‘THE BRIDGE’ NEWSLETTER

Special Edition, April 2020

In Memory of Malcolm McLennan

29 May 1944 – 10 March 2020

Malcolm’s funeral was on 27 March 2020, which sadly we were all unable to attend due to the present situation.

Sadly, Malcolm passed away on Tuesday 10th March, whilst at home, where we know he would have wanted to be. At 75 years of age, he enjoyed good health for the largest number of his years; and at the end his final moments were peaceful, with family by his side, which we hope can prove to be a small source of comfort.

The Eulogy spoken by Colin Nolan

Entering the world on a Monday 29 May 1944, in the small village of Glengarnock, North Ayrshire, Malcolm remained a proud Scot for the rest of his life.

He was one of three children born to Kenneth McLennan, the local bobby, and Sophia, a housewife and nursing assistant; he was the younger brother to Duncan, who predeceased him by 14 years, and older brother to Jeanette, who is ten years Malcolm’s junior.

Each of the children were raised by loving parents, as part of a close family; and in adulthood they looked forward to the times they were all together.

Going to school locally wherever their dad was stationed with the police force, Malcolm completed his education at Dalry High School. At 15 years of age, he enrolled as a Naval Cadet, joining the Regular Navy at 18 and going on to serve 22 years, until leaving at the age of 40.

During his naval career as a Communicator, Malcolm was mainly based on ships which would enable him to travel the world, and he enjoyed the lifestyle and the camaraderie he shared with his colleagues and friends. It was through his job that he met Morna, also a Communicator, who was placed under his charge in the communication centre, and after a period of time they were set up on a date by a mutual friend. Morna recalls Malcolm at that time as having a great sense of humour, yet being also a gentleman; and whilst working together their relationship strengthened. They married 9 months later, in a traditional white wedding in Livingstone, on 23 October 1971; they spent their fortnight’s honeymoon in a B&B in Perthshire, which cost them a grand total of £100!

After their marriage, the couple were due to be stationed in different locations, so Morna decided to leave the Navy during 1974. The following year they had their first son, Grant, who was born in the September, by which time they were living in Helensburgh. They completed their family with the birth of a second son, Neil, in January 1979, whilst the family were living in Whitburn, West Lothian.

At the time when the children were young, Malcolm was away a great deal due to his work, yet Morna speaks about how he was a brilliant provider, who cherished every moment he was home with his family.  All the same, in 1984, he left the armed forces.

As a civilian, Malcolm worked in security for a short while, until joining the GCHQ in 1990. On finishing his training he was posted to Cheadle in Staffordshire, where he spent some happy years; and once the GCHQ closed its premises there, he was transferred to Irton Moor, and settled in East Ayton until retiring at 60 years of age.

As their sons developed into adulthood and established their own lives, both Malcolm and Morna looked forward to visiting Grant in Scotland, where the boys would go and watch football, and they welcomed Bryony into the family as their daughter in law. They also would visit Neil at his home in Stoke on Trent, where Malcolm was happy to help with DIY projects.

Following his retirement, Malcolm spent the last seven years working as a volunteer at the village library, helping to keep its doors open; and he also volunteered at the North York Moors Railway, which he thoroughly enjoyed. There, his role was as a track walker, inspecting the line, yet he preferred to refer to himself as a Track Walker Assistant Trainee; purely so he could abbreviate his job title, and tell people he was a TWAT!

Malcolm enjoyed walking in his free time, which he did a lot of after first retiring, and liked to meet with his former work colleagues when he could, at The Lord Rosebery, for their monthly get together.

Morna described Malcolm as a good husband, who was mostly happy, cheery, and optimistic; yet apparently, he could be a little impatient! He was straight to the point, didn’t suffer fools gladly, and you always knew where you stood; yet he was a friendly bloke, who enjoyed meeting people, sharing jokes, and having a laugh.

Although Malcolm is no longer a physical part of our lives, he will be remembered with much love and great affection. May he rest in peace.  

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Laurel Armitage, Chair of the Trustees of Derwent Valley Bridge, has written the following tribute to Malcolm, compiling it from memories of him sent to her by other volunteers and Friends of the Library:

In losing Malcolm we have lost a wonderful volunteer and ambassador for Derwent Valley Bridge.  Malcolm was always cheerful, kind and generous, and ready to welcome and help library users and colleagues.   Nothing was too much trouble for him – he was always there, supporting us at fundraising events, helping with putting out chairs, putting up the gazebo, helping on our stalls at local fairs.   

He was always considerate, with a great sense of humour; he was excellent in dealing with the public, and helped many with their computer problems.  Working with Malcolm on Friday afternoons was great, and he was often the first to put the kettle on, as well as bringing in the milk and biscuits.

He often volunteered to do an extra shift when we were short of volunteers, and always participated in our training events. 

He never complained about his illness, rarely missing a shift, and continued to work through until  five weeks before he sadly left us. 

We shall all miss him so much, he will leave a huge gap in our lives, and Friday afternoons at DVB will never be quite the same!

All of us at Derwent Valley Bridge extend our sympathy to Morna and family and  we are all willing to help Morna in any way we can.  Normally we would have all liked to give Malcolm a proper send-off but we are living in strange times and ‘normal’ has not been possible.  It is our hope that we can take part in a memorial service for Malcolm at a later date.  He will not be forgotten!  

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It is Morna’s intention that there will be a memorial service for Malcolm at some point in the future, though it’s not possible at present to say when it might be or what form it might take.  

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