Frank’s funeral was held last week at All Saints Church, Clydesdale Road in Notting Hill. Also there were Joe Hylton, Nick, Michael Whelan and his brother James. Apart from the R’s contingent there were also many who had worked with Frank (and Joe) at Westbourne Park Bus Garage. Joe was a Bus Driver and amazingly both Frankie and his dad had been Bus Conductors (at different times of course) on Joe’s No. 7 bus.
I’d never met Frank’s dad before but I instantly recognised him and he told me that he was 85 and as Fr. Reginald Duguid he was to play an active part in the Funeral Service.
The opening song was ‘He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother’, which was sung by a close family friend, Julie Isaac. Later the Eulogy and family tribute was given by Frank’s sister, Beverley. The closing prayers were recited by Reg and the final hymn was ‘I Watch the Sunrise’.
Nick gave me a lift to Kensal Green Cemetery where we met up with Alan Barnes. As Frank was laid to his final resting place, some mourners scattered earth down onto his coffin and I also noticed a QPR pennant and scarf.
As many left for the Queen’s Park Community Hall (St. Jude’s Institute), Barnsey and I headed for the ‘Mason’s Arms’ in the Harrow Road.
I don’t really remember the last time I saw Frank. It would probably have been around 18 months/two years ago (?) when he was working at Rangers on match days. Sometimes I would shout over to him from the Lower Loft as he walked round the pitch perimeter suited and booted with a big smile on his face.
Frank was on Facebook and one day I sent him a message asking him how he was getting on as I hadn’t seen him for a while. I didn’t get a reply so it must have been when he had become very ill.
Then months later on the 20th February, I received the terrible news via a Facebook message saying that Frank had died that morning and would I let his friends know!!!
Last September Frank wrote these words:
‘Nothing lasts forever, no one is invincible, Death does not scare me, Life scares me more, You must just carry on.’
I have many memories of our travels up and down the country following the R’s – God Bless you Frank.
Francis Alan Duguid: Sunrise 2nd February 1960 – Sunset 20th February 2014.