I should like to say a few words about Peter Allison who has just died.
I first met Peter over thirty years ago when I was a student.
He was young and healthy with a dark black beard, a decent thirst and
a deep love of Lampeter and the college. Some things stick strangely in the mind.
Once one drunken night when I was being more than usually unruly
he restrained me with an armlock he'd learnt I think in the army.
What exactly he was stopping me from doing I have no memory,
no doubt it was something appallingly anti social which would
have resulted in my being flung out from the College. What I do
remember was that I was absolutely powerless in his grip.
I was amazed at how strong he was. I recall I felt so offended
afterwards that I hit him in the face, he didn't flinch and he
didn't hit me back. I feel now, though I was not mature enough
to feel it then, a mixture of shame for myself and respect for
him when I look back to that evening.
Time passes and life hit me and no doubt hit him. We met occasionally at Lampeter affairs.
I remember he drove an old red Jag for a time.
I remember that he always had much time for eccentric behaviour.
I remember that he sported a dark and irreverent sense of humour.
I remember that he always kept in touch with Andy King who
for some years has been confined to a wheelchair and latterly mostly to his bed.
I remember at the last Lampeter Society dinner I attended that he noticed
a small family sitting at a long table on their own - he immediately left
the his friends and joined the family for the meal. I had thought of doing it but didn't, he did.
I remember he and I scattering the ashes of our friend Tony Dyson .
We stood looking over the unbelievably beautiful Welsh valley where Tony's
friend Cliffs ashes had been scattered some years before. It was evening
and Peter leaned heavily on his stick. We said a prayer. Afterwards he
took my wife and I for a meal. It was only later that I realised how
desperately ill Peter was and how incredibly difficult that evening had
been for him physically.
I remember how Peter never gave up smoking.
I don't know what Peter thought of me. Probably he didn't think of
me much at all. But I have always thought of him as a figure of innate
drama, a civilised man and one who remained true to his great love,
the College. Oh yes, and he made me laugh and appreciated my humour
and for both these gifts I thank him.
We shall miss him, the world is getting smaller and so are the
people in it - we can ill spare such dramatic, elegant and
amusing characters as Peter.