Goodbye Dear Friend

September 27, 2019 at 2:58 pm

On Wednesday we were given the sad news that my lifelong friend Brian Oldfield had passed away after a long illness. We are all devastated that one of the nicest men you could ever meet is no longer with us.
I first met Brian in 1980 in a pine forest in Rossendale. I was twenty foot up a pine tree, at the nest of a Sparrowhawk, when he appeared at the base of the tree and thought I was about to take the young. We had an exchange of words and I climbed down the tree to explain that I was just ringing the young to identify them in case they were stolen. It was apparent at that first meeting that Brian and I shared the same values and I asked him if he would like to join me and photograph birds from my hide something he had never done before. He jumped at the invitation and so started a friendship that would last 35 intense years. During that time I made 30 one hour cine films, produced 5DVDs and took thousands of photos, none of which would have been possible without Brian putting me in hides and taking me out hours later.In return Brian was able to photograph, under my License, breeding birds he could only dream of before such as Merlin, Barn Owl, Kingfisher and Little Ringed Plover.
Brian never learned to drive a car and during our 35 years I wore out a dozen cars and drove over half a million miles! During that time we never had one argument and swear words were not in his vocabulary. Our travels took us to Islay, Skomer,Bass Rock, the Farne Islands and all over the Pennines. We even slept in our hides at a Blackcock lek awaiting the Black Grouse lekking at 3.00am! At the end of all our outings Brian always produced tea and biscuits and there were only a couple of occasions when we ended up drinking hot water because Brian had forgotten to bring the tea bags! It would have been Edna’s fault!!
Brian was ten years older than me but his fitness was incredible. In his seventies he climbed Pennyghent to photograph Purple Saxifrage and walked along the Striding Edge on Helvellyn. Our last outing was to the Farne Isles and Brian was in his eightieth year – with Brian climbing about the Pinnacle rocks as if he was still in his teens! It has truly been an honour to have been in your company Brian during the last forty years.
None of the photos in this weeks gallery photos would have been possible without Brian – thank you. Click here