Alan Edward Slingsby (24 Jul 1946 - 28 Jan 2015)

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Funeral Service

Location
Sutton Crematorium 539 Tamworth Road Sutton Coldfield B75 6LG
Date
4th Mar 2015
Time
2.30pm

In loving memory of the late Alan Edward Slingsby who sadly passed away on 28th January 2015 aged 68. Beloved Husband of Irene. Sadly missed by all family and friends

Funeral to be held at Sutton Coldfield Crematorium, Tamworth Road, Birmingham B756LG on Wednesday 4th March at 2.30pm. All friends and colleagues are invited to join the family at The Plough and Harrow, Slade Road, Mere Green. B755PF.

Alan leaves behind him a warm and loving family; he is survived by his wife Irene; his daughter Lynn and his 2 grandchildren and four great grandchildren; two sisters and one brother and their families, Irene's family and some good and dear friends and former colleagues
Second of four children, Alan was born in Bury in Lancashire. His father was a civil servant so the family lived in several locations before settling in Leicester when Alan was 12.. He was a bright young man who left school at eighteen and after a period of further study he became a Civil Engineer and Quantity Surveyor he remained in the field for the rest of his working life spending some time with Tarmac and many years with JPB where he was valued and highly respected
Adventurous from a very young age his elder sister Anita recalls an occasion when he was four, that instead of waiting for her to take him home from school, he decided he wanted to ride on a bus, so he got on the first one he saw, travelled to the terminus and back, got off, bought an ice-cream and nonchalantly returned home to a frantic family.
Alan's younger brother John looked up to Alan and recalls a boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads which was somewhat Spartan but nonetheless enjoyable. One time they decided to sail from the pub down a narrow river to the wider waters of Hickling Broad. Being full of Dutch courage and lots of Norfolk ale they set off attempting to avoid using the engine by sailing back and forth, of course other boaters were not entirely impressed with their efforts and some made their feelings clear in typical boater fashion. Inevitably they collided with another boat with their formidable bowsprit gouging into the pristine flank of a gin-palace and on impact John parted company with their boat in mid air and fell in. Of course Alan, after rescuing John wasn't going to let the incident ruin their day so they dropped sails, fired up the engine and reached the Broad dropping anchor in the middle away from all other boats. They were hoisting their sails again when a large cruiser appeared and passed so close by them that they caught Alan's anchor rope on their propeller killing their engine and causing another crash. Alan volunteered John to go over the side to release the anchor as he was wet already. Further sailing was abandoned and that night they dined on a tin of corned beef mashed into some Cadbury's Smash and warm cans of beer. They had both had the fright of their lives that day; Alan uttered not one swear word throughout the debacle living up to their father's dislike of bad language for the rest of his life. The brothers bonded during that trip and it didn't dampen Alan's passion for boating.
Pete and Alan met through mutual friends 46 years ago when Pete and his girlfriend June went to Alan's leaving do in Hayling Island. Their meeting was brief but Alan recognised Pete two years later on Sedgley Beacon; Pete felt a tap on his shoulder and there stood Alan. In time the two men became great friends enjoying many family and social events together with Alan getting to know June’s sister Irene.. Later when Irene was living in Cornwall they became a couple. They married 6 years later remaining together for almost thirty very happy years until Alan's untimely death.

As Pete, June, Alan and Irene grew ever closer together it seemed natural for them to invest in a fishing chalet on the River Severn and they slowly made it habitable. They spent many holidays with each other and they bought a house on the Greek island of Poros in need of considerable TLC It was an ongoing project that they all got stuck into, Alan was always 'The Boss' , as he was very adept at DIY, Irene was his right hand and Pete his left. Their first trip out there was an overland trek trailing a little boat and a fridge and camping out in the house. The journey was not without incident on one occasion they were stopped at a check point in Yugoslavia and Alan opening the window found himself looking down the barrel of a machine gun,all he could say was "We’re British!" after which they were allowed to continue with their journey.
Not all the work on the house went smoothly. They all remember the time that Alan had been plastering a perfect arch when he thought he saw a slight flaw for a perfectionist like Alan it had to be right so he reached up to smooth it and the whole lot collapsed on top of his head; he did see the funny side of the incident eventually Gradually the house became a happy retreat as did his favourite taverna Madjuka's where they made many good friends.
As Alan was always a keen sailor they had several dinghies and also took yachting trips around the Greek islands. Recently they had bought a motor boat which was moored near Madjukas so there were many more happy evenings supping Ouzo and quaffing large amounts of wine
Retiring at sixty five Alan could concentrate on his hobbies of socialising, drinking, fishing, model trains, messing about in boats and holidays
Until the last few years Alan was a very active man, however his joints began to deteriorate and he became gradually less mobile but he was determined it wouldn’t stop him. The last weekend before he died he accompanied Irene, June and Wendy to Butlins for a 60s weekend, where he thoroughly enjoyed the live bands particularly The Stones.
Alan couldn't be bettered as either a husband or friend; he was a kind, supportive and considerate husband he was an all round nice guy who had a certain self assurance that made him stand out in a crowd; he had a cheeky smile and a sometimes sardonic sense of humour. His perfectionism could be quite exasperating at times but for him it was definitely a case of if a job was worth doing it had to be done well.
Alan was always tanned and happy in Greece so it seems so unfair that he never got to enjoy his last trip but sometimes death comes without warning or too soon as it did for Alan.
There is often inexplicable synchronicity in families and the day after Alan died his and Irene's niece gave birth; throughout the pregnancy the child was expected to be a girl but 'she' turned out to be a 'he'. We can imagine Alan smiling at this circle of life
Alan was a man who made his presence felt and he made the world a better place for his presence, so now is not the time to cry because his life is over, it is time to smile because it happened.

