Tribute given by John Lockhart
Where did it all begin?
Short answer; The Salvation Army's Mothers' Home, Stoke Newington. The family home was in Chingford and many babies from the area were born at the mothers' home.
Bill's father was a carpenter and had a great interest in music; the front room was always full of instruments. This was where Bill's trumpet playing skills and interest in music developed.
It was a welcoming home. Bill's mother was always happy to entertain his friends and provide food at any time of the day.
First school; Chase Lane
Dificult to imagine the one and a half mile walk with gas mask over one arm, but it was wartime. Bill successfully negotiated the 11+ so then went on to Sir George Monoux Grammar School. This was a crucial stage in his life. Amongst other things, a great sporting talent developed. Superb footballer, cricketer, swimming (butterfly) for the county. Bill had a natural talent for timing which was apparent later with tennis, golf and snooker.
Bill had an ancient tandem; a terrifying experience especially when the pedals went out of sync, as they could!
The shchool's first overseas trip after the war was to Kandersteg in Switzerland. Most of us went by train but Bill and two others, Bob Wyton and Derek Alderman, cycled - two on the tandem, amazing!
They were happy years. Trumpet playing continued, though renditions of 'Oh Mein Papa in my parents' garden at midnight were not well received by the neighbours.
London School of Economics
Bill spent some time at the LSE. Some of us, including Eddie Fairman and John Lockhart, worked as waiters in Eastbourne during vacations. Suffice to say that Bill's natural co-ordination did not readily translate into the skills required for waiting. The tourist industry of Eastbourne (Stanley House Hotel) is still recovering 60 years on!
At this time Bill noticed a beautiful girl - not that this was anything ourt of character, but this time it was Alma, who was to become his wife.
Commissioned in the Royal Army Service Corps. Bill had a facination for military history, particularly as family members had been part of the Boer war and he was prone to relive details fo battles fought in considerable detail. He had a great memory.
Anyway, on his wedding day, Bill was in appropriate military uniform. The abiding memory of that day was the happy couple setting off for honeymoon in Bill's battered old MG which had a defective passenger seat, Alma perched on it extremely elegantly. It was 30 miles before it broke down!
Greater part of Bill's working life.
Robins, Davies, Little, City loss adjusters. Hugely successful career where he became director responsible for overseas operations and travelled widely.
Bill and Alma's first and only house, at Great Amwell near Ware, Hertfordshire - but then it was much smaller. I remember when I and my soon-to-be wife visited and helped with the patio, with Bill supervising from an upstairs window! Then came the swinginig sixties and the arrival of Nick, Jeremy and Emma. Bill was immensely and rightly proud of his chidren and indeed six grandghildren, He was never happier than when he was surrounded by his family.
Still time for sport
Bill was a member of the Old Monovian's team, Southern Olympian League and champions 1953 and 58. St margeretsbury Cricket Club became more important to him, as a player and later as president. He topped the batting average for three consecutive seasons. Three years ago he helped re-ecstablish what was the Fuller cup for local teams and donated the trophy, with proceeds to the Isobel Hospice, which is greatly appreciated.
Fifteen years ago
Almost to the day was the tragedy of Alma's death, a huge loss to endure. Family and friends were crucial as Bill gradually rebuilt his life.
Bill, then, was a man of great talent and many interests, above all else, in people. By his own admission, he was an advanced hypochondriac and took great delight in having consultations with the medical profession - to tell them what he wanted to hear from them! Dr. Jim was one of the regular golfing four. Bill had to be limited to two medical questions per round, otherwise gold would be more tiring than a hard day at the surgery! But at times it was for real. Bill suffered bouts of depression throughout his life, of course, and the last few months proved very tough indeed. But he was still determined to keep in touch. For some, that meant receiving calls at 7.30 in the morning! His great desire to engage with people was illustrated during one of his stays in Harlow hospital. He had formed a great friendship with the man in the opposite bed and took it as a personal affront when the man allowed himself to be discharges! He anxiosly awaited the ne w arival, The gentleman was still being settled in when Bill approached him and sais "hello old chap, where are you from?" Great smile; "A&E actually"
To sum up
So, Bill, a big man in all respects, but a gentle man; he hated seeing harm done to any creature, large or small. A gentle giant, if you like. A life full of interest and achievement - yes at times he was outragious. A self confessed romantic preferring to see the world as he wanted, not necessarily as it was. In short, a great character.
We celebrate the fact that we had such a person n our lives. We will miss him greatly, family and friends alike. Rest in peace.
John Lockhart, October 2012
I was very sad indeed to hear of the passing of Bill Anderson, a long time "hero", dear friend, and friendly competitor in business.Unfortunately I have not seen much of him over the recent past as I have, as you know, lived in Australia for thirty years, but we always spoke on the phone at Christmas to talk over old times.Would you please convey my condolences to his family. Of the children Nicholas is the best known to me as he worked for my firm some years ago.Were I able to attend the funeral I would, but am on a Cruise ship in the middle of the Pacific at the moment.
Sorry to hear about Bill Anderson. He was a contemporary of mine and as I recall played football for Walthamstow Boys and also played the cornet at Mr Hyde's mid morning music. If I remember correctly, my association with Bill goes back way before Monoux. At the outbreak of WW2 there was a rush to evacuate young children from London. At that time I was a pupil at Chase Lane School in Chingford and was evacuated to Great Wakering near Southend. I and two other small boys-we were only about 6 years old at the time- were billetted with a Mr and Mrs Wall. I am quite sure one of the other boys was Bill and I seem to remember Bill confirming this to me when we met at Monoux years later. Of course 2 months after evacuation the scare was over and we were all back in London. How sad to see time catching up with my contemporaries. However, I can't complain as I still have a reasonably level of fitness although I think a second hip replacement is on the cards quite soon. All the long distance walking my wife and I have done around the world must have worn them out!!