Many regulars to Wayside Farm Shop will have already heard the sad news that Fin passed away on Wednesday 10th July after his five-year battle with cancer. He fought with dignity and strength to the end and, if anyone ever asked him how he was doing, he’d always reply with a ‘tickety-boo’.
Not only was Fin my partner, he was also instrumental in building up Wayside with me over the past 16 years. Without him, I would never have been able to make it the success it is today.
We met 18 years ago in Buckingham in a local pub. That won’t come as a surprise to those who knew Fin and his fondness for a pint. He also had an amazing, in-built timer which told him when to leave the pub just in time for dinner being served.
As well as continuing his job as a kitchen and bathroom fitter, Fin supported me and all my crazy ideas for the farm shop every step of the way.
That said, we were a very independent couple with our own interests. In recent years, Fin’s pride and joy has been restoring an old Citroen DS which he was determined would be ready to drive my daughter Nicola to her wedding last September …. and it was.
Fin could turn his hand to anything and was passionate about motorbikes. As well as restoring them, he had many adventures touring Europe on his Honda VFR 800 together with his friends or his sons Jamie and Rob and daughter Isobel.
We also had some wonderful holidays together, the highlight being Cuba which Fin fell in love with. He loved the cars, the music and the atmosphere. He also had some near scrapes with his wheeling-and-dealing in an attempt to buy some cigars for his brother Gerry (it’s illegal for people to sell things privately in Cuba but Fin found someone who offered him a good deal which he couldn’t resist).
Born in Broughty Ferry near Dundee, Fin was fiercely proud of being a Scot. The first thing he did on being diagnosed with cancer was buy himself a Douglas tartan kilt. One of our favourite places to visit in Scotland was Largo and that’s where he chose for his ashes to be scattered.
As his illness progressed, although he had to give up many of his hobbies, he was still able to read and was always hungry for knowledge – be it the history of WW2 or the world’s political situation.
His last outing was to London to attend my daughter Clare’s wedding. Although very poorly, he was able to join us for a celebration meal at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel.
I shall miss him terribly as will his family and his many friends.
Fin’s funeral will be on 23rd July at 1.45pm at Cheltenham Crematorium. Everyone who knew him is welcome to attend but Fin asked that no-one wear black but dress as they would on any day.
Many of his biker friends are planning to follow the hearse as it makes its journey from Wayside Farm Shop to Cheltenham so if you’d like to be part of the bike convoy, please be at Wayside for 12.30pm on the day.
Following the funeral, we’ll be getting together at the Tea Room here to remember Fin.
Instead of flowers, if you’re interested in making a donation to either http://www.maggiescentres.org/cheltenham/introduction.html who have been a great support during this difficult time or Cancer Research’s prostate cancer project: http://myprojects.cancerresearchuk.org/projects/prostate-cancer