This is my original blog for all our non-caravanning trips since 2009 and more recently posts about coming to terms with being single again having been widowed in 2018. And anything else too really!

My caravanning blog is (Get Your) Legs Down and all our trips in the caravan are there. My grog blog is The Ale Archive where I list every beer I’ve ever tried.

Trev - Celebrant’s Script from Funeral service

Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen

We meet here today to celebrate the life of Trevor Webdale. I understand that Trevor always liked an audience and I am sure he would have been very pleased to see so many of you here today. We are all here to say our formal farewells to this much loved and respected man we will try and must try to bring some comfort to you his family and friends who have gathered here today with heavy hearts I’m sure saddened to have lost Trevor so suddenly and unexpectedly from your lives. We remember too as we sit here that they will be others who have known and loved Trevor who are not able to be with us here today, but who will never the less share in your sense of loss at this sad time. I am sure there will be many more people who are with us in their thoughts. Together we must commit Trevor’s body to its natural end with perhaps some comfort in the knowledge that he has lived a good and very full life and that he is now at peace.

Richard has chosen to have a simple and straight-forward funeral ceremony here today in keeping with Trevor’s outlooks and beliefs. He has worked very hard to ensure that this ceremony will be a fitting and appropriate tribute to Trevor and I am honoured to have been invited to officiate here today on behalf of the Humanists UK.

As you might know a humanist funeral ceremony is an opportunity to join together in taking your leave of someone who you have all known and loved but it is more than that too. This ceremony is also an opportunity for us to reflect together upon Trevor’s life and a chance to say thank you for all the precious times that you have shared with him.

Of course I am quite sure that nobody here needs me to tell you that this is a sad day. We are naturally saddened when we have to attend the funeral of someone we have known. And it is right and quite natural that you should grieve for Trevor, because your sorrow is a reflection and a measure of the love, the happiness and the friendship that you have each shared with him. Our grief is so much more keenly felt because Trevor was still in the prime years of his life and had so much more still to live for and look forward to.

The comfort of having Trevor as your friend, a husband, and brother - may indeed now be lost. But the joy of having had that relationship and the delight and comfort of your memories will never be lost. To match the sadness of losing Trevor, you have the real pleasure of having known him, and I hope perhaps some comfort in the many happy memories of him that I am sure you will all have to cherish.

While Trevor himself did not have any religious faith he was always very respectful of those who do and for their sake Richard has asked that we should all stand and sing together, Morning Has Broken.

As I never had the pleasure of knowing Trevor myself I spoke recently to Richard and he told me quite a bit about Trevor’s life and his personality and it is now my pleasure to begin the tributes to Trevor by reflecting briefly upon his life with you all.

Trevor was born in Cambridge and was the middle one of 5 surviving children born to parents Arthur and Hilda Webdale. He grew up with his brother Malcolm and sisters Rosemary, Margaret and Mary, but sadly another brother John was stillborn. Trevor grew up at the family home in Bridewell Road in Cherry Hinton where he shared a happy home life in a busy and lively household. He would sometimes claim that as the middle child in a large family he suffered from benign neglect.

As a teenager Trevor attended Netherhall School but he was never really keen on school and it tended to bring out his rebellious streak. He was often compared unfavourably to his very bright older brother and often found himself in detention which he took very calmly as he would tell the teachers he had nothing better to do. He hated wearing his school uniform, but chose instead to wear a blazer and tie to make his own sartorial statement.

Trevor couldn’t wait to leave school as soon as he possibly could. He soon found a job with the Stop Shop chain of newsagents and over the following years worked hard to climb the career ladder and became an area manager for the group. Although Trevor was a good and capable manager his happiest days were undoubtedly when he was behind the shop counter. He was always a people person and loved the ever-changing rhythms of dealing with the general public and all the joys and challenges that that brought. During these years Trevor was a regular customer at the Rose and Crown in Teversham where he loved to wind down with a drink or two and a good chat at the end of a working day.

In the mid 80s Stop Shops were taken over and as a result Trevor was made redundant. To keep the wolf from the door he went to work in the Bakers Arms at Fulbourn and for a few months worked hard there, once again enjoying a customer facing role.

As soon as the opportunity arose Trevor jumped at the chance of running his own business and he was delighted to take over Station Stores in Histon. This was to be his business for the next 10 years and he loved his place behind the counter and at the heart of the village community. Trevor not only ran the shop which became a focal point of village life, but he also threw himself into fund raising for local good causes. He bought a three wheel van which he painted up like Del Boy’s in Only Fools and Horses and used it for local deliveries, but it also became a very visible part of his charity work too. Not only was the van pushed from Cambridge to Norwich to raise funds for Children in Need, but it was also driven to every one of the 92 League Football grounds within a week and raised a significant amount for the local radio fund raising appeal. Trevor was a regular customer at the Railway View, which was conveniently situated right next door to the shop and in conjunction with them he also organised a 24 hour Bar Billiards marathon again to raise money for charity.

