Sue’s thoughts about Albie

Albie was diagnosed with a tumour in his lung in June, and was preparing for treatment to start. Very recently he developed an infection, which initially seemed to be responding well to antibiotics; unfortunately complications overwhelmed his lungs. He fought so hard, but very sadly passed away, peacefully, with family by his side, on Tuesday, 28th July 2009. He leaves his devastated family – his wife, Sue, and children; Iggy, 14; Theo, 13; and Millie, 6 – who live in London, the city he loved.

Albie cycled everywhere, even when ill (with support provided by a portable oxygen tank). He knew streets, history and markets; in fact, the best places to buy anything – especially food! The kids all have had seats on the bikes, and he was a well recognised figure around Bloomsbury; Camden; Clerkenwell and Soho. There he was with his bike and a black bag bulging with purchases and things to eat. Albie was the family ‘cook’ and provided delicious food every night.

He was a great supporter and fundraiser for the nurseries and schools the children attended. Albie had children later in life, having had so many other people’s children always around him. They may now have their own children but remember his flat clearly, where they played on old penny slot machines; they remember the way he treated them as equals.

Albie was  a dedicated father to Iggy, Theo and Millie. He was always on hand to help, as he worked from home. They have thought it normal to have a father who can make models, and he not only threw himself into their endeavours but matched their enthusiasm. Theo and Iggy remember having fun when they think of Dad, his long silly jokes, his quirky sense of humour and word play. We still have the prototype shark fin ready to test in the water for the remake of ‘Jaws’ for which Theo was writing the screenplay and designing a DVD cover for. They had already completed one version of a film shot at Kew inspired by ‘LOST’ starring the family, and at Albie’s suggestion, was called ‘MISLAID.’

Albie had infinite patience to play their games and was incredibly inventive. Millie’s favourite memory is of playing a board game with Daddy using an imaginary dice. She always threw a six and her player would scoot round the board. Albie on the other hand, made great play of rolling the die and with great mock disappointment, would cry, ‘Oh no! I’ve got a 1, AGAIN’!

Albie composed puzzles, crosswords, did research for comic book stories, as well as solving and writing books for Rubix games. He was a solver of anything, from puzzles to problems on the computer. He still had so much to teach; he had learnt wisdom from research, but also was wise counsel and morally fair. No wonder he wrote, ‘On The Spot’, a book about moral dilemmas. People respected him and would ask for his opinion.

Albie loved entertaining and the childrens’ parties gained a reputation as a renowned event for children and their parents, which carried on sometimes into the early hours!

There are so many memories that people have of Albie, and have started to share. It won’t be possible to speak to you all but this blog will enable us to start to celebrate this amazing man, and to keep his memory alive. It will also be thoughts and memories for his children. Please share your memories of Albie here.

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57 Responses to “Sue’s thoughts about Albie”

  1. maria ellery Says:

    I first met Albie 33 years ago when my boyfriend Bryan introduced me to this charming funny generous man who lived around the corner from us in Holborn. He was subsequently a refuge for us when our flat burnt down [which was not arson due to me wanting to eat his food every evening] and we were temporarily homeless and then was a witness at our wedding in 1981up the road at good old Camden Registry Office
    For many years I remember loads of evenings and in particular magical Christmas celebrations spent eating his amazing food [Albie was a foodie before foodies were invented] ,killer cocktails and bonkers games of Risk, Beat the intro and more. Oh and forget tv, playstations and the rest a flat full of slot machines and one armed bandits is the trick to keep children happy and engaged.
    He was a great ,fun generous host and friend and pariicularly gifted, kind and genuinely interested and supportive of young people. The years he put into engaging and helping all of our kids and stepkids must have been a contributary factor in becoming such a terrific dad when Iggy, Theo and Millie were born and the loss his death leaves for them will be huge. I last saw Albie at Bryans wedding to Jan last Sepember in Brighton. As ever he was warm, funny and full of plans and still not a bad mover on the dancer floor either if I recollect.
    Love to all who loved him and particularly to Sue and the kids for the hole his death will leave but also for the fantastc memories which will be so precious. Please let me know about funeral/memorial service. It would be a privilegde to attend Maria x

  2. julia Says:

    i first met Albie at one of his famous parties; I think It was Iggy’s 2nd Birthday and it was my first realization that life did exist outside the 4 walls of my flat in my new home town of London.
    We had 2 sons of a similar age, Jack was only 3 when he first went but constantly nagged to return because of the mass of old penny slot machines Albie had linning his flat, all at kiddie level. Of course I was quite keen too as the food had been a bit gorgeous and I could have a grown up conversation.

    Our children then went to Corams field nursey together and so began a relationship not just with myself and my kids but a gaggle of other parents, revolving around Corams and Albie and Sue’s house.

    Albie never turned me away whenever I needed help with the boys or advice, though he couldn’t half witter on and sometimes after several bottles of red wine I couldn’t remember why I’d needed any advice in the first place. I’d wander out the flat saying “don’t worry boys, its all ok Mummy get a taxi”.

    Albie was always a true supporter of the nursery and school fund raisers, has fab ideas and could conjour up ride on train tracks and games for the kids to play like no other, if he couldn’t he alwys knew someone who could. They were the best of times. Iggy and Theo were always regarded as being very lucky boys by my own 2 children and they were the only kids ever to be able to play the Pokemon card game not just swap them in the school play groung for the shiniest one on offer.

    Whenever Ablie picked them up form school he had a massive bag of goodies to take to Corams, especially a never ending supply of choc chip cookies.

    It was Albie that inspired me to get a bike and carry my boys around on it, lets face it it was really the only way to get around central London.
    On Friday mornings we would sit at Christopher Hatton primary school’s coffee morning chewing the fat, getting wound up about certain rules and regulations being imposed on our kids, Albie wasn’t a fan of rules, they were made to be broken and would regale me of tales of his school days in Southend where he would wear a uniform 4 sizes to small just to upset the teachers, he was bending the rules.

    He believed kids should be seen and very much heard, Albie and Sue were always the last to leave any party with the boys strapped on their bikes. Meal times happened when they were hungry and bed time when they were tired, hence why Albies house was always full of kids and parents, relaxing and having a laugh, eating and drinking and being very happy.

    They were good times, very good times but sadly all good things must come to an end. I think I’m right in saying they came to an end far too soon and we are all left in shock. My family were all deeply fond of Albie and his family and although the memories at the moment make me cry, one day soon the laughter will come through the tears.

  3. Conrad Cork Says:

    Although I never knew the man, I knew and delighted in the qualities of mind he brought to his puzzles. It was always a red letter day when they appeared, and my friends and I excitedly emailed ‘Taupi today’ to each other. His were the most special puzzles and in solving them I felt I was celebrating someone really extraordinary. It actually felt like being privileged.

    I don’t often weep for someone I did not know personally, but I did this week. My warmest thoughts and deepest condolences to his family and friends. Requiescat in pace to someone who blessed the world by his having been a part of it.

    Conrad

  4. Neil Walker Says:

    I never met Albie (Taupi) but I grew to love his cryptic crosswords.

    I used to do the prize Guardian puzzle every weekend and so did my dad. We would ring each other up at weekends to discuss progress. I first started doing Taupi’s puzzles around 2002; prior to that I’d always steared clear in the belief they were too difficult . One day, I plucked up the courage to have a go at a weekday Taupi puzzle and was really impressed. From then on I always did his puzzles. I told my dad how good they were and, knowing that dad only did the weekend puzzle, I wrote to the Guardian crossword editor to request seeing more of Taupi’s work at weekends. I don’t know if my letter had a direct impact but on Saturday 11th October 2003 Taupi set the prize puzzle and by chance I happened to be visiting my parents that weekend. I managed to do most of the puzzle on the way there but dad’s copy was blank as he’d been too busy to start. On Sunday afternoon, he had a quick look at the puzzle and was struggling a bit. I remember he was particularly interested in solving the clue “It involves serving at sea (4,6)”. I headed home after tea and my last words to him were about the puzzle: “you’ll do it dad – just hang in there”, I said, “it’s hard though, pal” was his reply. These were the last words I exchanged with my dad – he was rushed to hospital two hours later and died in the early hours of Tuesday 14th October 2003. The medical staff presumed he had kidney stones: actually he was suffering from a twisting of the small intestine. They didn’t realise how critically ill he was. The pertinent parts of the story were used for Sandy Balfour’s X-philes column in The Guardian(http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,1079635,00.html).

    I miss my dad enormously. There’s not a day or night goes by where I don’t think about him. He was, and still is, my idol and the greatest dad in the world. Every time I do a cryptic, I think of him but especially if it’s a Taupi puzzle. Shortly after dad died, I decided to have a go at writing my own puzzles and I managed to get some of them onto the enigmatist.com website. Taupi also set puzzles on this website and he emailed me once to say that he enjoyed my puzzles. This meant a lot to me.

