A whole series of my local Liberal heroes have been leaving us over the last few years. Just recently we lost Chris Hall. Chris signed me up to join the Liberal Democrats in 1992 (long story – I joined the Liberal Party in 1987 but they didn’t have a computerised reminder system so I lapsed a few years afterwards). He just stood in my house with his lovely smile and paused until the silence was unbearable and I said “Oh well I’d better sign up as a member then”. I later called this silence his “unctuous silence routine”, which tickled him.
Chris (pictured above, left, receiving a lifetime achievement award, from Lorely Burt and Judith Bunting, with another deceased local hero Mike James) was a real friend to me in the LibDems. We went round many streets together, often in faraway places like Kintbury, and had many laughs together.
He was a real hard worker for the Lib Dems but was always laughing and smiling while he worked. He was the definition of “affable”.
The biggest thing about Chris was that he had a real deep affection for Newbury and its people. He loved the little quaint places and Newbury’s characters. He would often chuckle as he remembered little incidents. The one that stands out is the tale he told, with great affection, of the old “Adam and Eve” pub, the site of which is now approximately covered by Burger King in Greenham Road. He used to love to recall how you’d go in and ask for a pint of beer at the bar, and then the old lady would struggle slowly and painstakingly down the many steep and narrow steps to the cellar and come back several minutes later with a jug from which she would pour your pint of beer.
It was those sorts of charming old world ways that Chris loved to recall.
I will never forget his little chuckle. Thank you Chris, and rest in peace!