Crookshank's last farewell


So he is gone. That wonderful man who brightened Fleet Street for so many decades has left us for ever. Gone surfin', as the Order of Service for his funeral so succinctly put it.

Simon Crookshank, who has died at the age of 66, was larger than life in almost every respect so it is difficult to believe he is no longer with us.

The doyen of several backbenches and subs' desks, Simon lost his long fight against cancer on 19th January, 2013. His emails during his illness were unfailingly cheerful, brightening our day and telling us how positively he was fighting the disease. That he survived so long is proof of his determination.

The funeral at Beckenham Crematorium and afterwards at The Bickley in Chislehurst, was well attended by family, friends and colleagues from the Daily Express, Daily Mirror and The Sun.

A tribute was paid by Ron Pell, a colleague of Simon's and a family friend, which can be read here.

His cousin Olivia Harvard-Watts, read the poem The Life That I Have by Leo Marks.

The music was poignant. It began with Dream by the Everly Brothers and the opening prayer was followed by Swing Low Sweet Chariot. Simon was a rugby fan. He left us to the sounds of Hi Ho, Silver Lining by Jeff Beck. Trust Simon to give us a last laugh.

The huge congregation of mourners included Simon's wife Sarah and daughters Tamsin and Katie whom I know he greatly loved.

Friends and colleagues included (and this is by no means an exhaustive list): Dick Dismore, Jon Smith, John Maskey, Valerie Bolcina, Wendy Fuller, Chris Shearer, Nick Ingram, Bill Wheeler, Pat Welland, Peter and Rose Michel, Mark Hoey, Graham Noble, Craig Mackenzie, Tilly McAuley, Ray King, Alan Livermore, Robin Davison-Lungley, Mike Carter, Bruce Turner, Fergus Linnane and many, many more.


Ron Pell's tribute

© 2005-2022 Alastair McIntyre