Alwyn Isherwood Ltd. Obituaries

Frank Rayner:                                                             Click for latest version of this page
Frank - Affectionately known as 'Dad' - passed away on Friday 26th June, 2009 at 11:30am
at Granddaughter Liz Jackson's house (Liversedge).
He was cremated at Dewsbury Crematorium on Thursday 9th July at 2:00pm.
Food and drink was provided at the Lakeside Ponderosa, Heckmondwyke.

Much loved Dad of David & Ann
Dearly loved Granddad of  Liz Jackson, Karen, David, Daniel & Oliver and a
much loved Great Granddad and Father-in-Law.
Wakefield Express - Friday July 3rd)


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Dewsbury MOOR Crematorium and afterwards for food & drink at: 

Note from Melvin Ashton -
Webmaster & author of this email - to Frank's family.

Click Here for some of Frank's pictures;  and More  and even more !
I do hope they do not cause any distress to his family.
I still held the £2.00 for the £1.00 bet that Frank won from GHC re the car make / model !
I donated the £2.00, with my own contribution, at the Crematorium on Thursday 9th July, 2009.
 Check here for a bereavement card from Frank's Isherwood's Colleagues (his colleagues can also take a look), please keep your sound up (new window - maximize / hit F11 for Full Screen - hit F11 again to exit Full Screen).

Mel Ashton,

Home Tel: (01924)  834 464    Mobile Tel:  07740  282 567

Comments Received are given below - Please Scroll Down    General Obituary Comments


To Franks Family,
I am so sorry to hear of your sad loss - though pleased that Frank is no longer suffering.
Ian Lindley, George Crossland & I hoped to visit Frank on Saturday morning, (20th June), - George drove from his home in Wales - but, unfortunately, Frank was too sedated to see us.  George stayed with June & I for a couple of nights and, though obviously sorry that we couldn't visit Frank, we enjoyed discussing 'old times'.
June & I have invited George to stay with us again in order for us to attend the funeral.
Perhaps David, Liz or family will take a look down memory lane with the picture galleries on my Isherwood's web pages.  Click Here for the Pictures Index

My first memories of Frank were in the first week of my apprenticeship with Alwyn Isherwood Ltd. in the first week of September, 1955 at the age of 15 - having left school at 14 years of age.  Frank was in charge of TV Room 1 with Peter Hauxwell and several others.  I was placed in TV Room 2 with the late Eric Youhill  and the late Tony Stokes.  George Crossland was Service Manager.  George, Frank, Peter, Eric and Tony were all City & Guilds Qualified TV Engineers.  This was a large number of qualified engineers for a small - but rapidly growing - firm which dealt with 'Brown Goods' - Radio, Television - &  'White Goods' - Washing Machines, Refrigerators, Small Appliances and Electrical Contracting.

Radio was, of course, well established and the late Dick Simms, the late Jim Wales and the late ? Stan Pearson ran the Radio Department.

TV was growing rapidly - having 'taken off' with the Queen's Coronation in 1953.
There were several 'Improvers' - almost qualified - such as Duncan Thornton, David Exley, Jim Whittaker and the Late Trevor Pearson.  There were also many 'Outside Engineers'.

Below these were about eight young apprentices - myself included.

The grounding provided by the likes of Frank Rayner stood us ALL in good stead for our future careers at Isherwood's and beyond.  We all owe a debt of gratitude and were indeed fortunate to be 'in the right place at the right time' with the 'right team leaders' - though the 'team leader' expression hadn't been invented then !

Frank maintained his interest right up to the last stages of his illness.  Indeed he requested that IF WE WISHED we were all welcome to visit him at his granddaughter Liz's house where he had to move as his illness progressed.  George Crossland travelled from Wales and stayed with June & I for a couple of nights.  George, myself and Ian Lindley intended visiting Frank on Saturday 20th June but, unfortunately, he was too heavily sedated to see us.

Frank's interests in Electronics continued long after his retirement and included his use of his 'confuser'.  My last email from him was on 28th April to inform me he intended attending the funeral of Bryan Dickens which, unfortunately, I could not attend as I was suffering from Flu (men don't get colds !).
This was despite his own illness which he had informed me of in an email on 26th March - at that time he had been diagnosed with 'The Big C' as he called it, a month or so previously.  Though Frank & I used emails, we also kept in touch by telephone occasionally..

Unfortunately Ian Lindley & Partner Susan will be abroad on holiday and cannot attend the funeral but send their apologies and condolences.
They will be thinking of Frank on Thursday 9th.

I hope that George Crossland will be fit enough to stay with June & I again in order to attend the funeral.  With luck he may come up on Wednesday since he  'got lost' for several hours on his last visit HERE AND also on his return journey HOME !

George also tried to attend the cremation of our late colleague 'Bert West' in Huddersfield and, though he found THREE crematoriums, he didn't find the right one so unfortunately missed the service.

Mel Ashton, Outwood, Wakefield.

