Eric Glyn 1948 - 2021


The Cricketer’s memories


By Glyn Roberts


I first met Eric on a cricket pitch, where, playing for Whitstable Labour Club, he proved an impediment to our progress through their batting order. Somewhere behind his mighty thighs stood the wicket, but it was not clear exactly where. Although a Lancashire man, he batted in the style of Geoffrey Boycott, and amassed respectable scores without the indignity attached to running quick singles. On the strength of one of these innings, he returned to Whitstable full of joy, and won himself a lady. He was also surprisingly good at taking catches, though his leaps had more in common with the salmon than the gazelle.


He took a few years’ sabbatical, then popped up unexpectedly at the Iron Wharf in a well-found wooden boat, on which he was to reside for the next several years. He adopted a singular mode of dress, and made many friends. One of them, Nathan, described him as an “enlightened chaperone”, leading him out to great places, people and parties. During one of the football World Cups, he confused the locals at the Swan sports bar by brazenly displaying a large Ecuadorian flag.

Eric’s piano student remembers


My first piano lessons with Eric started in the summer, under a tarpaulin shelter on the quay at Iron Wharf, where he would give impromptu recitals for the benefit of dog walkers and puzzled eastern European pickers on their way to Tesco. As autumn advanced, the piano was moved on to his boat, where the lessons were always different: sometimes cosy, sometimes sitting among his damp underclothes hanging up to dry, he trying to light his stove, half-cooked food all around and the lapping of water as boats went by. When the tide was out, the boat sat on the mud with a sideways slant, gravity pushing student and maestro together in a huddle at the treble end of the keyboard.


The passage to Eric’s boat was not easy, involving a scaffold plank and a traverse of the barge Orinoco’s deck. Ellie and Frog were on hand to deter Eric from falling overboard, though on one occasion the unfortunate student was flipped into a puddle by Eric’s superior weight on one end of the plank. He played Bach to a high standard, in the style of Glenn Gould.


We will miss him.


Some memories of Eric


By Dot Percival


I often met Eric on the bus back from Canterbury and knew for sure that the journey would be conversationally extraordinary and enjoyable, full of ideas, laughter and over in an apparent flash. His unconventional take on life in general was very diverting.


A few years ago Eric was planning to play some Bach on the Victorian organ in the chapel of the Almshouses just up the road, where he lived in a little flatlet. He asked if he could do some technique practice on my piano, admitting that he was 'a bit rusty'. After a few minutes I realised magic was happening in the next room and crept outside the door to listen. Rusty maybe, but could he play. It was absolutely wonderful. Sadly, but in his view correctly, he decided that he would not be up to the standard he wanted in time for the performance date planned and cancelled. A great shame I thought as the Goldberg variations would have sounded magnificent in that lovely little chapel.


Eric read widely, thought deeply, communicated wisely, laughed often, dressed colourfully, and cheered up the street scene on his bike with his red beret lighting up the recent dark days. I valued enormously the joy and rewards of knowing him. Faversham Quaker Meeting will miss him dreadfully. The town will truly not be the same without him.


Mr E


By Elly Upton


A bon viveur in the real sense

That’s our Eric

Generous in the best sense –

He would give you his last sparkle

Intelligent, perceptive, sensitive,

Joyous, excitable, dramatic

Loved the small things –

Tasty titbits, scrumping,

Baubles and trinkets.

Surprisingly classy,

Surprisingly provocative,

Surprising.

Relished the every day, fellowship

And parties,

Trusty, full of colour and love for humanity.

A Poem for Eric


By Jill Holder 2009


Eric the scholar, lives on the creek

His ship is the smallest of boats,

With a cabin for two

And a hell of a view

He christened her aptly

‘Time Floats’


And by the light of the silvery moon

When he’s back safe

In his little cocoon

You’ll again hear him play

As he honours the day

With that piano stood in the saloon.


His selection of Bach is a wondrous thing,

As it ripples across the bright stream,

An egret or two,

May drop in for view,

As our hero plays deep in

His dream.


And he reads, by god does he read

All manner of curious tomes,

Red ones and blue,

Philosophy too

On thinking and being

And pomes.


And by the light of the silvery moon

When he’s back safe

In his little cocoon

You’ll again hear him play

As he honours the day

With that piano stood in the saloon.


And what does he eat for his supper?

This man of such well defined taste,

Well, a great deal of curry

Made in a hurry

And little left over

To waste.


He’s good with a ball in the summer,

Cricket is really his thing

He’ll deliver a catch

And help win the match

And the willow? Well just watch

Him swing!


And by the light of the silvery moon

When he’s back safe

In his little cocoon

You’ll again hear him play

As he honours the day

With that piano stood in the saloon.


He loves and adores a good party,

Wears fishnets and nail polish bright

With baubles and lace

And painted face

He will dance for the whole

Of the night.


An enchanting companion, this Eric

Courteous, gentle and kind

But the things I like best

Are his incredible zest

And the smile he’ll

Invariably find.


And by the light of the silvery moon,

When he is gone

From his little cocoon

You may still hear him play

As he honours the day

With that piano, once in his saloon.



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