EDitorial ± 20-Apr-2010

Grenvyle Scott RIP

— [opening song: Lindisfarne, Fog On The Tyne] —

Way, way back in ol' BT as a fresh young graduate, I discovered that there was more to lunch than heading up to the canteen. There, by the tennis courts that greeted you as you came through the main gate, was a glorified portacabin. If nearby, you didn't have to listen too carefully to hear the constant plink-plonk of ping-pong.

I began to head over there on a semi-regular basis to try and get a game on one of the two permanently set-up tables. Such was the demand from 12 to 2, you had to wait your turn and then play doubles. Nearly everyone was better than me but that didn't matter. Turned out that the company had any number of teams in the local league at all levels and were always looking for new players: was I interested? Er, why not.

Week or so later and I played my first competitive game for the BT Defiants down at St Thomas' church on Bramford Lane. One of the other team members (we had 6 or 7 players back then) was this friendly if slightly odd bloke by the weird name of Grenvyle. With the table tennis, football and an employer in common, we hit it off and would arrange to (a) have a 30 minute knock, then (b) eat sarnies. That would be 1988-ish.

— [middle song: Hollies, The Air That I Breathe] —

As time went by, a kidney problem caused his health to deteriorate, not that this stopped him running out to play for the team. More than once, though, he'd visibly wilt during a game and then collapse, holding on to the table for support. Quite the drama queen. And very worrying too, both for us and the unprepared opponent.

Around 1996, his number came up and off he went for a kidney transplant. First it worked, then it didn't, and eventually he ended up back on the list with dialysis three times a week, keeping the nurses busy with his ultra-low blood pressure. And still, once in a while, he'd put in an appearance for the Defiants, as he did only last month.

In the past three years, Grenvyle tirelessly acted as chauffeur for our many Light Lunch outings, first to Woodbridge, then Felixstowe, before moving on to Framlingham and Ipswich. Must have visited over 100 places in that time, watching him scoff prawn sandwiches and work his way through endless pots of tea. Medical retirement mid-2009 didn't dent his enthusiasm, allowing him to make full use of his new Ipswich Buses free pass to meet us in the town centre. Fortnight back, we did the new Martlesham chippy, and he was the one happy to sit outside on a bloomin' chilly day.

An enormous shock, then, to get a phone call on 8th April saying that he'd passed away. A true friend, we shall miss him greatly.

— [closing song: Monty Python, Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life] —