It is with deep sadness that I must inform you of the sad passing of our dear friend, Geoff, on Sunday 30th April.
For the 26 years I have been involved in the theatre Geoff has always been a pivotal figure in the organisation. He has touched the lives of so many members and visitors over the years in the various roles he has undertaken. When we first met his words to me, in his usual deadpan style, were “What’s that bloody racket you’re playing?” which set the tone of our relationship from the outset as kindred spirits.
Geoff was a key member of the committee for many years, including a long tenure as chairman, where he helped to grow the society and provide a secure financial base without which we would have been unable to continue through the pandemic. It was my honour to take over the leadership role when he finally decided the time was right for him to stand down.
Geoff’s contribution to the Theatre cannot be overstated. In addition to his role on the committee he was always the first to help with the day-to-day tasks of running the venue; from stocking the bar to emptying the bins Geoff was always willing to pitch in and do more than his fair share. If we were ever in need of help Geoff was there to provide it including his most recent foray into operating the lighting system for the pantomime, a role he had never undertaken before, but one which he approached with enthusiasm.
Geoff will, of course, be well remembered for his involvement with building sets for the many plays over the years. Indeed, it was a rare Thursday which passed without the sight of Geoff, usually having arrived straight from Scotland, elbow deep in a half-constructed piece of scenery. Adopting the questioning attitude of a true Nuclear professional, he was never afraid to challenge what was thought to be the convention and his regular use of the question “what are you doing that for?” echoes around the building to this day.
Whilst far from being shy and retiring he was not a frequent visitor to the stage, preferring instead to support the shows via vital backstage roles and leaving the showing-off to others. However, his most memorable stage appearance came at the end of a pantomime, where Sandra proposed to him in front of a packed audience. We don’t believe these two facts are related in any way.
In more recent years, during the pandemic, Geoff busied himself with carrying out some of the many maintenance jobs which needed doing which we never seemed to find the time for. Socially distanced Tuesdays saw the foyer re-decorated and the bar completed, with Thursday nights serving as an opportunity for three of us to sit as far as possible from each other and discuss paint and the relative merits of twenty differing tones of grey.
Geoff’s legacy will live on with the Theatre and we will celebrate his contributions to us over the years and remember him with fondness.
Thanks Geoff, for everything.
For those who wish to attend, Geoff’s funeral is on Wednesday 17th May at the Vale Royal Crematorium, Shurlach Lane, Davenham, Northwich. CW9 8RP. This will be followed by refreshments at: Heyrose Golf Club, Budworth Road, Knutsford. WA16 0HZ. Family flowers only. Donations in Geoff’s memory can be made to Cancer Research UK and The British Heart Foundation.