SINCE last we spoke I have been notified of the death at 71 of Norman Morris, a long-time friend who emigrated to America in the early 1960s with his wife Eileen.

Norman played trumpet in bands in Bolton dance halls in the 1950s, where so many lasting, romantic liaisons were forged. It was in one such venue that Norman met Eileen and they married within a year of their first introduction by Eileen's brother, a pal of Norman's.

Norman and his wife Eileen left for Concord, California, and Norman worked for the Shell Oil Company in Martinez until he retired in 1992.

He and Eileen, who were married for 45 years, made frequent trips to their home town. It was always a joy to see them as Norman was an amusing and interesting man who loved music, particularly swing. From the tributes paid to him at his funeral, Norman had made a considerable impression on people in Concord where his humour, wit, and lively mind, which embraced an impressive number of subjects, made him a chap whose company people sought.

I knew him as a kind and compassionate man, terrific company, with a worldly wisdom that only comes with knowledge gained through experience. He will be missed.