Two months since good friend collapsed and died

Allan Blackburn.
Allan Blackburn.

It’s two months today (January 12) that I lost a very good friend and I thought it would be nice to remember him here in my column this week.

My dear friend Keith Stephenson sadly collapsed and died whilst on a weekend break in Llandudno.

With all this building work going on here at the moment I really wish he was here to see it

He had just had his 80th birthday in December and he still worked for me here on site.

Keith was the only person who’d worked at Hornsea Potery from the actual day it opened until now.

Apart from holidays, he always seemed to be around.

He was only off on the very rare sick day and really cared about the buildings and people on the site.

Of course, it was Hornsea Pottery back then and a very different place to the tourist attraction that it is now and through every change, every plan and idea Keith was there.

He’s seen tenants and businesses come and go and plans be passed and implemented, whilst others were left on the drawing board.

Through it all Keith was the one person who knew this site inside out.

He could tell me where the underground pipes lay, where the water went and the electrical layout of the site.

He really was my right hand man and there was nothing he didn’t know about this site.

I trusted him and our relationship evolved into friendship as we realised we shared the same passions and hobbies. My dad died in 1989 and I met Keith on site in 1990 and I’ve always thought of him as the father I had lost.

He certainly looked out for me, my business and all manner of things here at Lancaster Leisure Park.

With all this building work going on here at the moment I really wish he was here to see it.

He passed all his knowledge on to me over the last 25 years and it would be lovely to have him here now.

I know he would be delighted with the new housing development.

The nice news is that I still have a connection with the family as his son in law still works on site repairing all the machines and tractors and his grandson Lee, looks after all the plumbing on the site so in a way I like to think he is still keeping an eye on us.