Trevor was always an out-going person who loved company and had plenty of creative ideas. He first met Richard I the late 1980s when Richard came to work part-time in the shop when he was still at school. A good friendship began to develop between them and Richard recalls the time when his father died and how very kind and supportive Trevor was. Trevor was someone Richard could talk to and look up to and their relationship gradually deepened. They were regular customers at the Railway View and the King Bill and being with otherpeop le was always a pleasure to Trevor. When Richard left school he went to work full time with Trevor in the shop. Trevor introduced Richard to football and took him to see his first professional match watching the local team Cambridge United. For a few years they followed the club and watched them play regularly and even followed them to Wembley for the play off finals. This was a time of very happy memories for them both.

In the early 1990s the retail landscape changed drastically and balancing the books at Station Stores became increasingly difficult. After a very challenging couple of years Trevor eventually went bankrupt in 1994. With nothing to hold them back Trevor and Richard took off on Boxing Day of 1994 and flew to Sydney in Australia where they did some travelling and watch some test match cricket. They stayed for three months and had a wonderful time and it gave them a chance to relax and enjoy some freedom away from the business pressures that they had previously been facing.

When they returned to the UK Trevor bought a second-hand Sierra and set himself up as a taxi driver. He was nothing if not a grafter and determined to get back on his feet and make the best of things. Taxi driving was to provide Trevor’s living for the next ten years of his life but he and Richard got into a great routine of working hard and saving up for 9 months of the year and then taking off on Boxing Day to spend 3 months in Australia or New Zealand. They had good friends Julie and Ross who they visited, they enjoyed exploring and seeing the sights, but they were equally happy sitting by the waterside in Sydney Harbour watching the boats coming and going. Trevor loved the Australian way of life; the way the people are so friendly and chatty, their relaxed approach and their love of the outdoor life. He fitted in perfectly and loved every minute.

Trips to Australia were not their only holidays and Trevor and Richard also discovered ocean cruising. They loved the adventure and the glamour of life on board a ship and of course Trevor had a captive audience and would talk to anyone and everyone. In 2001 Trevor and Richard took the plunge and bought their first home together in Bar Hill.

A couple of years later Trevor and Richard both decided to take a step towards better health and gave up smoking. This didn’t really have the desired effect for Trevor and he soon became unwell suffering with a terrible cough. When things did not improve he saw a doctor and was eventually diagnosed with heart failure. This was a huge shock for Trevor as he was only 49 at the time but he received first class care at Papworth Hospital where he underwent a quadruple heart by-pass which undoubtedly saved his life. He made a remarkable recovery and within a few days Richard would go and visit to find Trevor chatting away and making friends with all the other patients on the ward.

Having undergone such a serious operation Trevor clearly needed a change of lifestyle and so he gave up taxi driving and started parcel delivery which was at that time a very growing industry. With his usual work ethic he soon got stuck in and developed a another good business that provided a decent income. He and Richard continued to share a close and happy relationship and following the death of Richard’s mum they decided to have a change of scene and moved to Brighton, an area they had got to know and where they had made friends.

Trevor and Richard bought a bungalow in Saltdean which was in need of some love and attention and over the following months they created a comfortable and welcoming home. Using their contacts in the parcel delivery industry they soon picked up 3 parcel delivery rounds which turned out to be a great way to become familiar with the area. Trevor and Richard were fortunate to be able to work together without it causing too much stress and they were often together around the clock. Although this was only supposed to be a temporary stop gap they actually continued to deliver parcels for 7 years at the same time as enjoying a lively social life within a great community. They were often out with friends for drinks and meals and life on the South coast was good.

It was during a holiday with friends to Calahonda in Spain that Trevor and Richard were first introduced to the idea of caravanning as a brilliant way to tour and explore Europe. They thought it over for a while and decided that they would downsize to a flat and buy a caravan go travelling around Europe for a year. They duly bought the caravan and their first trip to Crystal Palace with friends was a huge success. Life threw a few obstacles in the way of going away for a whole year, but on 2012 they managed a 3-month tour of the UK and Ireland and despite the rain they knew they had been bitten by the caravan bug.

The following year Trevor and Richard both started working for Brighton College driving shuttle buses for the students. Trevor loved talking to his passengers and was really interested in what the younger generation had to say about the world. He soon started taking on other roles within the college including some caretaking and master minding the always tricky role of managing the car parking at open days. Trevor became a much-valued part of college life and really enjoyed himself chatting and making friends wherever he went. Working at the college had the obvious advantage of plenty of holidays which fitted ideally with Trevor and Richards new love of caravanning. They took off somewhere at every opportunity and before long Richards on-line blog had become a specialist caravan blog sharing experiences and advice with their ever-growing community of friends.