    I have attended several crossword-lovers gatherings but unfortunately never got the chance to meet Taupi. He will be sorely missed.

    Fond memories make sad events bearable.

  5. Simone Says:

    Albie was old school, albie was proper, albie was a dad of the most amazing indulging captivating inventive kind , he seemed a husband of the most caring and sweet kind, he was a friend through all weathers and of the very best kind (except before about 11 am) unless he was still up from the night before.
    The chips that came from his pan I have never tasted the like of, the salad dressing was a thing of wonder.
    When I think of this man I realise I will never ever meet anyone like him again, though the amazing juices (and red wine) run through the veins of those great kids, iggie, theo and millie so no doubt that his legacy lives on lucky for us all. I want to tell them all the great things I remember about him .
    It could be hours days or weeks ,or months between phone calls but that phone would always be answered by that deep throaty ‘4011’, that was such a comfort to me to know whatever happened that remained a constant.
    When I met him aged 25 I thought I knew it all, I realised after not five minutes conversation on an easter egg hunt in waterlow park that I knew nothing and that here was a person with whom I would never win an argument or lets say debate. And debate he would about anything, I remember suzi, Julia and I frequently trying to argue a point but I never remember a victory belonging to anyone but he, and the other side vanquished by a mixture of albie fiori ( I told him it was a gangsters name) and red wine.
    I remember him looking after the kids and sue but he always retained a bacheloresque quality when it came to his breakfast usually a solitary affair of weird breakfast food around one in the afternoon, many a time I would ring and he would say a bit miffed , ‘I am just eating my breakfast’ as if that was normal at that time in the late morning afternoon.
    His categorized catalogued music collection on tapes amazed me, he knew every obscure sixties track going and who it was by and what they had for breakfast.
    For years I smugly embarked on the guardian crossword knowing I could get the answers if I wanted but when I rang in defeat albie would never tell me the answer but in true albie style would try and coax my dormant brain into action and by alluding and giving me clues lead me stumbling to the answer.
    Albie was a true friend, whenever I brought a problem round, ( and for a while there were many) he would listen and then give his opinion, hardly ever what I wanted to hear but on reflection usually what I needed to, all accompanied by proper coffee or tea made in a pot.
    When I gave him a bike that I thought a bit old and shabby he made it last another ten years.
    He solved the expense of party bags by the genius of lucky dip which I readily adopted for my own kids parties.
    He connected with everyone from zero to infinity, I remember him in intelligent conversations with all the children and adults and seniors alike.
    When they visited me in the lakes last year I can vividly remember him and libby (then aged one) having a great time playing the drums on the canoes at the bottom of the garden. He found the fun and extended it and then expanded it and then played on it and turned something mundane into the magical.
    The shopping for the best food at the cheapest prices is a case in point, it was an epic weekly journey man not just a shopping trip
    I remember him making five different dinners one evening to try and coax theo into eating and the only sign of frustration being an oh theeeooooo!. whilst I sat there and marvelled out loud that I would have been climbing the walls he just rolled those massive eyes and shrugged his shoulders.
    I find it hard to believe this cruel twist that he has gone from us so very very surely too soon, I weep with sadness as I write that I will never hear his voice or his laugh again and at the enormous loss that this is for sue his kids and his family and friends, and yet I laugh because I can hear him berating me for being sad and mourning and telling me to celebrate and fill my cup and live this crazy life now and not wait for a better day to do it on. I love you albie and I like many carry so many memories with me and I will remember the good times and the bad with you as my friend and I feel honoured to have met and spent that time with you.
    Rest in peace knowing you live on in all our hearts man! Xxxxxxxx
    All my love to all
    Simone
    (sorry for rambling but this isn’t the half of it!)
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  6. Simone Says:

    typical! cant get the pictures up!

  7. Neil Boom Says:

    I can’t profess to say I knew Albie well, but I certainly have very fond memories of him. I still can’t imagine Albie not turning up on his bike for a coffee at Goodfellas with his good friend Paul. I really liked him, he was such a likeable chap. And like the best people, ageless. I shall miss him and wish I knew him better. RIP Albie

  8. molly cantalupo Says:

    The many times i visited the relatives in UK, regretfully never got to meet this wonderful cousin. I cannot say how proud I am to be able to say I’M RELATED. Cousin Molly Cantalupo nee Fiore

  9. Alys Says:

    I think that uncle Albie was a great man, a great inventor for theo, a fab puzzle solver for magazines and iggy’s games and a person who could help millie in all possible ways. He was great with the scooby doo magz which I adored and the boys must have every single copy. He made all sorts of great things with is fiddly hands(how did he do it) and every day he I came up I would always see him sitting at his desk solving a crossword or making something or even just working with a cuppa always by his side. I love you Albie you were a great uncle to have.
    ALYSxxxxxx

  10. Eric Westbrook Says:

    I feel that I have known Albie Fiore for many years having been taken on wonderful tours of parts of his great brain and personality through his brilliant crosswords as Taupi in The Guardian.

    When I asked Albie if he would consider writing clues for our 3D crosswords in a charity calendar, he agreed immediately. It was his puzzle this July that ends today. He had already compiled a new puzzle for us for July next year. He gave his genius freely to help raise funds for BBC CiNA and to help build a new home and school for young people with visual impairment with multiple other disabilities.

    Great mind. Marvelous wit and dexterity with language. Great heart.

    I will continue to travel with Taupi.

    Thank you Albie.

    Eric Westbrook

  11. Jim Donovan Says:

    Albie was my cousin and I and my two brothers lived in South London whilst Albie was in Southend on Sea. We shared our childhood togther, our teenage years and some wild parties in our early twenties. I admired Albie because he was the most rational and kind human I have known, I loved him like a brother and bitterly regret we drifted apart in our later years. Goodbye Albie, there are no noises in the dark now the patterns were from the parrafin stove.

  12. Claire Edwards Says:

    Albie was a magical uncle and godfather.

    I will never forget the penny slot machines, the thrill of being spun round and spit on(!!) as he performed yet another ‘washing machine’ ride to the calls of ‘again again’, the amazing lego towers which seemed to become more complex and imaginative with each build, the already sliced banana which he would unpeel to our absolute delight, the walks through the fields ducking and diving into the corn (and being lifted over the fence into stinging nettles!!!) and this is to name but a few of the magical childhood experiences that Uncle Albie gave so freely.

    Albie was and will remain an incredibly special and influential person in my life.

    My thoughts are with you Sue, Iggy, Theo and Millie. Love to you all.

    Claire Edwards

  13. Bill Fuller Says:

    Albie was my uncle and most of my best memories of childhood have him in there somewhere, bringing me presents of board games (some of which he’d worked on), doing silly things to amuse us that kids wouldn’t think adults would still enjoy, but never doing them in a patronising or clownish way.

    I didn’t know Albie was so ill and would have liked to have seen him again, if only to tell him that he’s mostly responsible for the love I have of comics and cinema and such (although you could say he cursed me with geekiness as a result).

    A few random memories: the beaming pride I had when I played games with my friends and announced “My uncle helped make this” whilst whipping out the copy of Fiend Folio that he’d lent me… rifling through old issues of White Dwarf to see if he’d edited them… opening big bunches of Jonah Hexes at Christmas… Albie telling us his name was spelled “LB”… arguing with me about the merits of Return of the Living Dead when most grown-ups would’ve tutted that I shouldn’t be watching such trash.

    I miss you, Albie. I wish I’d seen a bit more of you in the last few years.

  14. Anne-Marie Fuller Says:

    Albie was my uncle and as a child was my favourite person in the whole world. I was always so pleased when I got to my nan’s house after school to see his bike in the hall and his dog Sebastian chewing a carrot on the carpet. He would always oblige in a game of aeroplanes spinning my brother and sisters and I around the room by a wrist and an ankle or singing an Elvis Costello song on demand.
    My favourite memory will always be the infamous trifle incident when I decided to examine a bowl of trifle more closely where upon Albie dipped my nose into the cream. I was so upset that Albie did his “stuffed head on a plate complete with apple in mouth” impression to cheer me up. The event lives on in my family so much so that Albie apologised to me when I was in my twenties, I had to assure him I had recovered from the mental anguish.
    I love you Albie and miss you so much. You made my childhood magical!

