Tribute: Eric Miller

  |  Published: Oct 20th 2017
Eric Miller outside Aylesbury Grammar School, courtesy AGS
Eric Miller outside Aylesbury Grammar School, courtesy AGS

Eric Miller, an appreciation

Eric Miller, or Dusty as so many knew him, had a seemingly endless supply of jokes that he tailored to his audience be they child or adult. So often when we met Eric would say “Here, did you hear the one about..?”

Eric was born locally and spent most of his life in the area. His national service was spent in Britain, although he was on standby for Malaya, and those two years provided him with much fuel for his many jokes. In later years he became a football referee in the Aylesbury Sunday Combination matches, later becoming a football referee assessor only giving this up due to his illness. Eric had a wide range of interests which included shooting where he became Chairman and then President of the Wendover Rifle Club. Professionally, he was an Environmental Health Officer with Bucks County Council, a job which took him out and about meeting all manner of people, many of whom became useful contacts and friends. And for many years he enjoyed being a Justice of the Peace sitting on the Aylesbury Bench, a voluntary role, which I found useful when job hunting and needing a character referee.

At Quainton Dusty was an early Trustee holding the positions of Vice Chairman and Fund Raising Officer who ran and promoted the annual raffle - and he was instrumental in halting the proposed sale of GWR 7200 at an EGM, forming the 7200 Trust and becoming its first Hon Secretary. He acted as a Santa at Christmas for a good many years and was elected as one of our three Vice Presidents. Over the years he applied for a wide range of grants for all sorts of projects, notably assisting the late Andrew Bratton last year in obtaining a substantial amount to repair and repaint our Romney buildings.

 Eric was very much a people person who enjoyed his self-appointed role of selling raffle tickets from his satchel as he wandered amongst our visitors every Sunday afternoon wearing his trademark flat cap. I shall miss Dusty and will always remember him for his long jokes, usually delivered quietly and which frequently concluded with his own, distinctive chuckle. He is survived by his wife and three children to whom we send our sincere condolences.

Tony Lyster, Bucks Rail Centre, Quainton

Mr Eric Miller was a student of Aylesbury Grammar School between 1945 and 1950, in Ridley House. He was involved in School life as an Old Aylesburian for many years and in recent years we were fortunate to welcome Eric back to School to lay a wreath on the School memorial at our Middle School assembly to celebrate Remembrance Day.  Each year Eric spoke vividly about Aylesbury in the 1920s, his father’s experiences during the Great War, his personal reminiscences of the Second World War and the huge sacrifice made by the many thousands who fought for this country.  We are hugely grateful to Eric for taking the time to share his insight and poignant memories our student community.

Words sent by Aylesbury Grammar School

 

Eric Miller, or Dusty as he was known to many, had a seemingly endless supply ofjokes that he tailored to suit his audience, be they child or adult. So often when meeting Eric he would say “Have I told you the one about …?

Eric was born in Monks Risborough and spent most of his life in the area , only moving away to complete his national service and a spell working in Wiltshire. In his younger days Eric was an accomplished cricketer later becoming a footballreferee in the newly formed Aylesbury Sunday Combination, on retiring from this hebecame a referee assessor for the Berks and Bucks F.A. Another of Eric’s sportinginterests was small bore rifle shooting, this was done at Wendover Rifle Club wherehe became chairman for a number of years before graduating to life president. Professionally he was an Environmental Health Officer with Aylesbury Vale DistrictCouncil. This was a job that took him out and about meeting many people most of whom became useful contacts and friends. For many years Eric was a Justice of the Peace on the Aylesbury Bench, a voluntary role that he served with great pride. At the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre Dusty was an early Trustee holding the positions of Vice Chairman and Fundraising Officer in which capacity he ran and promoted the annual raffle. He was also instrumental in halting the proposed sale of GWR heavy freight locomotive 7200 and also the subsequent restoration of this loco,sadly passing before its eventual return to steam. Eric acted the role of Santa on the Christmas Specials for a good many years and a few years ago was elected a Hon. Vice President of the society. Over the years Eric had successfully applied for a wide range of grants for a number of projects at the museum mainly infrastructure related.Eric was a popular person who enjoyed his self appointed role of selling raffle tickets from his satchel as he wandered amongst the visitors on a Sunday afternoon wearing his trademark flat cap. His ashes were placed in his parent’s grave at St Dunstan's Church, Monk’s Risborough. Eric is survived by Pam, his wife of many years, and by his sons Jonathan and Gareth and Daughter Erica.

Words written for Quainton Railway Magazine by John Porter 

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