Humphrey Collis passed away on 16th November 2015
Humphrey Collis was a typical Alvis enthusiast of the 1960s buying a Speed 20 SB in 1965, joining the AOC in 1966 (member 3205) and competing in all sorts of events, particularly the VSCC, in what was a standard car. He became AOC Competition Secretary in 1971. After a period in the Army he was a teacher at the Warwick School living in Chesterton near Leamington Spa.
The funeral will be held at Chesterton Church at 12pm on Monday 30th November. There is a reception afterwards at The Malt Shovel, Gaydon. Our condolences to his wife Margaret and family, Elizabeth, Edward and Alison.
Ena Whitton died on 9th September 2015.
[Pictured here with her late husband Norman in 1989 at the Alvis factory with their TE21.]
Norman (1923-2003) served the AOC as Treasurer from 1976 until 1993 and then became President until 2000. His obituary was published in Bulletin 483 which showed this was very much an Alvis partnership. “Joining the AOC in 1962 and living close t0 the newly formed Alvis meeting at the Fox and Goose, Hangar Lane, (95 members at its first gathering) from his usual position by the bar, Norman was in the thick of ideas and schemes for running events. The first was the Alvis Jubilee Tour of Britain in which he and Ena took part. It was soon followed by Alvis social weekends at the Green Dragon, Hereford and other places. At the 1976 AGM, Norman, being a numbers man, was asked if he could help out with the accounts. Not only did he help out but he ran the club accounts for the next seventeen years which included the onerous task of collecting subscriptions and was ably helped in this by Ena who also typed the Membership lists. Norman and Ena were also in the thick of helping to organise and run the National Alvis days at Crystal Palace, (tea afterwards at their place), Knebworth and Duxford.
Ena spent her final years living close to her daughter, Janet Davey.
Steve passed away on 2nd September having fought a long and brave battle against cancer. His popularity with Alvis members and as genial host of Spanhoe Lodge with Jennie was clear from the attendance at his funeral with several travelling hundreds of miles to be there and Alvis cars of all ages filling the car park. Parting with “Always look on the bright side….” summed him up. He and Jennie were awarded the Alvic Cup at Stratford’s IAW for their work in staging IAW in the Midland Section. In spite of his failing health, he single-handedly produced the 2015 IAW programme which by common consent is one of the finest ever published. Sadly he was too ill to attend.
Ken Cameron passed away peacefully on June 29th 2015 at the age of 69 after suffering declining health for some time. Alvis owners will remember him as a great enthusiast of the later Three Litre cars, acting as the Model Secretary for the TE and TF models. He also served as Midland Section Secretary and Director for five years during 2001-2005 during which time no meeting was allowed to pass without some demonstration of wit and humour which made being there a pleasure.
A few trips to Switzerland persuaded him that his life would not be complete without owning a Graber and his wonderful silver TF coupe remained with him to the end. The last few years of caring for Patricia with her dementia limited his outings to Alvis gatherings but he maintained contact with Alvis friends by telephone.
His funeral was held at St Peters Church, Diddlebury on Wednesday 15th July where he was laid to rest, attended by a number of AOC members.
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Mike Cummins passed away in September 2014.
Mike was certainly one of the characters of the AOC, and always with a cheeky grin. He was an enthusiast of the prewar cars but also ran a “free-litre” as he called them on the Tour of Britain. Being in the travel business he was also much involved in overseas tours and took part in the 1980 Tour of Denmark with Ernest Shenton and the 1985 Swiss Tour. By 1988 the running of the Club was becoming fraught with the odd disagreement and his style was recorded in the minutes.
Derek Bradbury writes:
Those of us who have been involved with the Alvis Owner Club for forty to fifty years, or in a few instances even more, find it sad to hear all too often of the passing of long standing friends and I was sorry to hear that Mike Cummins had passed on. However my mind quickly recalled many happy and helpful times that I have spent with him.
I ﬁrst established a good friendship with Mike in the 1970s when he regularly attended South West Alvis Day. Later when the Council made the welcome decision to share more information with the sections it was Mike who arranged and chaired the annual secretaries meetings which were often held at a venue in the Cotswolds where he would explain to us plans for the Club and we could share our views.
When I became Club Chairman in 1988 I was grateful that Mike was our General Secretary, a position which he held for ﬁfteen years from 1975 to 1990. If I missed an essential point at an AGM Mike would raise his hand and say “Mr. Chairman point of order—” and remind me of the item which I had overlooked, but he was not critical and I appreciated his help which was how he intended it.
During an AGM it was announced that he had been awarded life membership and his reaction was one of excitement saying that he had just paid his subscription and must go and get his cheque back!
When Mike stood down as General Secretary I was grateful that he took up the position of Membership Secretary, a task which I had absorbed on a temporary basis following the death of Ted Wimble. Happy memories of good times spent with a valued and enthusiastic member of our Club and a staunch friend.
Rest in Peace.
Mike Baker writes
I first came in contact with Mike, like so many, when I joined the club back in the seventies. Immediately he made you feel welcome and that you were entering a special world. His knowledge of matters Alvis seemed endless.
Having bought an Alvis, a little on the spur of the moment, having been thwarted in my efforts to buy an XK120 I needed to know where to go for spares and general advice. In those days there weren’t as many options as there are today. But he soon gave me names of members who themselves have become lifelong friends.
It was in 1989 during a conversation with him on matters Alvis he mentioned the forthcoming trip to Sweden ‘The Midnight Sun Tour’. At that stage there were not so many overseas trips being organised. He and Pam were going to take part and he convinced us to get involved. He was taking his Speed 25 DHC and I recall him saying that it would be a good move for us to take the recently acquired 4.3 at least it would give us a chance to iron out any problems. Other members such us the Davy’s, Fairburns , Galeas and a certain Alan Stote were all on board. Apart from the midges it was a fantastic trip and I have to thank Mike for the initial idea.
The club owe him a lot for his efforts on our behalf and I would like to take this opportunity to wish Pam and his family well during this trying period.
Mike Cummins wrote his own memoirs of being GenSec on page 10 of Bulletin 380 and later pages record his acquisition of a Crested Eagle to restore.
Mike was succeeded as General Secretary by Malcolm Davey who died in March 2014. Bulletins 546 and 547 include several memoirs of his life with Alvis.
We were saddened by the death of Ernest Shenton in July 2012. He was a stalwart of the Alvis Owner Club (member 726M) and great supporter of the Archive Trust. AOC Bulletin 537 was published on 11th October 2012 with full appreciations. Click this link Bulletin 478 ES Per Alvis al lago for an article he penned
Ernest was the ‘father’ of all matters Alvis and was a dear friend for half my lifetime, I will miss him but he will live on in my memory. It has taken 93 years but we can now say when questioned, with that cheeky irreverence so often and lightheartedly said by Ernest himself that he is now “dead at present”! Thank you Ernest for everything you have meant to me.
Chris Taylor 5222N
Ben Lenthall permalink
A wonderful, loveable man – a mine of information on matters Alvis, a true friend and a staunch supporter during my early years in the AOC.