We recently received this message from Dan of the Victory Wheelers rod club. I wasn’t sure whether I should post the photos here, but I consulted Dan & he assured me it’s just what Al’s family wanted.
Al was one of those guys we always saw at the rod meets in his beloved "Lazy Bones" roadster & though we didn't know him well, always had a grin & a wave for us. He invited Taz & I along to one of the Victory Wheelers' club nights & went out of his way to make us very welcome. A genuinely nice guy. What a huge loss to the UK hotrodding scene.
So long Al. We'll miss you mate.
It is with great sadness that I have to let you know that Big Al has recently passed away, after a very short battle with Cancer.
Big Al was chairman of the Victory Wheelers, and a larger than life character who made an impression on everyone he met. He was in the process of rebuilding his model T. He was also an accomplished musician. Big Al and the Fireflies were a group that rocked all occasions.
Al's final wishes included a convoy of hot rods / customs / Americans to follow him on his final journey.
His family have requested that everyone meet at Clarence Pier, Southsea, at 12 noon on Thursday 10th December '09, where we will follow the hearse to Portchester Crematorium for the 1pm service.
strictly no black clothes to be worn, Hawaiian shirts are recommended.
If you are able to honour Big Al with your presence, it would be appreciated. Please send an email to email@example.com as we do need to know numbers of cars for traffic measures.
The family have also requested no flowers, but donations should be made to Macmillan Cancer Support.
Envelopes will be available at the funeral, or can be sent to:
Macmillan Cancer Support,
Fundraising for Hampshire,
SP10 2BN. (Please mention the donation is for Alan Partridge)
Big Al - You will never be forgotten
BIg Al's Final Cruise. 10th December 2009.
Sad occasion that it was, the day started with brilliant sunshine to send off Big Al.
A convoy of Hot Rods assembled at Clarence Pier at Southsea to join the funeral procession on its way to Portchester Crematorium. The police were in attendance to ensure all traffic was stopped to give Al an uninterrupted final cruise.
There was a good turnout of about 25 hot rods, with many more "normal" vehicles joining the convoy to pay their last respects. Many bystanders were there to see Big Al as he passed by, as the local newspaper had mentioned the event the day before. Many were taking photos. The convoy brought many a smile to the onlookers and I'm sure that would've pleased Al.
It was standing room only at the crematorium as the service celebrated Big Al's short but very full life. Songs played included "Call me Al", "Carry on my wayward son" and "Don't worry, be happy". His Father said he was pleased to see so many people from the hot rod community and pleased that they'd arrived in the bright clothes that were requested. He also said, that after Big Al's previous run in with the Police because they thought he was taking the mickey when he gave his real name of Alan Partridge, he found it quite amazing that his son had received a police escort on his final cruise.
Here are the shots I took of the day but there were also representatives from local TV and radio and many more photographers at the pier and at the crematorium.
Even though I only knew Big Al for a short time, he made a big impression on me. He was a perfect ambassador for this lifestyle of ours.