Eric Marston

Although I only met Eric a handful of times after we graduated, I still have very vivid and fond memories of our time at university together. He was always very conscientious in his studies, but my abiding memory is his sense of humour, ‘whooping’ with delight at the latest joke that he’d just made, or heard, as we laughed and joked our way through what was a very intense Engineering course. There are, of course, many memories, but two spring to mind, immediately …

The first was early on, when we were all living in college, and there was some building work going on, there. One night, in the early hours, a group of us (5 or 6 engineers, with Eric very much a ringleader, encouraging it all!) decided to ‘borrow’ some bricks from the college building site and build a dry brick wall outside the room door of a rather geeky student in college! The upshot was that, when he got up in the morning and opened his door, all he could see was this brick wall! … and, rather foolishly, he kicked it over, so there were bricks scattered in the corridor for days! Equally funny was that HE ended up getting into trouble for it, as the scattered bricks were outside his room!! I think someone actually has a photo of Eric standing in front of the finished wall, in the middle of the night, in a congratulatory handshake, holding a drawing made to look like the ‘blueprints’ for the wall!

The 2nd story was towards the end of our time at university, just after we’d finished our final exams, when we were looking for a suitable over-the-top way to celebrate! Someone suggested that we play a game called ‘The Beer Hunter’ (inspired by the famous Russian Roulette scene in ‘The Deer Hunter’ movie). This entailed buying a pack of beer cans, shaking one up as vigorously as possible, and mixing them all up again. Each participant then selected a can, and we all had to simultaneously open the ring-pulls, with the can openings aimed at our heads, and one poor ‘victim’ (who happened to be holding the shaken-up can) got a total soaking head to foot with beer!! I don’t think Eric was the victim, and I don’t think it was his idea, either, but he enjoyed the whole episode hugely and thought it was hilarious!!

Of course, that’s all a very long time ago now – it’s nearly 35 years since the 2nd (‘Beer Hunter’) incident! …

Anyway, on a more serious note, I will always remember Eric as a kind and beautiful soul, who was always very conscientious in his work (which was always absolutely immaculately presented) … but who also had a ‘wicked’ sense of humour, and was always looking for the fun and laughter in everything!

He was taken from us well before his time, and we will all miss him hugely. I send my sincerest condolences to his family and other friends and colleagues. I hope that these stories will make people smile a little at this very difficult time …

Andy Waring

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