Please feel free to share this memorial site with anyone who may have known Alan and would like to contribute.

Tracey ames donated in memory of Alan

Donating in memory of a lovely uncle who will be greatly missed. Will raise a glass to you later Alan. Rip xx

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Tony Johnson donated £50 in memory of Alan

Our sincerest condolences to Irene and all Alan's family on the loss of a lovely man. he was thought very highly by us all at JPB.

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Fiona Townley wrote

I first encountered Alan’s sense of humour and cheeky smile when he interviewed me in 2004 for my position at JPB – he needed to diffuse the situation arising from some inappropriate questions by a fellow interviewer… So from day one I had a great deal of respect for someone who I learnt was kind, compassionate and professional. After some years he became my direct manager and we worked more closely together, with him guiding and mentoring me, helping to build the confidence to advance my career, and spending his valuable time reviewing and commenting upon my reports for becoming chartered. In difficult times he was always on hand to offer support and a great calmness. I will always remember how in a tense sitaution where I had become very upset he first tried to be nice, but saw that only made matters worse so he pulled his ‘scarey face’ and ‘grrrr’d’ at me which resulted in us both in fits of giggles, and resolved the problem!

Over the years we became closer and spent more time talking of our shared interests outside of work – holidays, wine o’clock, gardening and our love of birds. Boasting about my visiting goldfinches he was sad to admit he had none, so I bought him a cheap minature feeder to attempt to lure them. Of course it worked – who wouldn't want to spend time in the beautiful garden he’d made – although I was quite envious of the numbers he reported spotting. This soon became our morning exchange of who had the best and most birds. Alan won hands down!

Our friendship continued after his retirement with email exchanges and and the odd visit to the office. I will really miss hearing from him and swapping tales of our respective latest adventures, although I am truly grateful that I had the privelege and pleasure to work alongside and become friends with such a lovely person. Sleep tight ‘Uncle Alan’.

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Naomi Hobbs wrote

I joined JPB as young engineer and quickly benefitted hugely from Alan’s mentorship and support, learning how to properly make tea in a teapot (even though I didn’t drink it!) and how to manage contractors, draft contracts, undertake professional reporting, knock heads together when necessary, and everything else!

As well as my ‘boss’, I had the privilege of considering Alan my friend. He was hugely supportive, had an open door and a friendly listening ear, and was just ‘my kind of person’. He even tolerated my bad language, although I am sure he mightily disapproved!

I will always remember him very fondly, I have him to thank for giving me confidence in my career choices and in my own abilities, and I am sure I am not alone in owing him a debt of gratitude for his support and kindness. He will be sadly missed, RIP Alan.

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Fiona Townley donated £20 in memory of Alan
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Lyn Higbed wrote

For the second time in my 47 years on this planet, I have to say goodbye and grieve for my Dad. This time is particularly difficult with the added grief of losing my Mother in such tragic circumstances. In the 11 years that I have known you Dad, I think I have, with my heart and soul, loved you as much as any daughter who had spent a life time with their father. Even during some difficult times. We were so much a like you and I. My life will never be the same without you, so farewell, sleep tight and love you with all my might.

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Lyn Higbed wrote

For the second time in my 47 years on this planet, I have to say goodbye and grieve for my Dad. This time is particularly difficult with the added grief of losing my Mother in such tragic circumstances. In the 11 years that I have known you Dad, I think I have, with my heart and soul, loved you as much as any daughter who had spent a life time with their father. Even during some difficult times. We were so much a like you and I. My life will never be the same without you, so farewell, sleep tight and love you with all my might - Lyn.

