Andrew’s book of condolences

Andrew John Wain was my brother for nearly 60 years. He died on September 15th 2020 just 10 days before his 63rd birthday. “Andrew could be a handful at times,” said one acquaintance recently, which is very true. Inevitably, my relationship with Andrew and my memories of him will be different from those who regarded him as a friend, worked alongside him or knew him at school. It would be great to hear your memories of him.

Andrew and me in 1968 on one of our family holidays in Cornwall. Andrew is the fat one on the right.

I set this up in response to a request from a school friend of Andrew’s for people to record their condolences and anecdotes. All posts are moderated so please be patient if your comment doesn’t go live straight away. Please be sensitive to the feelings of Andrew’s parents and me! Although I doubt that there is anything you could say about Andrew that would shock me, I reserve the right to bin anything inappropriate. If in doubt just post it and I’ll make the judgement, trust me, I won’t be offended.

Andrew, always ready to entertain…

I’ll leave this post live for a few weeks. Once the comments cease I am sure that I can collate them and circulate them to interested parties.

Andrew’s book of condolences

38 thoughts on “Andrew’s book of condolences

  1. I first met Andrew when he joined Willian Rhodes School in the third year, after relocating from Cheshire. We knew each other all the way through School and the 6th Form and then together went to Trent Poly in Nottingham for 5 Years, with Neville Hall, a good friend of his, also. After that we had a “rest” for a year and Andy, Neville Hall and myself wondered around Derbyshire enjoying ourselves like the guys in ” Last of the Summer Wine”. I can write many great thing about Andrew, and as I thought, my mind just filled with key qualities and adjectives. I leave you with these words and adjectives because each one is part of many of my stories and each one will also fit to many of your stories:-
    Always smiling
    Permanent Cheeky Grin
    Sometimes mischievous, in thought if not actually
    A Great Friend
    A Great Influencer
    A Great Leader
    All round a really nice guy

    Sadly missed, R.I.P old friend

  2. So sad to hear the loss of 1 of our Own from the class of 69-76. Although I was not a close friend of Andrew & can’t offer any reminisces of our time spent at Willies. (I’m sure others will) I will however be honoured to represent our Fraternity on the 30th. My sincere condolences to all Andrew’s family & friends at this very difficult time #mates for life. Very best regards, Bruce Baskerville.

  3. On behalf of all Andrew’s school mates from the William Rhodes School – The Class of 1969-1974 we say a fond farewell to a classmate and a friend. We fondly remember Andrew mostly for his infectious smile and the stories of his love for visiting local pubs, walking and caving. Even on our school photograph your cheeky smirk stands out. Your practical jokes in 6th Form Biology are still remembered today as well as the stories of your River Trent Fishing trips with the school.
    We are sorry we could not trace you to join our School Reunions but rest assured old friend we won’t forget you and we will raise a glass in your honour on the times we meet in the future. How we would have loved to have seen that smile, that cheeky smirk just one more time. Your not forgotten old friend.
    Rest in Peace old friend, #matesforlife

  4. I was at school with Andrew but we weren’t close friends during that time. We each had our respective ‘gang’ of friends we stayed close to. I remember though this new kid starting a few years after we did and I recall thinking the new kid had the good looks of George Best.
    I also recall that cheeky grin, more of a smirk he had on his face all the time. When I heard of Andrew’s untimely passing I looked at my copy of the School photograph. Sure enough, there he is sat with that cheeky smirk on his face. A lovely lad, well thought of by his peers.
    Sleep well old friend, may you forever, rest in peace.

  5. It’s been so long since I saw Andy, but I have such good memories of the year we spent together back when we were in our twenties – we laughed such a lot. Some of the things I remember – that cheeky grin, the long red fleece jacket which seemed surgically attached to him, that dreadful green car with the red and yellow replacement panels, rolling endless cigarettes for him and (as a non-smoker) never getting them quite right, rained-out hiking days drinking in the Hill Inn – we had some good times
    Miss you Mr. Wain

    1. That “dreadful green car” was a left hand drive ex British Army Ford Escort estate. The odd panels followed a little accident in Cheddar Gorge one New Year’s Day. My fondest memory of that car was driving through our home village with The Sex Pistols blaring out at full volume. Just the sort of behaviour I am now the first to complain about. And then there was the time Andrew was stopped by the police because he had a giant teddy bear sitting in the front (right hand) passenger seat; it had its seat belt on, “what’s the problem, officer?”.

      1. Though we were not really known to each other, as our circle of friends differed. We are, however, tied together by the William Rhodes School for gentlemen, 1969 to 1974. Rest easy fellow Rhodian.

      2. I know all about that rock – I was in the car at the time (along with you and ?Ian?) and felt very guilty because as you may well remember, Andrew’s driving could be a little bit terrifying, and I said to him “you need to have an accident to slow you down” and the very next day that rock happened…

  6. Guys and the one and only Sara P.
    As his Dad it brings joy and sadness in reading these stories of my son Andrew, but eh, more please because his Mum and I have loved reading them.
    Thank you .

