went on numerous cruises. Ted loved to laugh. He liked Tommy Cooper and Dave Allen, 'Only Fools and Horses'... Terry made Ted laugh endlessly, as did the Irish family! He was notoriously careful with money, but generously tipped barstaff, waiters, stewards and porters (in hospitality settings). Mum found ways around Ted's trait (no doubt from a childhood without much money), but it was sometimes a tension as he felt 'he'd worked hard for that money' and saw us girls as having a tendency to fritter it away!
Ted was particularly taken with wildlife and created memorable video films of South African safaris with patience and care, which he watched from time to time. He mostly enjoyed going to stay with family in Ireland and all the craic and hospitality that came with that circle and deep connection. He loved music - we grew up on a bit of country such as Jim Reeves, a bit of rock'n'roll, and easy listening old classics - Sinatra, Fats Domino, Louis Armstrong, Buddy Holly et al. He was always keen to see his brother and sister in law Maura, sing or play. Maura's rendition of a french love song would move him to tears.
Ted collected coins and was a collector of a range of miniatures - cars, soldiers (not trains!) and alcohol, and enjoyed quiz games, computer card games, soduko, and antiques roadshow. Ted really enjoyed having a garden in later life when he moved with Pat and his daughter Jo into a house in Beckenham. Friends close by were a bonus - Esther and Dave were 'club night' partners and compared gardening tips. Ted looked after the birdfeeders and loved having young relatives to visit, playing ball or other games with them on the lawn. As they grew older, they were thankful to neighbours who sorted the lawn mowing - especially John and his wife Ann; and also companionship and support from next door neighbours, Ann and John, and Tim and Fumni and their boys on the other side.
Friends from South Africa were always welcome to stay: Bridgitte was like another daughter; Lesego (Lucky), of course, enjoyed holidaying with them as they 'spoiled' him; Archbishop Thabo's family, Nick Hayward's family and children Leia and Vuyo and mum Ntsiki- all part of our regular conversations; as well as Jo's close friends from SA, Sandra and her girls, Corrine and John's sons Alex and Jamie (as children the boys were regular visitors to the house and often stayed overnight after they moved back to the UK from Pretoria).
In later years, after their joint 80th birthday party in Belfast, they were more confined at home together, and Ted began caring for Pat as her mobility declined. Their last outing together in December 2021, was to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary at a London theatre, restaurant and overnight stay in a hotel, where they downed champagne and looked out over the Thames. They were soul mates entering their last years together.
Two months later, Pat became more unwell, and died in May 2022. Two months after that, Ted had a minor stroke and mobility problems and then had a fall, fracturing his back. It was a long journey back to walking, but he made good progress and the photo above, on 2 July 2023, marked his first return to the lounge at his home (downstairs), after months of rehabilitation at home with superstar physio, Gemma, and carers supporting Jo-Ann. Ted was grateful for all the many visitors and family who came to the house.
Thanks also to cousin Sharon who helped us, and to family friends Chris, Pammy and Esther. In August this year, Ted became ill and was treated at home after a short stay in hospital, but his mobility was impaired and he never walked again, despite his efforts. A new infection caught us all by surprise and after treatment in hospital during October 2023 for pneumonia, Ted's oxygen levels plummeted and he was not able to recover.
Much as it pains those of us left, Ted is now reunited with Pat, wherever people go after death. We hope it has a bar and a pack of cards, a juke box playing 'Blueberry Hill'; and, ideally, it serves jellied eels.
Ted's funeral will take place on Friday 17 November at 2.45pm at Beckenham Crematorium (details in the box right) and a reception afterwards, in Beckenham, at 1 Sidney Way, BR3 4PX (all details in the box, right).
Donations in lieu of flowers are welcomed - please give to St Christopher's Hospice (see box for details).
For more details contact: email@example.com.
A link to participate in the funeral virtually will be available closer to the time.