  15. wilf johnson Says:

    I’ve known albie for most of my life, i was best friends with his son theo.
    I always used to love coming round and watching albie draw his many artistic animations.
    I remeber when he used to pick me and theo up from school in yr 1-2 on his bike with 3 seats on it, and then he used to treat us by going to the sweet shop.
    And then we’d ride home and watch jaws over and over again.
    Albie will be missed very much.
    A very kind and honest man, and is such a shock to all of his family and friends.
    R.I.P
    xx

  16. Alastair & Aletta Says:

    We knew Albie for too short a time and loved every minute!
    Our son George is in Millie’s class at school and reading all your posts really highlights how much more we had to enjoy in his sparkling company.
    The draw of his uncommonly positive outlook on life and the ease he put you in made you feel like you had always been the best of friends!
    He lit up a room the moment he strolled in. There was not a topic we spoke of that he did not seem to have an encyclopedic knowledge of – but he would never be boastful about it.
    There are, we fear, vast areas of knowledge of London’s back streets, markets and cycle routes that will pass into myth now he has gone. We never made it to the fossil pits in Abby woods, or made the videos about how to feed a family on £5 a day, or do our alternative knowledge – for bike riders – but we will take the boys to look for sharks teeth and remember Albie.
    He was never a looker on, always involved, just did stuff -which always question why we didn’t do the same!
    So thanks Albie, you shook us up a bit, made us laugh a lot and will remain an integral part of our family life – because you did – thank you Albie

  17. Madeleine Fuller Says:

    Albie was my Uncle…although i feel strange calling him Albie as , even though i am older now, i still call him’ Uncle Albie’ . I have lots of memories of My Uncle…..lots were stories about the naughty things he got up to as a boy told to me by my Nan and my mum.
    I always looked forward to his visits down to us (although i was not so fond of Sebastians) as he would sit and play games with us for hours. I remember lots great christmas’ and boxing days where the family would all sit around playing games…including charades to which Uncle Albie would produce the hardest title for us to guess…if i remember correctly one was about a purple headed people eater . I loved playing Talisman with Albie and my brother, when I was allowed to join in and like my sister I remember him swinging us around the living room by our ankles playing aeroplanes and always noticing his funky black and white shoes whilst being swung through the air.
    On birthdays he would always send us the best cards and one year i think he decided to send us blow up cards…My sister receiving a seagull with Happy Birthday written on the cardboard bird poop!!! and i too remember the notorious Trifle incident where Uncle Albie dipped Annies nose into the Trifle and in fact i have the photographic evidence of Uncle Albie’s “stuffed head on a plate” complete with apple in mouth to prove it.
    I could go on and on with different memories of Albie from my childhood….but one of the best ones has to be his really loud laugh.

    I love you Uncle Albie xxxxx

  18. Pat & Bob Edwards Says:

    We’ll never forget our first meeting with Albie. He came up to Rainhill. a village near Liverpool, with my sister Anne, to meet our family. We had arranged to go to a local labour club that evening, to watch friends play a gig. Albie arrived with his wild curls, sporting a velvet jacket white scarf and walking stick. He certainly turned heads in the club where flat caps were the order of the day. That was the start of a long and happy relationship.

    He became a much loved member of our family circle and we chose him as Godfather for our daughter Claire. Claire was one of six babies being christened and the only one to scream for most of the service. We eventually managed to quiten her by letting her suckle on my little finger. Albie’s comment after the service was “the first thing that I am going to teach her, is the difference between a nipple and a finger !” Typical Albie.

    As Claire grew Albie became a favourite magical Uncle, who never ceased to amaze her and our three other children. with his imaginative games and sheer sense of fun. We enjoyed many happy visits to Bedford Place, which was always a children’s paradise, with slot machines, inumerable games and best of all lego towers, which were so elaborate that they couldn’t bare to demolish them. We once travelled back to Peterborough with one such tower in the boot of the car. It came apart in just two pieces, but try as we may we could not put it back to working order, leaving our children totally disillusioned. We never lived up to Uncle Albie’s lego building prowess. Albie also had a wicked sense of humour. A favourite trick was to wedge wheel shaped crisps into his eyes and then turn to face them, how they laughed. They couldn’t ever eat these crisps again without trying to imitate Albie.

    So many memories, but we have a lasting tangible reminder of Alb each day, as he designed two extentions to our home which allowed my Mum and disabled sister to come and live with us, which worked brilliiantly. Thanks Albie.

    More recently,we were delighted to have Albie.Sue.Iggy,Theo and Millie spend a few days with us in Peterborough. What a delightful family! Albie and Sue seemed to have infinite patience with them. Millie decided one morning that she didn’t want to get up until someone told her a joke beginning with a certain letter. Sure enough Albie conjured up a joke to start her day with a smile. He had the ability to become at one with a child and enter their world wholeheartedly.

    We will miss him so much. He was such a warm, generous, unique person. We will treasure our memories and be ever thankful that we had the privelidge to have spent so many happy hours with him. We send our love Sue,Iggy,Theo and Millie. We share your loss.

  19. DAVID FIORE Says:

    Although I am a younger cousin of Albie, I have such brilliant
    memories of Albie which shaped my artistic thinking in later life.

    My first memories were the ‘FIORE’ family parties at ALBIE’S MuM & Dads in Station Road, where Albie always had time to entertain the children with his brilliant games and puzzles.

    It was Albie who got me into alternative Music really, very earlier on when he said the B-Sides are often better than the A-sides, he was right they were often better. Also he was so cool because he liked Frank Zappa and stuff and the whole underground scene. My first musical memory was him putting on a band called the ‘Rolling Stones’
    in their early years and their covers of ‘Confessin the Blues’ and ‘If you need me’, these songs blew me away. Then there was ‘ALBIE’s creative side, I can remember him making ‘Christmas Decorations’ out of old magazines when he was young and I loved his anti- commercialism, good for Albie.

    Actually when he moved to London I thought that was great, he loves London so do I. I fondly remember going to see him at Bedford Place when my then girlfriend (now wife) was in the West End and loved his company as Albie was able to talk about everthing and he was so intelligent ,engaging and funny. In fact I am sure at the time he managed to put my name in his dilemma book ‘On the Spot’ and he would always cook for you, he was so kind. One of my proudest moments came when I was working in the city and I went into W H Smiths and there was ‘ALBIE’s book, I had a tear in my eye and I was so proud of my very clever cousin.

    I spent many happy moments with ‘ALBIE’ but the most ‘BIZZARRE’ was when ALBIE, together with my Nephew Rick,Karen and myself took a tour
    of Friern Barnet hospital which was actually a big ASYLUM in North London, which had the biggest corridor in Europe,all of this was filmed,
    I think the currator of the Hospital, thought we were the BBC, of course it was ALBIE’S brilliant questions which made it.

    Albie also made a lovely effort to come to all the Fiore events and sadly the last time I saw him was at my Mum’s funeral.

    Albie taught me early on that there are alternatives and to think differently and I have always thought that and that has always worked well when helping my Daughter Amy who is Autistic.

    He was a lovely,adorable and magical cousin and we will miss him.
    Love David, karen & Amyxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  20. Barry Fiore Says:

    ALBIE The Early Years
    Albie was my cousin, as children like a brother, as adults my best man.

    With our Italian Grandparents, and all Aunts, Uncles and cousins living locally in Southend our childhood was close.
    A small terraced house in Park Street fronted by our Grandfather’s Hairdressers Salon was the family gathering centre. In their broken English our Grandparents would sing and play the guitar accompanied by Ablie’s Father, Uncle Albert, on the piano or accordion. At Christmas there were upto 30 of us sitting around a small living room and kitchen.
    As a young child Albie was a tear away, super charged, hypo active.
    Albie would spring like a gazelle from the settee to the chair to the table to another chair and back to the settee, then off he would go again, with my Aunt Eileen chasing, shouting and trying to grab him… he was uncatchable, unstoppable, always unmatchable.
    At the tea table he once shook a tomato ketchup bottle so hard that when he took the lid off the ketchup shot straight up onto the ceiling. He was lightening quick in both body and mind.
    With the passing of our Grandparent’s Albie’s Mum and Dad, Aunt Eileen and Uncle Albert ensured the family remained close. They hosted parties, often at New Year with stopovers. Albie, Theresa and I sharing the same bedroom.
    When moving to Westcliff they opened their house to all visitors. Relatives that had by then moved abroad would always stay with them on visits.
    Their openness and genuine warmth to all comers lived on with Albie.

    As youngsters Albie and I both loved sport and watched each other playing football.
    We once were practising together using the brick wall next to Albie’s house in Newington Avenue, for some reason we both jumped up against the bricks and the whole wall collapsed.
    As we grew older he was able to match his quick mind with an equal amount of humour and air of freedom. His ability to always remain original, very creative and maintain an open and wonderful personality was something to be admired.
    In 1967 Albie and I travelled to Ireland for our Uncle Tony’s Wedding. I went with the family by train and Albie hitch hiked.
    On the wedding day Albie and I sneaked off with some beer and a cine camera and made a classic 3-minute silent film ‘The Bottle’. It featured the exploits of a beer bottle moving on it’s own accord around Albie.

    1968 Maureen and I were married in Canning Town, London. Albie was best man. He did have his own suit but we had to borrow some shoes for him.

    Our lives, careers and ambitions then developed their unique path directions.
    Over these rapidly disappearing years we saw so little of each other, but somehow that boyhood spirit, spark, that something that we shared, always remained.

    My own Son Rick and now Grandson Declan have a great love of creative art and London history. Rick always remembers staying with Sue and Albie in London and Albie’s love for the city.