Hi Mel,
Nice to hook up after such a long time but I am sorry that it is bad news (Frank Rayner's death & funeral arrangements). I am sorry to hear about Frank. But we are all getting to that time of life.
Unfortunately I am sorry to say that, due to work schedule, I will not be able to attend Frank’s funeral. We have a large (6 week) installation starting in Bolton on Monday, and I am to be involved with it.
Keith Hartley - Wakefield location ??  1st July, 2009

Hi, Mel
Good to have heard from you today after all these years notwithstanding that your news was not good.
It is always sad to hear of the passing of an old colleague, but after Dad's illness it sounds as if it is a blessing. We hope now that he has gone to a better place reunited with his late wife.
I did not have a lot of contact with him, working as I did in the radio room along side Dick Simms And Jim Wales, but on the few occasions I did venture into TV1 I was subjected to his caustic wit and then he would give of his best to help and give his advice.
Unfortunately I shall be unable to attend Dads funeral as my wife and I are going on holiday this Saturday.  Give my regards to George and every one attending from the Isherwood's clan.
                     Best Regards
                                      Roy Gill  - Wakefield location ??  1st July, 2009

This is such sad news to hear about Dad. It's a shame that as we move on in life we lose touch with people who at one point were close friends. I only knew Frank for a relatively short period of time when we both worked for Jack Lingwood at his place on Westgate. He was one of life's real characters who I shall always think of as a good friend and with great affection.  You may remember at that time I had finished college and was finding it hard to get at start in the comms industry.  It was Frank who spotted the job advert for the Communications Technician at British Gas North Eastern in the SERT magazine and pointed it out to me.  I did not think I had the necessary experience to apply but Frank encouraged me (for "encouraged me" read "badgered me") to give it a go.  Well, as the say, the rest is history I got the job and my career never looked back from that point. Without Frank doing what he always did, encouraging and helping his friends and colleagues I may never have made that first move.  Please pass on my condolences to Frank's family. I have commitments on the 9th but shall try and sort things so that I can attend the funeral if possible.
Best Regards
Dave Walker - Outwood, Wakefield
Hi Mel

Unfortunately I will not be around to attend Franks funeral as we are away otherwise I would have been there.
Please give my condolences to his family.

I remember Frank (Dad) with great affection when I was an apprentice.
He did not stand any nonsense, but was very fair.  I am sure I am not alone in saying:-  "All in all a great bloke".
I feel it was a privilege to have known him.

Best wishes to all.

Tony Cockell   Stockport 29/06/09

Sad indeed. I remember Dad very well. He was the expert on the "bench" that us apprentices would go to if there were tough problems. I remember he had a sarcasm, humour and wit that were sometimes daunting.  I learned a lot from him very quickly, not all of his teachings were technical, which of course was sorely needed by apprentices.  I guess today you'd say "street smarts".  I also recall the workshop at George Street where the heating was under-floor which of course made it fatiguing on the feet. Dad had this long section of boarding which looked custom made along the floor adjacent to the section of bench he worked at. We apprentices made do with cardboard. I don't know whether you remember, but in those days there were several lines of business, from TVs to radio's and white goods, with each department having their own areas in the old house. There was both a rivalry and comradery that existed between each.

Dad may be missed, but his legacy lives on in the lives of many that he touched over the years.

Best regards
Graham Lovell
- 'Silicon Valley' - Northern California
- 26/06/09
Dear Mel
Please let Dads family know that we are aware they have lost a unique guy and for what its worth we share their loss
[Phil Gavin]  South Africa - 26/06/09
Hi Mel, 
Thanks for the information,  at least now he is free from pain and if there is an afterlife, he will be with Louie and both will be at peace.
As far as I know, Duncan still lives at Carr Gate but I wouldn't be sure.
See you later 
Stuart. Cowgill - Stanley - 26/06/09
Below are Emails Received PRIOR to Frank's Death
Sorry to hear Frank is so ill I know he is a very good friend of yours and you go back years your visit will mean so much to him I am sure, I didn't know Frank but did meet him at the reunion we came to a few years ago.
I did join John Backhouse's computer class and took the picture of me at Isherwoods demonstrating the twin tub at the moment trying to find the one of the group which I think John is on for our next class.
Glad to hear June has done so well after her fall loved the video in the ward(don't know what our Jan would think of it!!)
Jan has got a sisters job now on A&E she starts after her holidays she went to Ascot yesterday and in total contrast is cycling from Newcastle to Scotland visiting castles on her way,
keep sending the jokes we love them.
Mags  Margaret Davidson - nee Bolton (Leeds Lands Lane shop) - 19/06/09

Hi Mel,
Sad news indeed,  please pass my regards to Dad - it  was a pleasure to know and work with him  & although Peter Hauxwell was my tutor I sometimes felt the effect of his "wrath" if things were not to his liking.  But it never did me any harm and probably made me a better technician eventually.  He will be missed but remembered with much affection.    
Stuart Cowgill Stanley - 18/06/09
Dear Melvin and Ian
Please pass on to Dad my regards. Please let him know that he and George Crossland have been two of the most influential people in my life from being an apprentice to running a power station. They taught me to be human even when you become the "big cheese". I owe them an unpayable debt and my thoughts often return to Isherwoods and them in particular. Never did the PLUNKET teach anyone more than it did me. Every time I have a beer Frank, my thoughts will be with you.
The Haggis
[Phil Gavin]  South Africa - 18/06/09
I am so sorry to hear that your illness has progressed so much but believe that you were anticipating it and had experienced a similar situation with Loui, prior to her death on Christmas Eve, 2004.
George Crossland, Ian Lindley & I hope to visit you on Saturday morning, (20th June)  If you are unable to use the 'confuser', perhaps Liz or family will take a look down memory lane with the picture galleries on my Isherwood's web pages ?
Click Here
for the Pictures Index

Mel Ashton, Outwood, Wakefield, 18/06/09
Home Tel: (01924)  834 464    Mobile Tel: 07740  282 567


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