Saturday, 25 July 2015

Moped Ted

My husband's father Teddy is a remarkable man. On the cusp of 90 and having lived the most extraordinary life, I realised this morning that with his wife Pam , sadly now deceased , between them they were responsible for bringing 3 children into the world , who themselves brought 8 children into the world between them who subsequently brought their own children into the world , numbering 6 in total plus another 2 on the way . That is a grand total of 3 children, 8 grandchildren and 8 great- grandchildren.

Not only is he possibly one of the kindest, most generous and selfless people I know , but he is also one of the most resilient and resourceful. He was still riding his moped into his 89th year hence the nickname Moped Ted.

Having survived Tuberculosis as a young adolescent , he went on to survive WWII in Britain through the 1940's , being rather unfairly called an 'alien' due to his Swiss nationality , putting out fires on London's rooftops as a Fire Warden.

His skills were revered as a film cameraman in the early 1950s,  joining Independent Television when it first started and rising through the creative ranks to become one of the best - loved and admired Lighting Directors at London Weekend Television. His retirement was well-earned but such was his reputation that he still continued to work into his seventies.

Of course behind every great man there is a tower of patient, resilient and supportive strength - the wife . Pam was equally adored by all that knew her and together they soldiered life's ups and downs as every stoic couple of their generation seems so capable of doing - A lesson to us all.

I feel very lucky to have had their love and support over the years since my marriage to their son David, especially as my own parents were tragically taken from me in my twenties. I can still remember the twinkle in Pam's eyes as she cheekily had a quick ciggie in the garden , a little merry from a large glass of sherry - both hers and my favourite tipple.

I am thinking of Teddy in his hospital bed as I write this and praying for a peaceful and dignified ending as he nears the end of his glorious life. What better legacy to leave than the admiration and affection of not one, not two, but three generations of offspring, all of whom have benefited so enormously, in ways they may even be yet to discover, from knowing this wonderful man.


  1. A lovely tribute Claire. A person lives on through others. I have kept the values and stories of my own grandmother and passed them to my children. Ted sounds like someone I would have liked to have known.