    My own family and I are devastated at he news of Albie’s passing.
    A few weeks ago, when I first heard of his condition I rang him at home, we chatted with fun and fly comments just as we had all those years ago.
    Even in hospital only 3 days before he passed away seeing him was a boost to me, he joking said he was concerned about the twisted knee he received when getting into the ambulance, I asked was it his old football injured knee and he laughed and said “no typically it’s the other one”. We said our goodbyes and I really did expect to see him again.

    Our age and family closeness created a boyhood bond that has remained and will never die.
    Memories are all we have for Albie but our hearts and thoughts right now are with Sue, Iggy, Theo and Millie.

    They will have the strength to endure this sad time and the courage to face the future without him. The legacy of Albie’s spirit will live on to oversee their future

    Love
    Barry, Maureen, Rick, Claire, Gemma, Marisa, Declan, Paisley and Daisy and the newly expected Fiore.

  21. John Says:

    Albie was “in my mind & heart” my brother in law. I met him first when Sue was just pregnant with Iggy, and it had been decided between the two sisters that they would break the news to their Mum and Dad at Gill’s house in Addison Road, Caterham, whilst my best friend Florence – a fully qualified anaesthetist, was staying with us – just in case…
    I can see the picture of all four sitting in the garden, and the beaming smile of Marion and Bruce when they broke the news. It was one of the happiest days in my life.
    I don’t think anyone else than Sue really knew Albie that well: he was so self-effacing, and even quiet that not many people could pretend to know him, although we all were aware of his exhaustive knowledge, his continuous curiosity and his talents. Albie knew something about everything, and his mind seemed to be free of any preclusion.
    Belonging to the same generation – Albie was only a couple of years younger than I am, I must admit that I did not always agree with him when it came to education. I must now admit, when I see his children and the way they are developing, that he was far from being wrong… His boys are brilliant, Millie is a character, and they will recover over time from his passing away because they look so “solid”. Children can have an amazing capacity to rise above dramatic events, and I am convinced that Iggy and Theo, in particular, will fight through their grievance very successfully. I am more worried about Millie, who is so young, but she is such a clever lass! She certainly takes after both Sue and Albie…! I remember a few years ago when we all knew that Albie had a “signature tune” saying to his boys: “What is your problem…?” Millie was told off for some odd reason, and turned to her Dad, spraying her arms wide, and said: “What’s your pwoblem…”… I was told the story, although I did not witness the event.
    Albie and I did argue. I should confess that there were a few draws, but I never actually won an argument… He was far too clever for me ! Albie was to me the epitome of intelligence, and I respected him for that.
    I expect that one at least – if not all three – of his children will follow in his footsteps, an I know that Sue will ensure this is what happens. She is such a wonderful Mum.
    I am sure we will all be around to support her through these tragic times, and the number of tributes already appearing on this blog will be of great comfort to all of them.
    God bless you Albie.

  22. Helen Says:

    I did not know Albie very well nor for nearly long enough – I met Albie when Millie and my daughter started school together last year – but I liked him very much and will miss him a lot. He was very bright, funny, eccentric, warm and humane. I appreciated the way that he cut through arguments, and I trusted him to be the voice of reason on a wide range of subjects.

    The first time I took my daughter round for a play date, I found the house and its atmosphere evocative. I was brought up in a house full of books and unusual objects, and my father used to trawl for bargains: when Albie arrived a bit later with a clutch of goodies including a bike for Millie, I felt truly at home. But I always felt at home with Albie, at his home or elsewhere. I enjoyed Millie’s parties too much, and I am sad that I won’t be able to have Albie’s Coronation Chicken again – the best I’ve ever tasted!

    Albie was very funny. I kept chuckling afterwards at the story he told me about how he got into crosswords: He said that when he was working as an architect, he kept being told to start again because the plans had changed, so he realised that he would get further ahead with his work by doing nothing – and spent his time doing crosswords instead. I also found his tales of life as a ship’s cook very amusing. His life was too short but certainly very full.

    I will miss Albie as the voice of reason. He was never afraid to say what he thought or stick his neck out, and he knew and had seen too much to be impressed by the latest fad or panic.

    The time I was most pleased to see Albie was near school near picking up time, when I had overestimated how much my three year old son could take. My son was howling, and I was facing dragging him plus shopping to reach school on time. In the nick of time, Albie arrived and scooped my son onto his bike, turning what would have been an unpleasant journey into a treat.

    • Suzi (Suzanne Rowcliffe) Says:

      Hello Helen,

      I too adored Albie’s coronation chicken dish (with that mixed rice as well – heavenly!) and he kindly wrote out his recipe for me. Alas, I’ve never got it anywhere near as delicious as when he made it but I’ve enjoyed trying! Here’s a link to it for you and anyone else who would like to give it a go:

      Suzi x

  23. bryan ellery Says:

    I first met Albie in his mid twenties.Having trained at the prestigious Architectural Association, he soon found that the mainly deskbound life of an architect and the soulless work he found himself having to do,-revising other people’s drawings for council toilets in one instance-, was too restricting, and he gave up the “day job”, though not before encouraging the whole office to forget the toilets and instead participate in memory games,…as a better use of time!
    This creative use of time to concentrate on what he believed to be most worthwhile was typical of Albie throughout his life. Such ideas as career, success, money meant nothing,in themselves, to him. Because he had an agile and original mind he often found that success and the rest came to him easily, but it was never his master, and he could let go and move on, easily.
    His great quality of generosity meant that he would give as much time as was necessary if it helped someone in need, or allowed an idea to blossom, and he would never consider that time as wasted. Similarly, if he had money, or a meal, or a solution to help with someone else’s problems he would give, give,
    and give.
    I remember one point in the seventies when I was feeling aimless and broke, Albie realized my situation, and decided to appoint me as his driver, to shuttle him in a Luton van around the country picking up old slot machines from places like Rhyll, Scarborough, and Southend, to resell in London. We not only visited some of the most fascinating people and places I’ve ever come across, with the long journeys were filled with ideas, plans, memory tests and mammoth (if good natured) arguments. I was always paid double the agreed rate and was allowed each time to choose my favourite machine from his collection!
    Around the same time he discovered a local authority scheme whereby people without funds could get a (derelict) property. As usual he did all the running, pulling me (and Maria) behing him, until we had all secured a place. He then produced (over months of work) a complete set of architect’s drawings to guide us on our way.
    I had two children, Dominic and Simon, (by an earlier marriage),and Albie put a huge amount of time and effort into entertaining them whenever possible, developing a lasting relationship with them through their early years into manhood, characterized by his affection, encouragement and humour. Maria and I lived just round the corner and at the time we all made full use of his “open house” policy.
    As time went by we all moved on in different ways and to different places, but we could rely on that man in London to greet us in his subterranean treasure house with the same freshness and warmth.
    Having seen what a wonderful and sensitive adult Albie was with my children, I have no doubt that the little family he raised with Sue,-Iggy, Theo, and Milly must have had a rich, balanced, and loving start in life.
    He was one of the very few people I have come across who mamaged to stick by his principles throughout his life. He was original, honest, and humane. I bitterly regret not having seen enough of him and his family in these recent years, but I will cherish the memories, and the example he set to others by his life.

  24. terry donovan Says:

    from bill donovan iv,e got some fond memories of our family christmas,s together. one that stick,s in mind was albie and my brother jim,s attempt at surveillance using a tape recorder placed in my bedroom they recorded my snore and played it to everybody the next morning of course i denied it was me fond memories indeed i,ll miss you albie love cousin bill

  25. kelly maylin Says:

    Albie was a great dad to iggy,theo,milly he will be sadly missed R.I.PAlbie

  26. DANNYMAYLIN Says:

    im sorry for iggys los because im a great freind of his and i new albie and saw and theo

