Memories of Crommers

FRIENDS of Ross ‘Crommers’ Tayne have paid tribute to their old friend who died on April 4, 2017, at the age of 66.


Good egg, Crommers. Good to work with and to accompany on licensed prems.

Two fond memories. First, the Salad Incident in the features area in Fleet Street.

Here's a rough snap of Crommers after taking incoming fire in the form of David Emanuel's dinner. Can't remember the intellectual matter under discussion but the disagreement led to DE sacrificing his healthy meal to make a point:

Crommers salad

When I was in the Ludgate House canteen some years later, I was in the queue with Ray Mills, who was at that time editor of the International Express, when Crommers walked past. 

Mills and I had the same nickname, although for different reasons. "What-ho Biffo!" chirped Crommers.

The acronym Biffo, in reference to Ray, was highly uncomplimentary.

Milliseconds into Ray's explosion, I shouted: "He meant me, Ray!"

"He f***ing well better 'ad," said Millsy. But I'm not sure he was convinced.


TONY BOULLEMIER: He was always extremely good company and a lot of people will remember him very fondly.


DICK DISMORE: Ross was a lovely laid-back bloke. I remember him fondly.


ROGER WATKINS: I don't want to exaggerate but I am feeling really battered by this succession of chums who are no longer with us: Chris Buckland, Paul Carter and now Ross. Somehow it makes the WGLC even more important and relevant. Crommers was a real gent who I'll remember fondly. 


ALASTAIR McINTYRE: I am shattered to hear of my dear friend’s death. He was such a lovely man, charming, softly-spoken and a great wit. I delighted in his company.

I recall going to his wedding with Bob Smith and our wives in May 1989. Mandy looked absolutely stunning in her white bridal dress and I recall her beatific smile as our eyes met when she walked down the aisle. Much drink was taken later at a restaurant on Wimbledon Hill. It was a very happy and memorable day. Mandy died in 2003.

Crommers never did anything by halves and he lived life to the full. He had been unwell for some years … but I never expected to be going to his funeral.

Crommers wedding 1

                       FIRST DANCE: Ross and Mandy on their wedding day in 1989

Crommers wedding

                        UNACCUSTOMED AS I AM … Ross addresses the guests

JOHN CLARKE: Very sad to hear, spent many a happy hour with Ross on The People. A great colleague and an all-round good chap.


MICKEY BURKE: Dreadful news. What a lovely bloke he was. I remember he was one of the first Express people I ever met in the Poppinjay when I came down from up north to work on the LDN. Convinced me there was a good crowd.


TERENCE LLOYD: I'm shocked. I've been trying to meet up with Ross for ages without success. He was my colleague on The People for many years and a great friend – with a mutual love of the Incredible String Band. So sad


TRISHA HARBORD: Ross was a true gent, hugely talented and a joy to work with ... and drink with too. Everyone loved him. God bless, dear chap.


RORY CLEMENTS: Lovely guy. Crommers was one of the very best.


PETER BISHOP: Incredibly sad news. World is a sadder place without you, Ross. 


JEFF BOYLE: I worked (and drank) with Crommers for over a decade when we were both on the DX Features desk. One memory among so many of this gentle, witty and talented man: After Christmas, without fail, he would arrive with flasks of home-made turkey soup for the troops. He was a one-off, and the world is a sadder place without him.

© 2005-2022 Alastair McIntyre