  7. Our paths seldom crossed at school as Andrew was not in our little click. Not many were in fairness !! It’s so nice to read the comments from Mark, a true friend, and to get a picture of how Andrew loved life and touched the hearts of those who had the pleasure of knowing him. The pain of loss is hard to bear and my thoughts go out to you his family. Farewell. RIP.

  8. I’m another one who moved in different circles with different mates… the stories our fellow Rhodians have shared shed light on what a lovely likeable character he was..
    R.I.P Andy… condolence to your family..will raise a pint..

  9. Very sad news to hear about Andy.
    I was a school friend of Andy during our time at the William Rhodes school although I didn’t really get to know him too well until the 6th form.
    We both had a passion for Angling – his was coarse fishing and mine was fly fishing for trout.
    A Fishing club was organised at school and I seem to remember this was arranged by a lad called Barry Northedge (he was in the year above us at school and I am sure he went on to become Head Boy). As Barry was a responsible kid we never had any teachers go with us to supervise.
    The fishing club matches were arranged to fish on the River Trent at Collingham near Newark. I seem to recall we went about 3 times.
    I had done a little coarse fishing with a fellow pupil, Paddy Goodwin, on local ponds near to where we lived at Pilsley, so Paddy and myself joined the fishing club to go to the William Rhodes School fishing matches on the River Trent.
    A coach usd to pick us up from the Top Gate at school on a saturday morning. Me and Paddy would be there with our little rod bags and tins of maggots. Barry and Andy (along with a couple of other lads ) had the ‘proper gear’. Rod cases with a few rods in and proper baskets to sit on !
    The fishing matches lasted I think 5 hours – Paddy and myself never caught a thing but Andy Wain and Barry Northedge caught loads , we both used to think how has Andy caught all those. But still an enjoyable day out even though no fish caught by myself.
    I can remember Andy winning with the heaviest weight catch. He definately knew what he was doing .

    Fond memories

  10. Very sad to hear of your loss, didn’t know your brother as well as some of our other “ mates for life” but never good when we loose someone far too soon
    Regards, Chris Barnacle ( Barney)

  11. Andy was a wonderful William Rhodes lad with a great sense of humour.
    I largely know him from our time together during the VIth form (and a bit before and after). He was thoughtful, considerate and reliable: a friend who wouldn’t let you down. He was fun loving, cheekily daring sometimes… good to be around.
    There’ll be loads of memories others will recall, but here’s a couple I have:
    … At school, together with VIth form student mates mischievously building a still, in secret, inside a cupboard in a sixth form chemistry lab to produce a tube of alcohol. Crazy!
    … Apron on, sleeves rolled up, in after-school cookery classes to prepare us – with a pinch of salt – for independent student days. What a laugh those classes were!
    … Outside of school, there he still is for me: open shirt over a T-shirt, walking boots, thin as a pole but tough as nails…. he could do a long hike in the sticks and then think nothing of walking it back to ‘Moorside. And as I think of him again…there he is, enjoying a pint, and up for a wayward game of darts.
    He was a lovely guy. Death shall not dim the memories we have of him.

  12. I was at school with Andrew, although younger, in the same year as Adrian, his brother. Post school I also knew Andrew from Trent Poly Caving Club. My memories of Andrew span a couple of decades and many miles.

    I remember him generously driving us around the Yorkshire Dales almost as soon as he had passed his driving test in a hired car. Being an inexperienced driver, there were a few “mishaps” along the way. Later, Andrew would often go out of his way to pick me up in Sheffield and drive north to the Dales or south to Nottingham for TPCC meets.

    Most of my time spent with Andrew was around other people and these events were usually somewhere between noisy and raucous. Performance art generally of one sort or another; squeezing through the cart-wheel suspended above a table at the Hill Inn; creating a surprise, or shock perhaps, for a fellow on their return to the table after a toilet break were perfect examples.

    On rare occasions, I would have one-on-one time with Andrew. This was either in a pub, or a long walk whilst waiting for cavers to return to the surface in order to go to the pub, or just in the pub (did I mention that already?). On these occasions, he and I would actually have some quite deep, very enjoyable, philosophical, conversations. These one-on-one conversations with Andrew were profoundly different to the rowdy times had in larger groups, and I will never forget the calm, thoughtful manner in which he was able to engage in meaningful discussion.

    Andrew was generous in every way and empathetic with an infectious smile. I haven’t spoken with Andrew in more than three decades, but my time with him was always memorable. I’ve related a few that I remember above, and there are many more that I haven’t mentioned. Our relationship covered a significant amount of emotional ground in those heady days of the1980s, times that I consider formative and often a source for reflection. I was distressed to hear of his health decline in the last couple or so years and I miss knowing that he is not still around. I will not forget him.

    Posted by Adrian following personal correspondence with Jeremy.