  27. Anne Quicke Says:

    I met Albie in the early 70’s, I was 19 and had moved from my small village home in the North West of England to London in search of something more – bright lights, big city. I shared a large west end flat with nine other girls and on one of our many nights out, I met Albie at a party I don’t think I had ever encountered anyone quite like him before, flamboyant dress, wild hair, smart, funny and kind with (as far as I was concerned at the time) – the weirdest taste in music.
    In some respects Albie and I were opposites, he was a free spirited bohemian who had a passion for board games of any type, reading US Marvel super-hero comics, West Ham United, cooking foreign and experimental dishes which ranged from excellent: tarragon chicken in a grape and white wine sauce – still a favourite of mine today and awesome back in the 70’s when the majority of us were still eating meat and two veg daily – to unforgettable (try as I might) conger eel which was like nothing I had ever eaten before and, thankfully, since. Albie was bright, had travelled and lived in the South of France, was educated and working in the drawing office of the Department of the Environment having opted out of his Architectural Degree course at the AA – he was earning a lot and was incredibly generous with everyone. On the other hand I was shy and lacking in confidence when in the company of university educated people as I had left full time education to start work at 15 – this was a bit of a stumbling block when I went round to Albie’s place – he shared a large mixed flat with eight others all of whom were graduates. As nice as I know they all were I felt totally out of my depth and each night at the dinner table, when the conversation developed and stories were told, I listened but never said a word. Albie allowed me the time and space to grow and gain confidence, quietly supporting and encouraging me, he also opened my eyes to many things and certainly I learned much from him – he became part of my family and remained so for the rest of his life.
    We stayed together for nine years and shared many happy times but of course during such a long relationship we certainly had our ups and downs but often his humour would come through and save the day. One day Albie came in from work and I was busy doing the washing in an old ‘twin-tub’ that my mum had given to us – those of you who remember them will also remember that they were simply a washing machine and a spin dryer housed side-by-side in the same unit. The twin-tub was noisy in use and inconvenient to say the least requiring the constant transfer of laundry from one side to the other and then into a sink/bath for rinsing before returning the wet, dripping washing to the spin drier for the final spin before hanging the clothes up to dry. Albie absolutely hated this process and I must say that it wasn’t my favourite chore by a long way but it was, in my view, a slightly lesser evil than going to the launderette. So Albie is grumping about the process “I hate it when you do the washing … all the steam … the smell of soap powder filling the air … the sloshing of the water, the noise of the spin drier… etc etc – accompanied by him doing an impersonation of each element of the process with sound effects – by this time I was getting riled and through gritted teeth I said in a very irritated voice “Have you finished?” In a flash he said in a deadpan voice “No, I haven’t rinsed yet”! All anger dissipated, we both just fell about laughing and even today I can’t think about that moment without smiling or laughing out loud.
    Although we had many differences our extended families were almost mirror images of each other in terms of family values and loving support and my family embraced Albie as warmly and enthusiastically as his family embraced me. My nephew and nieces today grown and some with children of their own talk about Albie as a magical uncle – that he was. They remember the occasion when we had gone together to visit family in the North West, on the day we were due to return to London we woke up to find everywhere covered in snow – the children were so excited and so was Albie. He organised the children into a work party to build the biggest snowman possible, what fun they had – once built the snowman had to be suitably dressed of course and way past the time we should have left home to catch our train to London Albie was rooting out carrots, hats, gloves, scarves etc ignoring my insistence that we had to leave NOW – the child within him was always ready to play as many of us who knew him will have witnessed.
    Sometimes the mischief /fun in him was irrepressible. I remember another occasion when we were stood together in a very long queue in Southampton waiting for a bus – before joining the queue we had passed a newsagent and I had bought a long tube of sweet popcorn that I had loved as a kid – standing in the queue, feeling tired and probably a bit bored Albie suddenly knocked my hand up in the air – the popcorn left the paper tube, went up in the air and showered many of the people either side of us in the queue who all, without exception, stared at me in puzzlement – I was so embarrassed and before I could say a word Albie turned to me and said in an incredulous tone “what did you do that for?”.
    In many, many ways Albie was special and I was so thrilled when he met Sue who was truly his soul-mate and together they had their three beautiful children. Without question that was the happiest I have ever seen him. My husband Iain and daughter Katy join me in sending our love and condolences to Sue, Iggy, Theo and Millie. We would love to think that the family connection we have with you will be ongoing and we promise that we will do whatever we can to help you at any time now or in the future.

    Like all of Albie’s friends I feel privileged to have know him and to have shared time with him –
    Life is changed now knowing that he is not around and the world is less because of it.

    Rest in peace dear friend – you will always have a place in my heart. Anne xxx

    Addendum
    Albie’s sudden, early death will obviously have a huge impact on his immediate family – financially Albie and Sue provided everything their children needed but things are inevitably going to be difficult financially for them now. From all the postings on this blog it is very easy to see how much Albie gave to others and that got me thinking about trying to do something for him and in his memory for the people he cared most about. I was thinking about setting up a trust fund/building society account for the children and if anyone is interested in this perhaps you can let me know.

    • Neil Boom Says:

      Dear Anne. What a lovely idea. I don’t have a lot of money at the moment but would like to contribute something. Please let me have the details…
      Regards, Neil

  28. Jenny Says:

    Such lovely reminiscences here.

    I knew Albie through crosswords. I was already a fan of his Guardian puzzles when I met him at one of the Crockers dos and a few more times at subsequent Crossword meets. We exchanged the odd email, chatting mostly about clueing techniques and what was or wasn’t considered ‘fair’, and I remember him telling me when Millie was born!

    Arising out of our chats was some coincidence around our birthdays that prompted Albie to suddenly suggest doing me a birthday crossword, which appeared in The Guardian five years ago.

    Bless you Albie, it was a nasty shock to learn of your passing. Love to Sue, Iggy, Theo and Millie. xxx

  29. Shirley Gloudeman Says:

    I met Albie 23 years ago in Chicago.He was working there collaborating with a company working on a series of games. We met over what else…..a game of pinball.
    I received notice of Albie’s passing in a short email from a mutual friend. I was devasted. Finding and reading this blog has been a wonderful experience. It helped clarify events leading to his passing and many of others memories were familiar. Some made me laugh. “4011”. I bet he still has that ancient black corded telephone! I can see a lot has changed but much has remained the same.
    Albie was one of the most influential people in my life. I would not be who I am today if not for him. He was my mentor. I learned about the world, politics, attitude, food (the wonderful food), film, interesting and lengthy conversations over (of course) the wine.
    I visited Albie often in London. Sometimes with my girlfriends and then with my husband, Jay. He was a wonderful host. Great conversations until the wee hours, awesome food (the seafood salad was my favorite) and lots of…. wine.
    And then the Fiore family began. I first met Sue when she when she was newly pregnant w/Iggy. I immediately connected with her. What a lovely, kind and gentle person and a great artist too.
    On our next vist Iggy and Theo were 3 and 4 years old.I could could see Albie’s unbridled enthusiasm was now focused on his family.
    In more recent times I received “Flat Millie” in the mail. She arrived Christmas Eve 2007. Millie, your Dad said she could stay “as long as she behaved herself.” She has been traveling in the States ever since and has provided good company. She was in NYC just last week. She has also been to Arizona, Colorado and California. Photo album #2 is pending. And she is EXTREMELY well behaved! I hardly know she is here. 🙂
    Albie will be deeply missed. He lives on in my heart. My family also expresses their deepest sympathy as they loved him too.
    Iggy, Theo and Millie, you have the most amazing parents. Always be grateful for that.Your Dad’s influence will live on with you forever.
    Sue, my heart bleeds for you. I wish I lived closer.
    Albie’s memories and enthusiasm will live on.

    Love and miss you,
    Shirley (and Jay too)
    PS I still haven’t given up on another trip. I will be checking airfare prices.

  30. Simon Ellery Says:

    As a boy I learnt a love for games, music, food and life from Albie.
    I lived around the corner from him with my father Bryan and step mum Maria in the mid 1970’s, I would walk his dog at the time Sabastian around Russell Square – actually the dog walked me as I was around 12 on my skateboard and he pulled me along.
    I used to visit Albie in the evenings and some weekends as well as spending Christmas with him with my family.
    He was the most generous, funny and alternative of uncles – although he wasn’t my real uncle. I first learnt about Dungeons & Dragons from him and when you played with Albie it felt like you were truly in that world. Fighting dragons and plotting with trolls and wizards to overrun a castle! He also introduced me to computer games via Mattel’s Intellivision – which was mind blowing at the time. Of course he was the first person to do the Rubik’s Cube – which after he showed me how it was done – I amazed people at my school by being able to do it in two minutes flat. I was lucky enough to witness him bowling several times and his style of bowling was of course fantastic – the real deal.
    He would stride up and let fly the ball leaving him standing on one leg with his right arm in the air and his left leg virtually horizontal to the left! A real master.
    Like many others, I marveled at his array of coin operated machines in his flat, particularly the flying trapeze one.
    He inspired a love of games in me and that is something I hope that I am able to pass onto my children with the same gusto.
    My thoughts are with Sue and the kids who I didn’t know as much as I would have liked to.

    Love to you Albie and thanks for the games.

    Simon Ellery

  31. michael redd Says:

    among other amazing things…Albie showed me where fifty million year old fossilized shark teeth can be found in London. He provided me with some strange tunes for the Christopher Hatton school disco. He fed me and my family incredible food at parties at his place.
    Rest in peace Albie.

  32. Jody Rosenblatt Says:

    When I think of Albie and family, I think of them all riding their bikes to Christopher Hatton in a line, like a family of ducks. It never failed to make me grin. That all would have been just a lovely picture, but the reality was much better than a story book-their house was magical and their parties.

