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Eulogy For Dad - Part Two

The Second Part Of Jim Bradley - A Life In Miniature

By Niall James BradleyPublished 29 days ago 6 min read
Dad with Auntie Margaret on a trip to Australia.

Speaking on behalf of the rest of us……….

Kirsten has pointed out, there are so many memories she has of dad, there is just not enough time available to do them all justice.

When Kirsten thinks of dad she details 3 key things: Maps, Gardening and Home.

Maps and the Ordnance Survey to her = Dad's Blackburn Office and the huge map drawers with more pens, paper and rulers than you can shake a stick at – apparently that constituted a little girl's dream. These visits were usually around trips to the dentist in Accrington, then the chippy next door to Uncle Harry's workshop in Great Harwood, and going to Grandma and Grandad Bradleys and the cakes and biscuits always available there.

After she had been on a trip, dad would always ask where Kirsten had been and then they would sit down and study the map together. Kirsten reckons Dad was the one person who can navigate any section of the country by public houses alone.

Gardening: Kirsten also believes Dad to be the only person on the planet to teach that the time to plant potatoes is at the first full moon after the FA cup final.

He was always planting, mowing, pruning, and in the garden – At nearly 70 wearing “that jumper” mum knitted which grew longer and longer till it was round his knees is an abiding memory.

Dad was a proper homebird. He refused to go anywhere in the car on bank holidays as he hated traffic. He refused to go away in the summer because there was too much to do in the garden.

Kirsten lists – Homemade Curries, evicting squirrels from the shed, paddling pools, building bonfires, making fruit salad, polishing the brass, homebrew beer, cups of tea, and his refusal to answer the phone as among her special memories.

However - at every party, family get together or Christmas – there was Dad, not the life and soul but steadfastly joining in, having fun, having a pint and then usually found outdoors having a cigarette.

Dad to Kirsten was slow and steady (his stories particularly), patient (normally), an amiable person who we will all miss. In particular we played a family card game called Clagg that I think is the main reason that Stuart has given for joining our family (Sorry Kirsten!) but we all love it - and Kirsten avows it will never be the same again without Dad.

Iain’s memories of Dad (being Iain) are somewhat blunt and a bit of a laugh.

· Iain always remembers there being jobs to do around the house ,washing up, feeding chickens ,cleaning them out, digging the garden etc

· Also lots of walks with the dog , generally ending up at the Robin Hood. With bottles of coke and that blinking donkey that lived in the field behind the pub.

· Dad was always involved in whatever we did. He managed football teams for us, went on scout camps, got involved with the cricket club. All just because it helped us as kids

· Iain remembers us all being squashed in the car – it was horrendous and the fights never ended!!

· Grandma and Grandad Bradleys Christmas parties and the highly competitive Christmas trees counting competitions on the way home – we think Dad cheated

· The many, many, football matches he would ferry us all to , then home for a bath and a Sunday roast, then the kids washing up with the top 40 on the radio while dad had the last go in the Sunday bath water – those were the days !!

· Iain really enjoyed annoying Dad of a morning by slowing his routine up or wanting to pinch his breakfast before work. Dad always had a fried breakfast – that’s farmers for you.

· Going to the swimming baths at Leyland on Sunday mornings – more of swimming later

· Iain also appreciated having Dad in your corner for the infamous lounge boxing matches between us kids, because Mum wasn’t as good at boxing

· Dad shouting over the old cricket field gate because it was nearly dark and we were never home on time

· Going on Rovers with homemade wooden boxes that he made so we could see in the crowd and which weighed a ton.

· Being told not to put the fork through the potatoes when you go to dig them up

· Dad waking us up when we had been on a night out as teenagers at the weekend saying ‘what time do you call this’ and accusing us of burning the candle at both ends.

· That Dad, on Iain’s stag do, got run off the track at go-karting, spending the rest of the weekend with broken ribs but still up for the event.

· But most of all Iain remembers the feeling that for Dad one house, one wife and one family seemed enough. He didn’t need any more, he loved us all, and always got involved in everything we did.

· Iain points out that Dad wasn’t big on hugs, kisses or giving too much praise, he couldn’t dance or sing (something we all have in common) and we never saw him play any sport , which is odd for someone who was so into his sport

Iain can honestly say that he never saw Jim have an argument fight or bad word with anyone, and we are obviously delighted by all the lovely comments we have had regarding what a truly nice bloke Jim Bradley our dad was

For myself Dad was an ordinary bloke doing his best in what was a typically chaotic family environment. He was a father, brother, husband, father in-law, grandad, uncle and no-one gives you an instruction book for what you have to do in any of those roles - but he always did his very best.

My own fondest memories of him are

· Watching Rovers and a pre-or post-match pint (always the best bit)

· As kids laughing so much at meal times that you spat out your (home-brew) shandy.

· Dad watching every school football match for 4 years before we won one – Our sports teacher Mr Fenton’s comments to our team once – ‘You lot are rubbish and I can’t believe Mr Bradley doesn’t have anything better to do than watch you every week’ - He didn’t realise the list of jobs my Mum had waiting at home.

· He promised to build us a climbing frame, slide and sand pit. I have looked all over and I still can’t find them over 50 years later !

· A Brown Suede Jacket or Brown Leather Jacket - his favourite style – and a reassuring site as he appeared, always slightly late as we were panicking that our lift/source of funds hadn’t turned up

· Dad running out of petrol on the way to Blackpool illuminations for Iain's Birthday – on Leyland Lane – we had only got a mile and a half !

· Swimming –

· 2 episodes epitomise our dad – the famous rescue of the lad from the River Ribble at Ribchester who had wellies on and a pocket full of stones when he fell in – Dad and Uncle Harry to the rescue , with Dad diving in wearing his tan suede jacket

· Dad swimming across Loch Lubnaig on holiday and nearly drowning – and walking all the way back round the loch – his comment ‘ I need a fag and a cup of tea ……..and I’m not bleeding doing that again, it’s further than it looks !!’

We hope that whatever Jim was to you, you recognise some of those traits and remember him fondly for them.

Grumpy, stubborn, opiniated at times and definitely not PC. Also loving (in his own way) dependable, genuine, straight and there if and when you needed anything.

A mixture of strengths and weaknesses like everyone has …………and therefore a great role model if you fancy being quite normal

Or probably to sum him up best …………..just a typical Bradley !

Thanks Dad from all of us for all the times we had together.

parents

About the Creator

Niall James Bradley

I am a teacher who lives in the north west of England. I write about many subjects, but mainly I write non-fiction about things that interest me, fiction about what comes into my head and poetry about how I feel.

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    Niall James BradleyWritten by Niall James Bradley

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