A very nice man

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone around the world and our activities have been curtailed by the lack of visitors to Bowcliffe. The trustees last got together in person in March for our AGM attended by just a few Friends. During lockdown, Neil Millington had a fall at home and following a hospital visit for a broken bone to be pinned, spent the summer in recuperation at home and unable to make our usual Wednesday archiving sessions. It became clear after a while that he was not making much progress with his mobility or with underlying Kennedy’s disease which made it difficult for him to eat and drink.

I received the very sad news yesterday afternoon that Neil died in Leeds Hospital (Jimmy’s) from pneumonia. It is a very great personal loss of a true friend and a wider loss to the Archive Trust to which he contributed so much.

Neil had retired early from the business he bought out of Smiths Industries, Autosound in Bradford, and enjoyed fifteen years in retirement with his fleet of coaches that he kept in his unit next to Autosound, worked on every Monday by his enthusiast friends. He had enjoyed a long association with Land Rover and a series of Bentleys to complement his TF21.

His wit, humour and good counsel endeared him to all who met him and we often joked that he was referred to as “a very nice man” on a number of occasions. His charm no doubt helped us secure our offices at Bowcliffe where we spent many happy hours. It will not be the same without him.

If you would like to share a memory of Neil, please leave a comment

John

Notice of the funeral arrangements:

Neil, a much loved brother of Susan, a dear Uncle of Daniel, Thomas and Charles. Also, a good friend to many.
Due to current restrictions a private funeral will take place at Rawdon Crematorium on Saturday January 9th at 12.15pm.
Family flowers only please but donations in memory of Neil may be made to Kennedy’s Disease UK. This can be done via
Joseph Geldart & Sons,
11 Hopewell Terrace,
Horsforth, Leeds, LS18 4NE  

Alternatively you can visit https://kd-uk.com/ and donate there.

Neil Millington in 2014 – photo Paul Chasney

Author: alvisarchive

Driving Alvis cars since 1964 and the website since 2012

16 thoughts on “A very nice man”

  1. Such a sad loss. Not only was he ‘a very nice man’ but he was a kind man as well. There are so many examples. He contributed a great deal to the Club and the Northern Section in particular, over a number of years. Neil was one of the prime movers in establishing the Archive Trust. We will miss him greatly.

    1. As you say, John, a very nice man. Anne and I first met him when he was Northern Section Secretary of AOC and we were new members. He went out of his way to make us feel welcome. I can remember some wonderful occasions in his company with his sister at Internationals. A sad loss at far too early an age. RIP.

  2. I will always remember Neil, as a lovely dear fellow, always ready to enjoy a good laugh with his friends.
    My memory in particular was the great weekend we had at the Petwood, and the quiz he organised after our great meal, celebrating Dave Culshaws birthday.
    Rest in Peace Neil. Thank you for your fellowship.
    Chris Bluer

  3. Its a truly nice way to remember ( a very nice man ) my Father once said you can judge your friend by what they want from you, Neil didn’t want anything from me, only friendship, I will miss our little chats.

    Eric Ody

  4. How very sad. I met and spoke with Neil twice during my infrequent attendance at AOC gatherings and was always made to feel to be a valued member of the gathering. I can only echo the previous sentiments.

  5. One would not need to be very long in Neil’s company to become aware of his consuming ‘Transport’ interest, especially the sector occupied by bus and coach operators, a hobby, incidentally shared with another late Alvis ‘great’ : Ken Cameron, and likewise , Roger Pulham. However , Neil took this interest to a further level, as his knowledge of PSV manufacturers, coachbuilders, operators and indeed their liveries – was encyclopedic, and used to great effect in the painstaking restoration of several classic coaches, where he he would frequently trawl the country, in search of that final essential bit.

    Driving alongside Neil was also a rewarding experience. As a coach operator it was natural to him to give a running commentary about the specific area being passed through – pointing out interesting historical and geographical features which would otherwise be overlooked by a passenger.

    If this was the ‘large screen’ aspect of the Millington raison d’etre, then the ‘small screen ‘ was his appreciation of other, relatively lighter fine engineering found in the course of his Bentley, Land-Rover, and Alvis TF21 ownership. The camaraderie engendered ( as we all know ), especially with the latter marque brought him a goodly number of loyal friends, appreciative of his genial nature, sociability, and dry sense of humour. His organising ability, exemplified with the outcome of the Bowcliffe negotiations, will live on.

    It is indeed a great tragedy,coming as it does especially at a time of year when friends would in more normal times, socialise enthusiastically, that Neil should be taken from us when he had much, much more still to impart.
    A great guy, with a great, obvious legacy for us all,
    Very proud to have known you mate ! DAVE CULSHAW

  6. Yes Neil was indeed a nice man but he was more than that he was a real enthusiast for all his interests and always anxious to assist in any situation that he was able to. He was a great support to me when I was president and willingly helped me in various matters. His life was cut short too soon and I am sad to know that he is no longer with us.
    Rest in peace my friend

  7. I knew Neil through his classic coach interest, he owned no less than six classic British coaches AEC, Leyland, Bristol and a Ford, his main interest being those operated by Wallace Arnold. The bus preservation movement will also miss him and his coaches at rallies. RIP Neil

  8. Such a lovely lovely chap.
    I have known Neil over the past ten years, and he was a sensible supporter of efforts to secure exemptions for preserved buses/coaches to the (then proposed) Leeds CAZ, allowing his premises to be used for meetings and so on.
    I last saw him in Oct 2019 when he bought me lunch, with my offering to reciprocate next time – sadly with the virus this never happened. On that same day I was privileged to be shown around Bowcliffe by Neil, and the enthusiasm was infectious.
    A true ambassador for heritage and will be much missed. Two bells to depot.

  9. That’s really sad news! We met Neil at Bowcliffe Hall during IAD 2019. He was much to young to die. Reminds us, that we should use our Alvises as much as possible as long as we can. Our condolences go to Neils family.

  10. A true gentleman. Neil had many friends in the bus preservation world and he will be sadly missed by all. He had no hidden agenda in anything he did he just approached things with a friendly open mind which won the respect of many people, particularly by those who knew him at Dewsbury Bus Museum

  11. Neil Millington.

    I first met Neil in the early 1990’s when he asked me to find him an Alvis – a Series IV Three Litre, an ex Alvis Director’s car…. We only met a few times; he had an interesting business installing highly sophisticated audio and video systems in coaches; I remember his enthusiasm for the latest gear he installed and the vast cost of it. Coach operators at that time had to have the latest and greatest equipment to entice hirers!

    He was an interesting, enthusiastic and truly genuine nice person.

    Nick Simpson.

  12. I am so saddened to learn of Neil’s passing. I did not know anyone in the club when I joined the AOC and took my first excursion to a Northern meeting where Neil and Jim Betterton took me under their wing and introduced me to many of the attendees at the event. It was a very rewarding encounter; I saw him at many other events including a trip to Europe organised by John Fox and Neil when I learned so much more of his love of transport. I remember a number of us we tried to talk Neil out of buying a Bentley at the Geneva motor show. Much to the chagrin of the salesman who was telling all sorts of porkies. Rest in peace Neil you are have left a fine mark on the members who knew you.
    Jim Gregory

  13. So sorry to hear of Neil’s passing. A gentleman of great charm with interest and consideration for everyone he met.
    The historic vehicle world has lost a true champion and he will be very much missed by all who had the pleasure of meeting him.
    Eileen and Terry Goddin

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