    I will really miss Albie, even though I already miss the whole family after moving back to the US. He was the sage of the neighborhood. As a parent, he was a source of inspiration, a great role model. I still have things that he said ring in my head: on handling fireworks-‘the problem today is that parents don’t teach their kids how to handle them properly, and then they blow off their hands.’ I think about this when lazy parenting techniques hit me like-don’t touch those! On cereals fortified with vitamins, ‘you’d be better of feeding your kids cardboard’. (After eating his delicious food, I believed anything he’d say on food.) On kids’ bedtime, ‘I just let them go to bed whenever they like. They self-adjust. They go to bed at 1AM then the next night, they are begging to go to bed at 8pm”. Really he was just inspiring because he lived life the way one aught to. He was hilarious, mischievous, sensible, magical, creative and focused on what was important-his family and friends. I think what was really telling of his awesome parenting was when the kids were in year 2 and they were supposed to write a picture of and tell what they wanted to be when they grew up. All the boys drew pictures of footballers and stuff, and Theo’s said ‘a dad’ with a great picture of Albie. You could see why.

    Our hearts go out to you, Sue, Iggy, Theo, and Milie. Keep your dad in your pack of bikes. His great nature, sense of adventure, good sense, wisdom, and larger than life fun. RIP, Albie. I miss your laugh. I hate that damned disease.
    My love to you, Sue, Iggy, Theo, and Millie,
    Jody

  33. Suzi (Suzanne Rowcliffe) Says:

    Before I rattle on, I want to say how much I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughts and memories of Albie and that I really appreciate being able to add my own to share. . .

    I met Albie 12 years ago on the toddler play circuit and we became and remained very good friends, strengthened by our children all becoming close friends and Sue and I finding a special friend in each other. He was an unforgettable, lovable character with an amazing memory and talents, interests and knowledge of a dazzling variety.

    Despite having a brain the size of a planet, he was unpretentious, not patronizing and had a refreshingly open minded approach to everyone he met. Every subject I brought up he always had something interesting or funny to say. He made me laugh so often and was very animated on the many things he loved like football, films, old friends, all sorts of games and music. He was just as animated on things he disliked, such as period dramas, homework, inefficient bureaucracy, Rice Krispies, art galleries and Helena Bonham-Carter.

    I loved his company, he was really easy to chat and laugh with. Even if you just bumped into him on his bike, he would happily stop and talk. He had a lot of time for a lot of people. And, blimey, he and Sue knew how to throw a great party!

    He made me feel comfortable and welcome always in his home and was one of the most influential people in my life. When I was unsure of what to do in any situation, I asked him for advice. He often thought of things from a different angle that I hadn’t considered and simplified a problem that I had muddled and laboured over. He gave me some excellent advice that I still put into practice in everyday life.

    We had more times enjoying wine and each other’s company than I can remember; with or without other people, with and without music, at mine, at his, at tens of other places, the only constant was a good supply of wine and our enjoying the moment. One classic night that Sue reminded me of recently was when we were on holiday, our 2 families in Devon. After talking about family dynamics, Seinfeld, shipping routes, the restorative wonders of Fernet-Branca (something he picked up during his time as a chef on a boat) and goodness know what else while listening to vintage records, everyone else had gone to bed (it was about 3 a.m.) and I suggested an expedition into the garden and nearby fields to hunt for night time insects (to compliment the sightings we and Theo had during the day). We set off with a white sheet, containers, a stick to beat bushes, a torch and a bottle of red wine to keep us going. I mean, who else would join me so enthusiastically in such a balmy activity?!

    He could be infuriatingly stubborn, single minded and set in his ways and sometimes impatient and grumpy and yet he was also so liberal and free spirited and often had the most mind blowing patience and time for people, his family, his children and their interests.

    He wasn’t one for sentimentality and standard romantic gestures but he loved Sue truly and deeply. He was very, very happy and proud to be with her and have a family together.

    He did not care for superficiality or vanity. He saw the best in people and didn’t judge or hold grudges. He was enviably self-assured. As he said “If you have a clear conscience then don’t waste time worrying about what people think of you.” One of the most useful things anyone’s ever said to me!

    He was a man of habit and traditions. Just a few of these were: his all day Friday shopping on his bike to collect the ingredients for the week ahead (different dishes for different days of the week). With his family (and sometimes my family too, happily) summer trips to Southend (Chalkwell beach followed by fairground rides and an evening meal at The Fisherman’s wharf on the seafront). Biking along a particularly lovely stretch of the Grand Union canal, stopping off at a tea room half way. Sloe berry picking to make sloe gin (some to drink that year and 1 bottle saved for the vintage collection), trips to France for wine and a day out – Albie found somewhere just right for shopping and eating (as always!) and was thoughtful and generous enough to include buying a crate of my favourite drink, cava, to offer when I came to visit.

    His daily routine too was very regular. He always did the Guardian cryptic crossword (he would travel miles when away from home if necessary to get the paper!) and had a sausage sandwich when everyone else was thinking of lunch. He met his good friend Paul every Monday in a local café and shared many of the trips to and from nurseries and schools with Sue.

    His contribution to those nurseries and school that the children went to was huge. He had many fund-raising and useful ideas, gave a lot of his time and was a great help at so many events.

    I could honestly write the same amount of words again just about his cooking. He was an extremely gifted cook who could make fabulously tasty meals at little expense. Just incredible!

    Albie was a man of his word. He was a respectful, loyal, kind, witty (sometimes mischievously so!), reliable, entertaining, creative, truly unique and intriguing man who I loved very much. My heart aches when I think about not being able to talk and laugh with him again and then even more when I think of Sue , Iggy, Theo and Millie and everyone who was so fond of him, now without him.

    Last week, “Red wine”, the song by UB40, came on the radio and I immediately thought of Albie (he liked a reggae beat and we all know how much he liked red wine) and I laughed with so much fondness and then was crying with happy and sad tears all at the same time. I will miss him so much.

    For me, the best way to honour my friendship with him and his family is to endeavor to emulate his philosophy in life: to be fair and true to yourself and all others, be helpful when and where you can, have an abundance of passions and compassion, keep young at heart and, sometimes, to hell with rules!!

  34. Conny + Julian Says:

    Reading all the tributes to Albie has been very moving and we found ourselves both laughing and crying. We haven’t known Albie for very long (only since our daughters have become good friends) and most of what we learned about Albie during our short friendship has already been expressed here by others who have known him so much better.

    We can only add that we have rarely met an individual who was so truly that: himself. His lack of pretentiousness and vanity were so refreshing, as was his straightforward no-nonsense manner. He did not seem to enjoy “fuss”, or unnecessary politics, or wasting time by making things more complicated than they really were, and just got on with enjoying life (and with embarking on his daily and most elaborate shopping routine)!

    Albie was such a loveable friend with warmth, enthusiasm, a great sense of humour and always full of stories. We loved his resourcefulness, inventiveness and creativity, and his depth of knowledge about even the most obscure topics never seized to amaze us. When Julian told him one day that the “cat’s eyes” under motorway bridges were purple (don’t ask!) he was genuinely interested and excited to know this.

    Above all, however, Albie was a true family man who adored Sue and the children, and Sue seemed to have infinite love and patience for Albie’s idiosyncrasies. What a lovely couple and great family!

    We are sorry we will never be able to play all those German board games Albie explained enthusiastically one afternoon at Coram’s (although we didn’t manage to follow all those more complex rules and clever details that got him so excited), nor have we tasted nearly enough of his dishes. And there are numerous debates we did not manage to have, despite so many shared coffee mornings at the Nordic…
    We miss you, Albie!

    Conny, Julian, Mia + Yuki xxxx

  35. richard h smith Says:

    what a gent what a kind man and what a theft – that’s what it feels like for me anyway…seems as though someone’s snuck in through the back window at night and nicked something rare and valuable. We first met when Iggy and our son Bruno shared a coatpeg at the infamous Willows nursery about 12 or 13 years ago. I remember seeing him and Sue around and about and wondering who these groovers were; he Byronic and dapper and Sue his perfect counterpart – poetic lovely-looking arty and with great hair (both of them that is!). Emma and I spent quite a few afternoons soaking up the hospitality round at the flat in Bedford Place while the boys watched endless films and played computer games, I remember we were chuffed that we’d made some new friends and although he might regale you with a card-for-card account of a game of Cribbage he’d played in 1966, Albie was a treasure trove of anecdotes, information and especially wordplay something I shared with him – oh how the puns flew, although I could never match his talent for the cryptic clue (few can actually). Thankyou Albie for the best/ worst joke I still trot out at any available opportunity – Q: ‘what time is it?’ A: ‘nu-nu-nine fifty he said tentotentatively…’ Bloomsbury is a less flowery place with out him (scuse the (double) pun) and I will always associate certain streets – Bedford Place, Lamb’s Conduit, Guilford just a few and of course Coram’s Fields. Albie was a kind man with plenty of time for everyone especially his family. We will all miss him and as I’m sure anyone who knew him will. my heart goes out to Sue, Iggy, Theo and Milly. Richard xxxx
    PS I have some great pics that I must give you sometime..xx

  36. Len and Family,Deb will comment seperately Says:

    On the very first evening that I first met Albie, I sank into a deep armchair in his amazing flat and was held in suspension with his knowledge of everything. Our first challenge was to decide who wrote ‘Tom Hawk’ and , naturally, Albie knew it was Elias and the Zig Zag Jive Flutes. This was before he had met Sue and, since Deb and I had recently married, Alb was a bit suprised since he imagined that he might be her next suiter, clearly not to be.
    I am delighted that Deb introduced Beautiful, pre Raphelite Sue to the most adored Albie and that they came together and found love.
    As the best friends that anyone could expect in this life we have lived through the very best companionship. Our families have grown together , yet apart, although when we came together it was always a splendid family party. Albie would roll his cigarette. then make up a challenge for kids, adults, dogs and cats. What a man!
    I loved that man more than some of my own five brothers, but I shall not despair with his passing, I shall absorb the spirit of Albie into my soul and take his values, virtues and love of life forward. I shall forever rejoice in the light of Albie.
    Sue, in time, put your hand on my shoulder and feel Albie’s strength. That man will live in our souls every day and in our hearts forever. Even now, in desperation he is seeking out a source of liqorice papers in Heaven. I send him all of my love and will surround you with all of the love of our famiy, so please be absorbed in it.
    Deb will send her own tribute….. to follow.