Richard told me that their 6 weeks holiday to Ireland in 2014 was their best ever and this was followed the next year by 7 weeks in France which they eventually came to terms with and grew to love. As the on line following for the blog and in twitter feed grew and grew Trevor had the brilliant idea of having a Twitter Camp so that on-line friends could meet face to face. These grew in popularity and were a great forum for chats, games and debates, and Trevor was at the heart of it enjoying every minute. Several more followed and the last one was held in Moreton in the Marsh just a few weeks ago. Trevor continued to have a big presence on-line and with blogs, tweeting and his Sunday night chats his community of friends, particularly fellow caravaners went from strength to .strength.

So Trevor and Richard were enjoying a great life together. They had a perfect work life balance and were living their dreams doing what they both loved. They had moved from being mates to partners to a married couple and although the paper work was never important to them they upgraded their civil partnership to marriage as a recognition of that right that people had worked so hard for. With Trevor planning to retire from work next year he and Richard had plenty of plans for the future, including a tour right around the coast of England, Scotland and Wales.

As you will all know those plans and dreams were brought to a crashing halt when Trevor died so suddenly on the 1st August. Whilst I know and understand that Richard is devastated by Trevor’s sudden death he told me he is trying to find some comfort that Trevor died without suffering and on a camp site, which was where he was happiest to be.

It’s clear from all I’ve heard about Trevor that he has been a much love and respected person. A very giving man, he has always worked hard, picked himself up in times of adversity and been tenacious in his determination to keep building a full and happy life. He was never afraid to change course and try something new and has found great joy and satisfaction in some unexpected places. His greatest loves recently have been Richard, his work, camping and enjoying a full and active social life, including plenty of chatting with friends from all walks of life.

Its clear from all I’ve heard about Trevor he has always been a loved and respected man. I know that Trevor is bound to be sadly missed by all of you who have known him and shared in his friendship but I hope you will all be comforted by your many happy memories of Trevor as you now gradually get used to living your lives without him.

I am sure you will all have your own memories of the way that Trevor has touched and influenced your lives so I would like to invite you to spend a few moments quietly with those thoughts while we listen to a piece of music and watch a slide show that Richard has put together for us now.

It is the uniqueness of each human life that is the basis of our grief in bereavement. Look throughout the whole world and there is not now and nor will there ever be anyone quite like Trevor. But he still lives on in all of your memories and although he is no longer a visible part of our lives Trevor will always remain a member of this family or of your circle of friends through the influence that he has had on you and the very special part he has played in your lives.

Hold onto Trevor in your thoughts; there is no need to part from him too quickly. Talk about him often, repeat the words and sayings that he used and the jokes you shared, and enjoy your memories of the happy times that you have shared with him. Although this is clearly a sad occasion for all of you here we should never forget the love and happiness that Trevor himself spread and we must be optimistic about the future because better days will surely come again to you all.

As our ceremony here now begins to draw to a close Richard has asked me to read a poem that he received recently and which he found very comforting as it reflects some of his thoughts at this time.

Someone I love has gone away And life is not the same

The greatest gift that you can give Is just to speak his name.

I need to hear the stories

And the tales of days gone past

I need for you to understand Those memories must last.

We cannot make more memories Since he’s no longer here

So when you speak of him to me

Its music to my ears.

I would now like to invite Richard to come forward as he was keen to share a few words with you all.

Ladies and Gentleman. It remains for me to thank you all for being here together today to celebrate and remember Trevor’s life and his personality. Richard has asked me to thank you all for the messages, cards and emails he has received recently and he would like you to know how much each and every one has been appreciated. At this difficult time social media has been a real force for good and has brought much comfort. Richard has asked me to invite you all to join him now back at the Railway View in Histon to continue the celebration of Trevor’s life. Any donations in Trevor’s memory are being made to Papworth Hospital Charitable Trust in appreciation of the first class care Trevor received there 15 years ago and if any of you would like to make a contribution instead of flowers you would be very welcome to do so, either now as we leave or at a later date.

We have been recalling here together with love and appreciation the life of Trevor Webdale and it is now time that we must take our leave of him. Would you all please stand if you can.

Here together in this last act, in great sadness, but without fear, in love and appreciation we must leave that part of Trevor that we cannot keep to its natural end.

Trevor I am sure I speak for all of us who are present when I say to you now:

We rejoice that you lived

And we are glad that we saw your face.

We took delight in your friendship

And treasure that we walked life with you.

We will cherish the memory of your words,

your achievements, your character and your many fine qualities.

With love we leave you in peace

With respect we bid you farewell.

Please join me in showing your appreciation for Trevor’s friendship in your life.

Trevor is now safe beyond fear, beyond harm and beyond any further pain. In great sadness for his death, but with thanks for his life and the good times we have shared, we will always remember him. And finally, let us remind ourselves that the dead do not reside in the grave, but safe, as a treasure, within the hearts and minds of all those they have loved. So hold onto your memories of how you have all shared with Trevor in the many joys of living.

As we leave here now we will close our ceremony with a final piece of music that Trevor himself requested should be played on this occasion.

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