My father has just died, at home, on the west coast of Scotland.
I’m in a state of shock but also not surprised as he lived his life in a state of wild defiance of the conventions and norms of ordinary life, and hated the idea of being looked after or helped by others. He loved people but hated officialdom.
On the one hand I want to sum up his extraordinary and eccentric life — I want to explain his charm, his writings, his ability to listen to children, his interests, games, passions and collections — but I’m at a loss. I’m stuck. I have so much to say but at the same time I don’t want to write anything as I need time to process my confusion and grief.
This is where you come in. Perhaps you have a poignant memory of Angus Wolfe Murray, the author, publisher, film critic and specialist in the transportation of fine arts. Did you know him? Were you impressed by his conversation, style and unique outlook on life? Can you comment on his transition from the upper class values of his parents into the bohemian lifestyle he brought us up in?
Last time I made an appeal like this was just after my mother died in the summer of 2017. I wrote a short blog post asking for comments, anecdotes and memories about her and suddenly there were over 25 brilliant pieces of writing — many of which made their way into a little book we rushed into print for her memorial service. You can see the PDF version of it here.
So please add a comment below. And please realise that a sentence will do fine, pithy little statements can be great. Short is sweet and long is lovely. It’s all good. This is the place to share your memories, however fleeting or fragmented, of Angus Wolfe Murray.
And I hope to see you at the funeral, which will take place at 1030am for 11am on the 9th of February in the Eastgate Theatre, Peebles, in the Scottish Borders. We want to get as many folk as possible there, to celebrate his love for people.
Postscript (several weeks later): I am bowled over by the incredible comments that have come in about our Dear Departed Dad. Thanks so much to you all; it’s not easy writing about such a complex character. These comments are giving us a new insight into a man who we took for granted, as one does with one’s parents, and also drove us crazy in his final years. I’m so proud he had such a positive impact on so many people’s lives. I think the most memorable quote about him is this: he was ‘a woodland faun in human frame’ (a cricketer friend added the quip “Did fauns wear frayed denim jeans…with “multi-coloured patches?”).
There’s a lot of cricketing stories here and one of the contributors, Tim Wilcock, wrote that “Angus told me once that he was at Eton with one Henry Blofeld.” As every cricketer will know, Blofeld went on to become the legendary cricket commentator for the BBC. Some years later Wilcock met “Blowers” and asked him if he remembered Angus Wolfe Murray. Of course he did, and said they played a match together at Lords. Wilcox then found an old record of the match, sent it to me, and I put it into this slideshow of my Dad-as-schoolboy-cricket-star with his brother Jimmy.
If you want to contact me, about any of this, just email me at email@example.com. Lotsaluv, Rupert Wolfe Murray