From the mean streets of Collyhurst to the dreaming spires of Oxford by dint of his intellect and dedication, Dad got on. A lifelong believer in equality and fairness he was one of the many who forged the way for Attlee's post war government to found the welfare state. Labour forever was Dad.
A passion for science fiction, music and women – these things never left him. He was the best of granddads to my girls. Happy to take them and pick them up from school. Endlessly patient and loving towards them.
He read the Guardian when it was the Manchester Guardian and still meant something, no Polly Toynbees back then.
Remember him finally giving in to my request to go see United. A match against Juventus and on the Stretford end. The other fans in the stands were effing and blinding. He told them to stop cos his impressionable son was there. Thankfully we didn't get beaten up. And how sweet of him.
When I was about 10 dad got a peculiar work assignment. Providing food colouring for the buckets of slop circus clowns throw at each other. As a result of this I got to be taken to the circus at Belle Vue and go sit with the clown pre performance in his caravan and watch him transform himself with make up nto the character I would soon see in the centre of the ring. To a child this was magical.
Driving through North Wales in the Wolseley. Sun shining, just me and him listening to the top 40 on the car radio he made (which used to wander off a bit) and so happy together.
In the holday home in Benllech. Him drying my hair. On the beach in the little boat he borrowed him, me and Ruth rowing in the sea. Bliss.