CLIFFORD ROY VAYRO ( 1950 - 2003 ) A personal tribute.
My brother Clifford Roy Vayro or "Cliffy" as he was known to his friends was born in Croxdale Lodge Maternity Hospital, Sunderland Bridge, Durham, on February 28 th 1950.
Clifford was married twice. His first wife was Janet Smith and they were married in Our Lady Immaculate and St Cuthbert R C Church in Crook, Co. Durham. Janet's parents were John George Smith and Frances O'Brien. They had a son, Andrew.
Clifford's second wife was Julie Franks and they were married in Bishop Auckland Registry Office. Both marriages unfortunately ended in divorce.
He was always practically minded, and as a teenager would take things apart to see how they worked. Unfortunately they never seemed to go back together again, so the Tandem stayed in his dad's allotment until it rusted away, and mother's alarm clock never rang again.
Both his grandfather Thomas and his father John William had worked in the local mines so Clifford's first job was with the National Coal Board where he became an apprentice at the Tursdale Workshops. He worked on JCB's, Dumper Trucks and large earthmoving equipment, and surprise, surprise they did work again.
Clifford also worked at Mackay's Carpet Factory in Durham, where he could rebuild a loom in a matter of hours. His last job was as senior maintenance engineer in the Wear Valley District Civic Centre in Crook working on the Lighting, Heating and Plumbing and in charge of a team of others.
At one time he was a driver for the Auxiliary Fire Service based at the Fire Station in Crook. He was also in the Auxiliary Territorial army for a couple of years and with a PSV license drove part time for a local coach company on weekend and holiday excursions.
Clifford aged 4
Clifford aged 44 in 1994
When our parent's died within a year of each other in 1982 and 1983, Clifford felt it really hard, couldn't find an explanation and seemed to start fighting against the world. Deep inside he was a very caring person, would do anything for anyone, but because of his manner and bravado had an uncanny knack of upsetting people around him, and found it difficult to rebuild relationships for fear of being rejected. He liked a drink or two and unfortunately he had one too many.
Clifford died on Good Friday 18 th April 2003, in Bishop Auckland General Hospital at the age of 53, which was far too young considering that some of his relatives have lived into their 90's. The Funeral was at Willington Methodist Chapel on Tuesday 29 th April 2003, and he was buried in St Stephen's Churchyard (plot ANEW 310). His partner at the time was Barbara Coney.
Following his death there were a series of unusual circumstances that really bring a sense of humour to what was a very sad situation. Clifford died on Good Friday and with it being a long public holiday it was not until the Tuesday that a death certificate could be prepared by the Hospital Doctor. However the initial certificate had to be returned by the Registrar's Office because there was insufficient information given re causes of his death.
The vicar was away on holiday so funeral details could not be finalised until Thursday evening. The local Crematorium was relining one of the kilns so it was impossible to get a service until well into the third week. So eventually his partner and family decided that a burial should be arranged. On the day of the funeral when we arrived at the cemetery the undertaker informed us that the grave had been prepared in the wrong section of the graveyard.
Needless to say Clifford Roy Vayro was buried in the grave that had been prepared by the groundsmen and it turned out that this was only a few feet away from the grave of Jake Ryan Allan Short a two year old boy who tragically died in 2001 of Meningitis. This was actually the son of Kelly Coney, who was the daughter of Clifford's partner Barbara Coney. We can only believe that Clifford wanted to be there to watch over little Jake, a small child who had come into his life for a very short time.
By some of us he will always be remembered as the naughty boy with the cheeky smile. By others as the cocky one who always seemed to get in an argument. By one particular young lady his niece Allison Jayne as the uncle Cliffy who saved her from drowning at Haggerston Castle Caravan Park in Northumberland. He was the only one who noticed her struggling in the swimming pool and dived in to drag her out.
BRIAN VAYRO and CHRISTINE ROSS
My younger brother Brian Vayro was born in Willington on Bonfire Night, says his father comes to him in his dreams, and he still spends time digging the allotment with his father.
His education began at Chapel Street Primary School and he went on to Parkside Comprehensive in Willington.
Like myself he has a wide interest in Ornithology and Wildlife in general, and was more interested in the Practical subjects of Woodwork and Metalwork when he was at school. Barbara and I would take him and her sister Janice to the Oakenshaw stream on Brancepeth Estates, for picnics, and when he was in his early teens I took him to Tow Law where we found a tawny owl's nest in the hollow of a tree, and startled a hare from its lie.
He met his future wife Christine Ross at a Hunwick club disco, and they became engaged whilst watching his favourite Disney movie Jungle Book at the cinema in Scarborough. They invested in a small colliery terrace house before they were married at St Stephen's Church in lower Willington.
After leaving school Brian started work at Hedley's farm, on the outskirts of Willington, with long hard days and evenings, but only a short distance from his home. From there he joined W T Archer, a building firm, and although he wanted to be a joiner, initially he worked with the bricklaying squads. He stayed with Archers for 14 years, gaining experience of every aspect of the building trade, before moving on for better wages. Renovation of the small terrace house was always ongoing, but when Brian needed an extension for a kitchen and bathroom, Brian set to and built it himself, with my brother Clifford and myself acting as labourers for part of the time. A job well done!
Brian Aged 1
Brian Aged 10