It is with great sadness that Bristol Hannover Council must announce that Derek Brockwell, former Treasurer of BHC has died at the age of 85.
Derek joined the RAF at 18, served in England, Germany and Cyprus and rose to the rank of sergeant. Derek loved Germany, met Alma his German wife and came to Bristol, where they were married in 1959. They bought Beese’s Tea Gardens in 1964, but due to its previous neglect, they only opened it again to the public in 1978: Alma ran the tea gardens and Derek operated the ferry. Derek loved boats and the history of the Avon valley and its wild life. The last time we saw Derek in a Bristol-Hannover context was when we hosted the Hannoverians in 2013, and we had a lovely boat trip to Beese’s – it was great to see Derek and Alma on their home territory again, as they have lived there in retirement in their log cabin amongst the trees, with the garden stretching down to Derek’s beloved river.
For his funeral music, Alma chose a well-known song from Gracie Fields in 1951 ‘At the End of the Day’ and also ‘I’ll join the legion’ also known as ‘The Goodbye Song’ from the 1930s musical ‘White Horse Inn’, which Derek apparently liked to sing at parties! His good humour and business knowledge were great assets to the BHC meetings and events and we will miss him sorely.