  37. Mark Bentham Says:

    It was about October 1984 that I first met Albie. I was applying for a design job at Games Workshop in Acton & had been in London for just about a year doing mostly temp work. Job interviews have allways been pretty daunting to me. Suit, tie, portfolio & a lot of blah & blather about career prospects etc etc except it wasn’t like that. Albie was in Jeans & t-shirt & we spent the whole time talking about 2000 AD, Judge Dredd & Dr Who.

    I was taken on & spent 10 happy months designing for White Dwarf magazine, The Judge Dredd RPG, Black Sun fanzine & was just about to start on a new Dr Who board game when the programme was cancelled & then GW announced it was relocating to Nottingham. Like Albie I decided to stay in London though I think the management were quite happy to see the back of us weirdo punks that Albie was filling the art department with.

    It must have been around this time that I first went to his amazing pad in Bedford Place. In those days it was a cluttered yet cozy mess in a nicotine colour scheme. The hall full of antique slot machines, mountains of empty wine bottles in the corners, old wooden beer crates full of 7″ singles, shelves full of Kinder egg toys. Stacks of newspapers, books, magazines, games all vying to be picked up & perused & the comfiest settees ever. And out of all this chaos he’d rustle up his amazing snacks & one more bottle of red wine to stretch an evenings music & chat into the morning of the next day.

    I left London about 1992 & for many years after, the highlight of a trip there was a visit to his place where I met Sue who by now was his partner. When my own children arrived visits became less frequent. I last saw Albie about 2002 & took along James & Robert who where fascinated by his Aladdins cave of slot machines.

    I have such happy memories of Albie. I can still remember his laugh when I asked for a day off to go on a “stop the city” march. I really think he would have come along too if he didnt have the office to run. Or Albie turning up at the Moscow pub in Bayswater after working late, (once the place to be seen for us 20 something punk-goths) and being totally at home.

    Dear Sue, Iggy, Theo & Millie. I am so sad for you that Albie is no longer there for you and want you to know I miss him as much as you do. If you think Albie has been taken before his time, I hope it is of something of a consolation that from what I’ve read about peoples memories of him and the happiness he left behind, that he’s fitted at least 3 lifetimes worth of living into his ‘short span’.

    Lots of Love

    Mark Bentham

    aka Red Stripe Bemmo (alter ego from the Judge Dredd RPG!)

    I’ve included the only 2 photos of Albie I’ve got. Both taken on 28.2.1992 at the Golden Lion, Kings Cross. It was my leaving do from City & Guilds.

    Photo 1 has Albie with 2 unknown girls. Theyre not from C+G. I’m in the background.

    Photo 2 is of Simon Searle from Sarf London (probably his camera) my other half Sue & Albie.

  38. Theresa Latham Says:

    When I was small, Albie was known as Big Albert to me, Bub to his parents, Fuzz to members of the football team where he inherited Uncle Ron’s nickname (the hair being from the Italian side of the family) and Albie to everyone else. I think our mother, Eileen, encouraged me to call him Big Albert to differentiate between him and my father, also Albert, which did create some confusion on occasion. Our father’s name was really Umberto, the anglicised form of which I discovered later is Humbert and not Albert at all. Albie considered he had had a lucky escape when I told him this although he did quite like the idea of Humbie as a nickname.

    The last known episode where my mother gave Albie her final ‘telling off’ occurred when he was in his early twenties and was caused by the confusion over names. Most letters were addressed to either Albert Fiore Snr or Albert Fiore Jnr. On this occasion, a letter arrived for Albert Fiore. Albie had already opened and read it. When my mother came home from work, she saw the envelope on the mantelpiece and reached out to take it asking if the letter was for our father. Albie was sitting in the armchair and snatched it quickly from her hand. My mother started to apologise for the mistake when a red mist descended in front of her eyes. After all, she reasoned, she had worked hard all morning while her beloved son had been relaxing in the armchair and she had enquired politely. After delivering several very loud, harsh words and some well aimed wafts around his curly hair (always a target on these occasions), she went for a walk to calm down. On her return, Albie got to work making a conciliatory cup of tea and, finally, made her cry with laughter when he confessed that it would not have mattered if she had unfolded the letter. She would not have been able to read it as it was all in French (and from a young woman hence his sensitivity).

    When we were young, my mother always said that she did not worry if I was out of the house with Albie as he would always take care of me. There were six years between our ages and he shouldered this responsibility without a grumble, as many older children did then. As a consequence, I enjoyed a childhood freedom unprecedented today, whiling away the seasons going newting down Rebel’s Lane, throwing bricks into horse chestnut trees for conkers (the moment when his best friend Norman wandered under a tree looking upwards for a stuck brick and it came shimmying through the leaves and struck him on the left temple stays firmly in my memory as Norman simply muttered a quiet ‘ow’), playing football over the fields, collecting sticks to make our own bows and arrows, spending days firing the arrows and adjusting the plasticine weighting to sort out the best flyers, launching synchronised ‘attacks’ on our father as he sat reading on the sofa (Albie whipping off Dad’s glasses from behind to disorientate him while I popped up under the newspaper to deliver a volley of cuddles), shopping in the High Street where he talked me out of my pocket money so that I could become the ‘proud part owner’ of Cathy’s Clown and get to carry the Siamese fighting fish home in the jam jar (not so much of an honour as it turned out), or just sitting quietly with Albie sorting my marble collection into ‘ordinary’, ‘best’ and deciding on the ‘beauty’, always the clear, glass marble with the twist of medicine bottle blue in the centre, like a drop of ink swirling through water.

    Summers were spent on Southend seafront as our father owned a shop by the Kursaal. We did not have money to spend on attractions and it did not matter as Albie could make fun from nothing. He ‘taught’ me, in the days of old pence, to slip nonchalantly into a slot machine arcade and twist the return handles until we got a couple of pennies. Then we would play a penny machine where we could double our money until we had about a shilling each which we used to play other machines, returning occasionally to the penny machine to build up the stake money. As Sue says, Albie always had a moral sense and there was one rule for this pastime: We put all the money back in the machines when we were ready to go.

    As an older brother, Albie could do his fair share of teasing and was always thinking up new and inventive ways to traumatise me. When our parents went to the cinema, I was allowed to fall asleep in Albie’s bed until they returned. Falling asleep might have been easier for me had he not spent his time convincing me that the shadow on the wall caused by the tree outside his window was, in fact, the bogeyman who had come for me. If I studied the shape closely, I could make out his pointed nose. I could hear him scratching the glass with his long fingernails and yes, if I listened closely, surely I could hear him whispering my name……..Theresa…….

    The mysterious case of the disappearing white-faced clown lives on in family history, a hideous glove puppet of which I was duly terrified. Mealtimes were a cue for its appearance, Albie having smuggled the puppet to the table and bided his time until our mother went to the kitchen. Whereupon this loathsome creature would appear at the table and make its usual request in a shrill voice ‘Give us a kiss! Give us a kiss!’ The screaming was enough to let our mother know what was happening until the day she decided she had had one too many disturbed meals and the white-faced clown went to live somewhere else shortly before the weekly rubbish collection.

    Another game to which our mother put an abrupt end was circus acrobats. Albie constructed a version of a circus seesaw in the garden with a plank and a kitchen stool. After several poor attempts to launch me high in the air as he jumped from an old table, he told me to bend my knees and to jump as hard as I could as he landed on the other end of the plank. We must have been very successful, because I have a clear recollection of soaring in the air, high above the sheet that was hanging on the washing line, looking at the horrified expression on our mother’s face as she chatted to a neighbour across the fence and glancing down to see Albie busily preparing for his jump. Needless to say, this was added to the list of banned games along with our version of the RAF motor cycle display team’s famous human pyramid which we replicated with local children using a number of tricycles. Of course, Albie got me to stand on the shoulders of two sturdy boys and persuaded me to let go of their hands to stand tall. Now, he instructed, if everyone could pedal hard and move it all forward………….. Like the circus act, I have no memory of how I came down to earth but it must have been safely as I never did have an accident.

    Calm was there to be disturbed. Many a peaceful scene was reduced to mayhem if Albie decided that we all needed an adrenalin rush. I could be quietly doing my homework at the dining table, Albie sitting reading by the fire with my mother preparing the evening meal in the kitchen. Within a second, Albie would discard the book and spring onto the table, transformed into King Kong complete with stomping, chest beating, prowling and roaring, all with me in his sights. Of course, it would not have been any fun had I not obliged with loud screams and frantic running around the house which, indeed, I supplied aplenty.

    The last time King Kong made an appearance, we were on a barge holiday with a number of other people, walking along the towpath back to the barge by the light of a full moon. A beautiful, serene setting one might think, until Albie glanced briefly over his shoulder to locate me and made a swift exit stage right into the undergrowth where he stalked me in his best Rue Morgue fashion supplying the occasional growl and rustling tree. I thought myself quite grown up at the time and was anxious not to become a gibbering wreck in front of new company. One of the group told me it was all quite logical, only my brother fooling around and not to be silly – a joyless fellow. ‘All very well,’ I thought, ‘you’re not the person about to the felled by a Man in a Suitcase tackle (low and behind the knees for those who don’t remember the TV series) when Albie decides to come crashing through the bushes and leaves me in the mud’. He did and I was.

    By contrast, Albie could devote endless hours to tasks of infinite care, patience and imagination, painstakingly sticking together eggshells and stringing them to a shrub with fishing line to create an ‘egg plant’ for a photograph which appeared in the April Fool edition of Mad Magazine, mixing chemicals from his chemistry set, in the days before Trading Standards trawled through children’s toys, to create a few seconds of sparkling homemade fireworks or using a dropper from his chemistry set to feed water to his dying hamster throughout the night.

    It was Albie who taught me wrestling when he started secondary school (be quiet – soldiers don’t cry) which in turn taught me that being smaller did not mean I could not win (he did let me throw him but I think he helped), to appreciate American originals over British cover versions and he introduced me to the enduring legacy of Bob Dylan, so, while other six formers were into British groups, only my friend Maureen and I stared into the middle distance and sang…. My love she speaks like silence……….

    Childhood was never boring as Albie invented any number of games. I remember the first board game he ever created when he was about twelve was based on making a film in Hollywood. He collected a number of film star cards that came with bubble gum, designed the board and wrote the chance cards. The winner was the person who collected the full set of stars, backing money, film title, script, location and director whilst facing many setbacks from the chance cards on the way. Really his future career was never in doubt.

    Our family are lifelong West Ham supporters from our mother’s side of the family. She grew up in Upton Park and went to the school next door to the ground. Family visits to matches bring to mind my father, not a tall man, going through the turnstiles carrying a house brick wrapped in brown paper to raise his viewing level, cousin Jim and his cry of ‘Lampard, don’t do that’ as Frank senior tonked yet another rocket over the bar and, afterwards the return to Selsdon Road where Aunt Mary supplied ‘all you can eat until you surrender’. It’s, therefore, no surprise that when Millie was born, Albie called me to announce the two important things that had happened over the weekend. Sue and he had had a daughter and West Ham had been relegated.

    As he was the most inventive, amusing, entertaining and caring of uncles to my own children, our mother always hoped he would have children of his own, forever telling him that he would make a wonderful father. And so, indeed, he did. Our mother was ‘beyond happy’ when Sue and Albie visited her with the news that they were expecting Iggy.

    I cannot begin to imagine the enormity of the loss for Sue, Iggy, Theo and Millie and the pain of family life without Albie but I do know that if Iggy and Theo have inherited one fraction of Albie’s sense of fun, his love of solving complex problems, his imagination, creativity, patience and, yes, impatience then Millie’s childhood will be bright indeed.

    Goodbye Albie

  39. Barb Says:

    Shocked to see this news today – London has lost one of its true originals. I have great memories of conversations, parties and that ready laugh. Although lately we haven’t seen much of each other, I feel poorer that there’s no prospect of even bumping into him on his bike around town.

    My heart goes out to Sue, Iggy, Theo and Millie –

    xxx

  40. Julie Says:

    Albie was my oldest friend, and one of the most important people in my life. He interviewed me for the job of secretary at Games and Puzzles Magazine, and phoned me later to say I had the job and would I like strawberries and champagne in Hyde Park to celebrate. This was about 35 years ago, and was the beginning of our long friendship. I remember his big hair, the viva sapata mustache, Day-Glo pink bomber jacket, tight blue jeans, and white canvas naval officer shoes which had leather soles and were good for dancing, which he was great at. To me he was a rare exotic creature. We shared a love of games and worked on the games testing panel together for the Magazine. We would argue until the cows came home about stuff, our long standing debate about form following function would rear it’s head every decade or so. We would play cribbage until dawn night after night over years and had an ongoing book made by Alb of who scored what and how, all to do with odds – I never really understood it. He was one of those people who got the most out of life, living every moment to the full, but in an essentially Albie way, he of all of the people I know was his own man, he also of all the people I know was one of the most generous. He was a rock for me, and helped me when I really needed it. I visited Alb in hospital only hours before he died, he seemed asleep and I was telling Sue about the Tour de France, cos Albie was a big fan and I had recently witnessed a stage in the Alps. His big eyes opened and he asked how Bradley Wiggins had done! Always interested. I could go on and on and on about Alb, but I just want to say that Albie was loved by so many in this world, and I feel privileged to count myself amongst those people. Thanks for everything, Alb I’ll miss you. My thought are with Sue, Iggy, Theo, and Millie.

  41. Debbie Says:

    I first met Albie at my degree show in Brighton many years ago. He cut a dashing figure in his long crombie coat and “doctor who” scarfe. We became firm friends at that moment.
    I, like so many others, have wonderful memories of this wonderful man. However, one is more poignant to me at present; The night that Albie was first introduced to Sue in our flat in Wandsworth…. The usual “nonsense” took place, much good food and wine, women and song. Then, well past everyones bedtime [around dawn] both Albie and Sue mounted their trusty steeds and wobbled off home together across Clapham Common.
    I was thrilled that Albie was thrilled to embrace fatherhood and shrug off his batchelor status. He was a fab dad in so many ways [but maybe a little too successful at reptile breeding for Sue,s liking!]
    Albie was always going to be my choice of “friend” to phone if ever I was a contestant on “Who wants to be a millionaire” as I am sure he would have been for most who knew him. We will have to wait for the next generation of Fiores to come of age before we apply to the show as Albie will live on in all of them.
    Reading how Albie touched other peoples life has been an uplifting experience and it is clear that he was truly multi faceted like all the best diamonds. I will miss you terribly. Keep on Shining you crazy diamond.x

  42. Tony Hill Says:

    Very sad and shocking news. I was a student of architecture with Albie at Southend and for some of the time lodged with him and his family.

    He was a life force of enthusiasms and schemes mostly tinged with his own brand of quirky humour and inventive ideas. I have memories of all-night Monopoly games to the music of James Brown. Life itself was a game to be played with great humour and disregard for other peoples rules.

    Like me the realities of being an architect did not suit him and I was impressed to read of the extent of his activities in games, puzzles and crosswords, etc. but not surprised to see that he had made such an impression in these areas.

    My best wishes to his family.

  43. Rob Edwards Says:

    Albie was always a magical person to me, someone who sparked my imagination as a child, inspired me as a teenager and who continues to influence me as an adult.
    As a child I was lucky to have regular family visits to Bedford Place and they are some of my favourite childhood memories. Albie had so much time for us spending hours building Lego towers, playing board games and entertaining us with his stories. One of my favourite childhood possessions was my copy of the Rubik’s Snake book he had published. He gave one to each of us and signing them with our own nicknames, Robert ‘Rattlesnake’ Edwards was mine.
    As a teenager I went to stay with him a couple of times during work experience trips and it was then I learnt of his amazing intellect and his incredible cooking skills. We continued to spend time playing games, he introduced me to cribbage which claimed a couple of evenings and also gave me his London Cabbie board game which I had remembered from my childhood. I still have this at home and will be hosting a game in his honour the next time I’m together with my brother and sisters.
    Now I have my own son I quite often think of him when I’m sitting down to build Lego and have attempted to recreate some of those amazing marble towers. I have also stolen his ‘washing machine’ routine and will pick my son up and spin him around, spitting in his face occasionally(!), much to his delight.
    I feel truly grateful for having known him, he was an amazing guy and I was really sad to hear of his passing. My thoughts are with Sue, Iggy, Theo and Millie.

  44. Emma Jones, Martin, