A tribute to Alan Dimbleby

by Sue Short

Today, just before I left on my journey to Aylesford Priory, I heard that our good friend Alan had died. [It seems Alan died after an accident at work.]

He was a family man – loved by his wife and children. I first met Alan at a Residents’ Committee meeting. He greeted me with his wonderful broad grin – I immediately felt at ease.

He was kind and generous with his time. He took me on a tour of Charmwood Farm where he worked. He showed me the bat caves; the best place to view Norsted Manor and the banks and ditches – perhaps the work of a farmer-a farmer just like Alan.

Alan gave guided tours around Charmwood Farm – Pratts Bottom villagers could admire the fields and woods close to their village. He cheerfully showed us wild flowers; long lost footpaths; the new orchard he had planted – he smiled his lovely smile – he was proud – and so were we.

Alan always helped at village fairs, quizes and functions – stacking chairs and tables – he could be relied upon to get things done.

What happens now? Alan would know.

He was simply a lovely man – famous for cracking a corny joke; relied upon to help when help was needed. Within him was something special. Without him we are bereft.

Alan Dimbleby leading a walk on Charmwood Farm in 2008

Alan Dimbleby leading a walk on Charmwood Farm in 2008

Alan

That broad grin
Those corny jokes
That made us chuckle and smile
Always a gentle manner
Never abrasive or cruel
He was part of our village
That’s all – that’s all.

Chairs and tables stacked
Spaces cleared
Traffic directed
Tents erected
Part of our village community
That’s all – that’s all.

Bat caves revealed
Banks and ditches shown
Photographs taken
That broad grin again
Part of the fields
Part of the woods
Part of the countryside
That’s all – that’s all.

A family man
A good friend
A loyal worker
Not forgotten that broad grin
Those corny old jokes
Who will make us laugh now?
That’s all – that’s all.

Sue Short, 24 July 2015