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Martin Buckle remembered. (1 Viewer)

Olly Buckle

Mentor
Patron
My big brother Martin was a doer, Where I had about twenty hives of bees at one time, Martin had nearly a hundred, produced prodigious amounts of honey, won prizes with it, became a senior honey judge, and travelled the world advising people how they could supplement their incomes with hives. He taught himself how to weave old fashioned beehives and skeps and they appear in movies like ‘Robin Hood’. He was a teacher all his working life, first in biology, then agriculture, and he was a teacher in his private life as well.

There is a photo of him on holiday in Nepal surrounded by about fifteen or twenty Nepalese children who all have reed flutes he had made them. He used to play French Horn in an orchestra and trumpet in a jazz band, you can bet those flutes played in tune and he taught the kids the basics of using them.

As the go to helper he was involved in the school production of Hamlet, and made the cut off head that someone comes on stage with. Martin’s cut off head started with a plaster cast of the ‘victim’s’ face and had a bottle of ketchup embedded in the hollow neck, realistic enough to draw gasps from the audience. Experimenting for it he had made several casts of his hand and discovered that if he mixed a little flour with the wax, then red and blue ink, he could make a very realistic ‘dead’ hand. The flour even made the surface look a bit ‘off’.

Another of his hobbies was canoeing, and he had qualified as an instructor and used to take a group of teenagers out regularly. One day he took the hand with him, and getting a bit ahead in a backwater embedded it in a mud bank. The first two boys passed it without noticing, then there was a terrific scream from the girl in third place.

In school holidays he used to take groups of kids on walking holidays. In Derry one year they had camped under a hillside that had a considerable hippy encampment on it. Martin was up early, got a fire going, and was brewing coffee. The smell brought a chap in dreadlocks down the hill to investigate and they were chatting over the fire and a cup of coffee when suddenly ‘Dreads’ said, “I know you, you’re Martin Buckle, you used to teach me biology”. It turned out he lived in a round house he had built for himself on the hill, and had become the local thatcher. Martin said they had a good central fire, with a proper chimney, and set in front of it a door in the floor. When he asked what it was he opened the door and there was a bath set in the floor so one could sit in the bath in front of the fire.

It was typical of Martin that he would have conversations with and get to know the most unlikely people. I remember him telling me about an interesting afternoon chatting to an RSPA man who had come round to check on the school sheep, because the old lady opposite had reported him for leaving it outside on the school field all August Bank Holiday. The Rspca man said it was the best kept sheep he had ever seen, and he didn’t know what she thought Welsh hill farmers did. The sheep, by the way had been named by the children when it was a lamb, and was called ‘Chop’. Martin would never have overruled ‘Boaty McBoatface’.

He was practical with it, I remember opening a pressure cooker in his kitchen and finding a rabbit grinning up at me, he explained he picked up the road kill on his way home each evening and cooked it for the cat. In a similar vein his daughter, my niece, once went to the freezer to get something and found a badger in it. Road kill again, “It looked in good condition so I thought I would save it for my friend who is into taxidermy”. I find bits of Martin creep into my stories, the biologist in ‘Trilby’, or the professor in ‘Science Park’ for example.

When he got his first job in charge of a Biology dept I remember him telling me that he gave the ‘A’ level work to his subordinate because he enjoyed teaching the kids who would never take an exam, “There is no pressure and I can get on with teaching them stuff that interests them. Hopefully they will take a bit of it forward with them into their lives.” That subordinate was at his funeral recently, and told me that Martin was the reason he stayed in teaching, it was only going to be a temporary thing to get a house deposit together, but 40 years later …

A man who touched and helped improve many lives, and took great pleasure in it.
 

SueC

Staff member
Senior Mentor
Lovely, lovely man. Someone, at the end of a day, you would feel blessed to have even known let alone part of your immediately family. So sorry for your loss, Olly. He seemed to be an exceptional person.
 

Serendipity

Senior Member
My big brother Martin was a doer, Where I had about twenty hives of bees at one time, Martin had nearly a hundred, produced prodigious amounts of honey, won prizes with it, became a senior honey judge, and travelled the world advising people how they could supplement their incomes with hives. He taught himself how to weave old fashioned beehives and skeps and they appear in movies like ‘Robin Hood’. He was a teacher all his working life, first in biology, then agriculture, and he was a teacher in his private life as well.

There is a photo of him on holiday in Nepal surrounded by about fifteen or twenty Nepalese children who all have reed flutes he had made them. He used to play French Horn in an orchestra and trumpet in a jazz band, you can bet those flutes played in tune and he taught the kids the basics of using them.

As the go to helper he was involved in the school production of Hamlet, and made the cut off head that someone comes on stage with. Martin’s cut off head started with a plaster cast of the ‘victim’s’ face and had a bottle of ketchup embedded in the hollow neck, realistic enough to draw gasps from the audience. Experimenting for it he had made several casts of his hand and discovered that if he mixed a little flour with the wax, then red and blue ink, he could make a very realistic ‘dead’ hand. The flour even made the surface look a bit ‘off’.

Another of his hobbies was canoeing, and he had qualified as an instructor and used to take a group of teenagers out regularly. One day he took the hand with him, and getting a bit ahead in a backwater embedded it in a mud bank. The first two boys passed it without noticing, then there was a terrific scream from the girl in third place.

In school holidays he used to take groups of kids on walking holidays. In Derry one year they had camped under a hillside that had a considerable hippy encampment on it. Martin was up early, got a fire going, and was brewing coffee. The smell brought a chap in dreadlocks down the hill to investigate and they were chatting over the fire and a cup of coffee when suddenly ‘Dreads’ said, “I know you, you’re Martin Buckle, you used to teach me biology”. It turned out he lived in a round house he had built for himself on the hill, and had become the local thatcher. Martin said they had a good central fire, with a proper chimney, and set in front of it a door in the floor. When he asked what it was he opened the door and there was a bath set in the floor so one could sit in the bath in front of the fire.

It was typical of Martin that he would have conversations with and get to know the most unlikely people. I remember him telling me about an interesting afternoon chatting to an RSPA man who had come round to check on the school sheep, because the old lady opposite had reported him for leaving it outside on the school field all August Bank Holiday. The Rspca man said it was the best kept sheep he had ever seen, and he didn’t know what she thought Welsh hill farmers did. The sheep, by the way had been named by the children when it was a lamb, and was called ‘Chop’. Martin would never have overruled ‘Boaty McBoatface’.

He was practical with it, I remember opening a pressure cooker in his kitchen and finding a rabbit grinning up at me, he explained he picked up the road kill on his way home each evening and cooked it for the cat. In a similar vein his daughter, my niece, once went to the freezer to get something and found a badger in it. Road kill again, “It looked in good condition so I thought I would save it for my friend who is into taxidermy”. I find bits of Martin creep into my stories, the biologist in ‘Trilby’, or the professor in ‘Science Park’ for example.

When he got his first job in charge of a Biology dept I remember him telling me that he gave the ‘A’ level work to his subordinate because he enjoyed teaching the kids who would never take an exam, “There is no pressure and I can get on with teaching them stuff that interests them. Hopefully they will take a bit of it forward with them into their lives.” That subordinate was at his funeral recently, and told me that Martin was the reason he stayed in teaching, it was only going to be a temporary thing to get a house deposit together, but 40 years later …

A man who touched and helped improve many lives, and took great pleasure in it.
This was a beautiful tribute to your brother. I loved it. I wish that I could have had the opportunity to know Martin. What an interesting person!
 

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