Thank you to the Teddington & Hampton Wick Voluntary Care Group

Brian's time in Teddington was significantly improved with the help of the local voluntary care group. As his health limited his mobility they were there to help him to get out and about. First walkers would encourage him to get out with sticks then with his frame. The bus trips to the shops and garden centres helped him to continue living independently and extended Brian's social links. Two of the volunteer drivers, Chris and Colin, came to the crematorium. Colin was able to come on to 'the wake' where he was joined by Natalie who also became Brian's hairdresser. We have also been in touch with Miriam at their office. They all spoke of how much they enjoyed Brian's company and wicked sense of humor.

Recognizing all the help and care that Brian received all the donations in lieu of flowers were sent to the Teddington & Hampton Wick Voluntary Care Group. Some of their core services are funded but your donations can allow them to add the Christmas Party etc. These social events help to enrich the lives of many with limited mobility and also says thanks to the volunteers.


'The Wake' at Harrowdene Gardens

Brian's challenge to us was to drink his flat dry. Unfortunately my father had taken to buying in bulk whenever he saw a bargain or he could get stocks delivered. The stock highlights included over 4 litres of Gin, over 3 cases of red wine and plenty of beer, whiskies etc. The number of drivers was managed well and so we had a good go before sending all home with a bottle or 2 to raise a glass to Brian with.

Brian's Gardeners, Jane and Helene.

Alison, Audrey & Katherine.

Chris, Rob, Jacqui & Pat.

Entry posted by Alison McGonigle (Brian's Daughter)


We Failed Brian!

Brian's clear instructions left with the will was that there was to be
  • No Funeral.
  • No memorial service.
  • Or suchlike.
Brian Edward Burtt was an English Graduate from St. Catherine's College, Cambridge and he knew how to remove any wriggle room - "or suchlike".

Alison McGonigle, his surviving daughter, acted quickly to organise the donation of his body according to his plans but the hospital needed to establish cause of death. This delay prevented his donation being accepted so we had to book the Hanworth Crematorium for the 5th Sept.
Everywhere she went that week, Alison met with carers, his cleaner, even volunteer drivers that took him to the supermarket who were shocked and upset and wanted to "say goodbye" at the crem.
So we failed even more and on the day had a good turnout at from his family, carers and neighbours.
I took the task of crafting a simple farewell to Brian, that would not mock his wishes but nevertheless allow a time for those he left behind to say goodbye. It took the form of:
  • A reading of the "Elven Hymn to Elbereth"
    from 'The Fellowship of the Ring', J.R.R Tolkein,
    read by Brian's Grandson Richard McGonigle.
    Brian was a great reader of Tolkein.
  • A long silence. Many peoples of the book, Catholic, CofE, Orthadox, and Muslim were represented and this allowed them to privately say their words in their traditions.
  • The last post was played.
  • Brian went out to Soul Limbo by Booker T.
    This represented his family's tradition of cricket, his love of the game and his time in the West Indies.
The TMS theme tune produced a few chortles and sent us out to talk of Brian and on to 'the wake'. To fail again with his instruction to drink his flat dry but we would have a good try!

Rob McGonigle, Brian's Son in Law.