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Naomi Hobbs donated £20 in memory of Alan
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Colin K donated £30 in memory of Alan

Rest in peace Alan

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Colin K wrote

What a wonderful obituary for Alan. A fitting tribute to a great guy.
It was my pleasure and privilege to have known Alan as a colleague and good friend from the time he joined JPB in 1984. After a couple of years he was tempted away to a rival consultancy but we were delighted when he re-joined us just two years later, and here he stayed until retiring in 2011. Even then he called in from time to time so we kept in touch.
Alan didn’t have lots of fancy paper qualifications, but what he had was huge practical experience, lots of common sense and organisation, and of course a quiet, warm and persuasive personality. He never seemed to get angry or flustered, was an excellent ambassador for the firm, and a fine role model and mentor to younger members of staff.
He started out as designer, quantity surveyor and resident engineer for numerous of our derelict land reclamation and ground stabilisation projects and rose to be Associate from 2003, Partner from 2005 and a Director from 2006. For much of this time he was responsible for health and safety throughout the firm.
He excelled as a project manager, and played a major part in the successful completion of land reclamation jobs worth in total many tens of millions of pounds. To name just a few: the reclamation of British Leyland site at Longbridge, limestone mine infilling in Walsall and Dudley, gasworks sites from Wolverhampton to Coventry to Manchester, the Bowmans Harbour site at Willenhall where we moved and safely buried 3 million cubic metres of refuse. Perhaps the most exciting of all was a huge site known as Uphall Road, Ilford, Essex. This had Roman remains; radioactive soil from making luminous paint; tens of thousands of tonnes of stinking, decomposing crushed cinchona bark, a by-product of making quinine; hundreds of metres of unstable river retaining wall; and the need for a world record sewer tunnel drive using a remote controlled Japanese tunnelling machine. There was so much contaminated material on site that we built a branch line from the nearby railway. A train left twice a week to take the waste to Bedfordshire. I am reminded by Gordon of the famous occasion when Alan, as the site engineer, gave the driver of the train the right of way because in the absence of a guard (a new system) the driver refused to move without someone telling him to despite the signal having been on green for ages.
Well done Alan! You are sorely missed.

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John Slingsby wrote

Where does a Little Brother start, when talking about his Big Brother, because that is what he always was to me. I thought would just share something quick. I don't have many memories of him when I was young because he was 10 years older than me. I do remember him banning me from his bedroom and his huge collection of Airfix model planes. All of them so carefully constructed and painted. All I wanted to do was play with them. How unreasonable was that!!

Alan left home and went off to College and then to work away before I was 8 so it was nearly 10 years before I started to get to know him. Then suddenly he was there. We had holidays together and I spent long weekends at his flat in Erdington and he would come down to Bristol where I had my flat. On one of his early visits to me he came to stay because Mum and Dad were coming to meet us both and see my flat, which they had never seen. I thought I was really prepared for the parental visit until Alan moved my furniture releasing clouds of dust and balls of fluff the size of tumble weed. I remember the look of disapproval on his face to this day. I think he spent the rest of the day spring cleaning for me. Well I was young and still coming to terms with the fact that toilet rolls did not magically appear when the last one was finished.

Every year we went to the Bristol Wine Festival where there was much laughter, falling over and sore heads. Alan taught me to brew beer in my kitchen. That was a mistake! My kitchen was soon taken over by fermentation bins, kegs and books about brewing beers like those you drink in pubs. I suddenly had loads of friends though and two eviction notices for blocking the drains with used yeast.

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June Markham wrote

We were with Alan when he died and he was peaceful and pain free. Now those of us who loved Alan have got to come to terms with his loss. especially Irene who was the love of his life. He will live on in our thoughts and hearts and we will think of him often when in Poros and at Folly View and whenever we share memories. With love June and Pete

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Irene Slingsby donated £10 in memory of Alan
maureen rollings wrote

R.I.P Alan our lovely brother in law taken from his wife and family much too soon always in out thoughts xx

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Wendy Hannan wrote

Alans' death came as a great shock, I with my sisters Irene and June had spent a wonderful weekend with Alan at Butlins enjoying a 60s weekend and he had enjoyed the weekend tremendously. To lose him just two days later was so painful to cope with, never again would I be able to give him one of my fabled "Wendy Hugs" that were mainly kept for Alan as we fitted together perfectly. I miss you Alan, R.I.P. xxx

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