By Brian Hall
Wednesday 29 May 2013 09:04:00
Browse all Brian Hall articles



I thought of writing a couple of notes, reminders, that kind of thing, in order to try to describe the impact that Kenneth Ross had upon me. I decided that there was no real need for that, as in his own way, he would have smiled at such an exercise, and in my own way, I thought that I would state it from the heart.


Ken, though I never called him that, was one of those people in life you are lucky to come across. Where to start?


I first came across this remarkable man, shortly after I met one of his two daughters – Wendy, not Lorna! I would meet the latter later, and indeed meet his son, Neil. And after a very short time, I got to know him, his ways, learnt  some of his knowledge, saw examples of his humour, and oh so many things along the way. About Kenneth, and also about aspects of life really.


His own family history will be far better known that I could ever document. So. I will only write about the man as I found him.


For example, he believed in many, many values. Obviously, education – for all, without people having to pay for it. He thought family and friends were important, and should be treasured as such. He was a loving man in that context, in terms of his wife Mary, his children, and any friends, I assume, with whom he had associated.


His inquisitive mind never seemed to cease really, unless he took time out to watch a tv programme or something – at least I had the privilege of seeing him switch off, so to speak.


Kenneth and I would talk about all kinds of things – languages, politics, you name it really. His only fault in that kind of conversational, debating skills, was that he failed to see the importance of why football mattered!!


He would not have described himself as a Saint – he did not believe in them anyway! Like us all, he had his faults, and could cause chaos without even knowing he had just done so. The rest of the Ross family knew how to deal with that, in their own, very different ways!


So. To a wee few – I can say wee, as I myself have a dodgy Scottish connection in my own Durham family – brilliant anecdotes about a man who people were lucky to meet on their life path.


One occurred in a sea loch south of Oban. He had driven down, with Mary, to stay overnight at a cabin. The watta was caad, very caad, actually. But Kenneth was only in his early 80s, fancied a dip, hoyed his trousers off, and plunged off the little pier for a quick dip and swim. I looked on, astounded really!


Another incident saw him at a wedding in Newcastle, not making the traditional Father Speech, and then landing himself into a night which involved spontaneous Geordie songs, and anything else that was gannin on. He loved it, and his own humble shyness evaporated. He laughed, clapped, joined in too.


And one mare, as they say, in Scotland and in Geordieland – he liked Geordies by the way, thought we were an odd lot, a mix, and he was reet about that. I was shocked, though of course, should not have been, to see him at the sprightly age of 80 plus plus, doing some kind of potentially dangerous repair at the family home in Forres.  I like to think us Durham people have courage, but I remember thinking..........what!!!!?


In short, as I stated, I abandoned any note formation on just how to describe a person I felt, and still feel, very privileged to have met.  A soldier, a father,  a man who did not hesitate to express his views, even if those around him did not quite agree with him!!


As we say, a funny bugga.............and a man worthy of a huge amount of respect.    I, no doubt amongst so many others, have that emotion about Kenneth Ross. And I regard myself as bloody lucky to have met him.




Ps  I still divvent understand how he never got the point about football being so vital. ....but he was at least convinced by his wife never to disturb me if I was in his kitchen trying to find out how NUFC were doing on his radio systems!

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