  13. Didn’t get to catch up with Andy the last time I came back to The UK, from here in Australia, for the last William Rhodes reunion. I always remember Andy had a great smile. Sad to lose one of our ”mates for life”. Our thoughts are with you and your family at this sad time. Rest In Peace Andy old buddy.

  14. My thoughts are with Adrian Maurice and Clare at this sad time. I recall many happy, crazy and scary times with Andrew we were good mates at school and reading some of the comments brings back even more memories – that odd green car, his dreadful and scary driving, endless roll ups and many caving expeditions in Derbyshire with just a lamp and overalls. I shared a house with Andrew and 2 guys from Leeds and his housekeeping was none existent but we had many memorable parties there. After Poly we worked together in Residential home for kids but we lost contact after my wedding which he attended. I tried to make contact last year but it did not happen and the news of his death was a shock – a life taken too soon. Good to hear from “Olly” again and at least Andrew’s death has spurred many memories. Rest in Peace Andrew

  15. I was not a close friend of Andy but I do recall him as being very happy and always smiling. He had a cheeky grin! He was a good lad and he has been taken from us far too early. Rest in peace Andy. Regards Martin

  16. My earliest days with Andy were at Trent Poly where our friendship grew from a mutual interest in outdoor pursuits, such as caving and hill walking. Over the years we enjoyed many exploits together and he could be difficult to get on with when opinions differed. However this resulted in a rich base of memories for me to remember him by. As we made our own way through life our paths would frequently cross and our friendship would pick up where we left off. He has left us too early and i will miss him.

  17. Very sad to hear that Andrew has left us far too soon.
    I knew Andrew at school and was also occasionally part of a hiking/walking group along with him and other school mates and some Lady Manners school young ladies. Andrew’s sense of humour and fun made trudging through wet and windy Derbyshire hills almost enjoyable . Andrew was also partly responsible for introducing me to the delights and perils of potholing and thus ensuring I would never set foot in one again for my and everyone else’s safety.
    I will remember Andrew as a friendly , fun , kind , quick witted and intelligent lad , whom I have had the privilege to know .
    My thoughts are with his family and friends at this very sad time .
    Rest In Peace Andrew .

  18. I remember Andrew from the photograph but l wasn’t in his circle of friends. It is obvious from the comments passed that he was a likeable and loyal just sorry that l never got to know him. R I P

  19. RIP Andrew. My sincere condolences to all your family. I have some great memories of my school days, Andrew will always be part of them.

  20. We didn’t really know each other at school and that was my loss . . . Sleep well fellow Rhodian and condolences to the family.

  21. An excellent gesture from Chris Roberts, his Mum and I are forever grateful as are we to all you guys comments.

    Thank you
    Mum and Dad.

  22. I can remember Andrew joining us in Scott a bit later on in school I’ve seen all these tales about practical jokes etc I wished I’d got to know Andrew a lot more and joined forces ..RIP ANDREW

  23. I have happy memories of Andrew in my last year at William Rhodes.
    We were in the same “Mitchell” house and we sat adjacent to each other in our “RKB” class in a terrapin hut. We were barely 16 and still so young and unworldly. I know most of the old school names who have made a contribution here and I am left wondering “ Where did all those years go?”.
    I will always remember walking home from school with Andrew to Holymoorside for tea with his family. I have never forgotten the kindness he showed this particular “shy boy”. I wish I had known you more Andrew.
    God bless you and your family and may your soul find everlasting peace.

  24. I think I only met Andrew once, at your wedding. He picked the big yellow flower we added to your wedding album. A bright celebration of family xxx
    I can’t imagine how confusing it is to lose a sibling or for mum n dad to prepare to say last goodbyes. My thoughts and prayers are with you this week. Hugs to mum and dad and of course you and Catherine xxx

  25. September 30th 2020 will always be remembered as Andrews Day, and how perfect a send off it was, true perfection.
    Class of 1969/1975, to Chris, Mark and Bruce.
    Sheffield friends Anna his ex landlady and her son Luke.
    Our two next-door neighbours Lynn and Geoff
    His mum’s friend and daughter, Cheris and Caroline
    The vicar who gave us a splendid service, Michael.
    The undertaker and his crew, John Birds Holymoorside.
    The Crematorium Staff and everything that made it look easy and thoughtful
    for his Mum and Dad, thank you guys.

    Maurice & Clare, Adrian and Catherine god bless all of you and many thanks indeed for the exceptional gift of the 1969/1975 history document and of course the splendid and special lapel badges depicting William Rhodes.

  26. So, yesterday we said our last goodbye to our friend Andrew. His #matesforlife, the William Rhodes School Class of 1969 to 1975 will not forget him. Rest in Peace old friend, we are so grateful to have had your company.

  27. Oh dear, it’s very remiss of me to leave out the final chapter of those delicious refreshments provided by the local Bullshead Pub. ( Andrew’s old watering hole)
    The service and quality of the food could not be faulted, thank you Anna and her staff.

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