Thursday, 23 September 2021

David Aldridge, November 12, 1930-December 21, 2015

DAVID WILLIAM ALDRIDGE, who ran building firm P E Aldridge, has died at the age of 85.

DAVID WILLIAM ALDRIDGE, who ran building firm P E Aldridge, has died at the age of 85.

He was born in Henley on November 12, 1930 to Percival Ernest and Lucy Elizabeth.

He was brought up in Marmion Road and went to school in the town. He was a keen scout, going on all the outings and to regular camps.

He did his national service with the RAF.

He went to work with his father, who was a painter and decorator, working only in the Henley area, trading as P E Aldridge.

The firm gradually turned into a building company and employed up to 30 people, operating from a yard in Singers Lane.

David was 31 when his father died prematurely and he was left to run the firm, specialising in home improvements and extensions.

The name P E Aldridge survives today thanks to his son Peter who became a partner in the early Eighties.

David met his wife Alfreda when she lived in Crowthorne and used to cycle to see her at weekends.

They were married at Crowthorne parish church on January 12, 1952 when he was 21. Peter was born in 1957 followed by Richard in 1962. The couple lived in Henley all their married life and after David’s retirement moved to Sonning Common.

They celebrated their golden wedding with a blessing at St Mary’s Church in Henley and a party for family and friends at Leander Club. Their diamond wedding was celebrated more quietly with close family at home.

David was an enthusiastic member of Henley Round Table and then the 41 Club.

He was also a keen freemason, being worshipful master in 1975-76 and a senior steward for many years. The regular meetings played a large part in David’s social calendar.

David and Alfreda were also members of Phyllis Court Club in Henley.

Following his retirement, the couple enjoyed various cruises together and David was able to spend more time on his hobbies of stamp collecting and building his model railway in the shed at the top of their garden.

He also enjoyed volunteering for a number of years at the Sue Ryder hospice in Nettlebed, helping in the furniture department.

David was very interested in all aspects of Henley’s history. In later years his knowledge of the town proved to be very useful when he provided his sister Margaret with information for her book on Henley.

When David’s health, both mental and physical, began to deteriorate Alfreda looked after him for as long as possible at home with the help of a carer, Moira, one day a week, who shared David’s passion for stamps.

He also visited the Bluebell Club in Henley once a week.

When David’s health deteriorated such that he could no longer be cared for at home, he moved to Huntercombe Hall, where he was very well cared for during the last 18 months of his life.

His family would like to thank all the staff at Huntercombe Hall for their care to David during this time.

Alfreda died three months ago.

David is survived by Peter and his wife Jane, Richard, grandchildren Lucy, Matthew, James and Tom and great grandchildren Scarlett and Theo.

He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

His funeral took place at Reading Crematorium on Thursday last week. The service was conducted by Rev Canon Bernard Metcalfe.

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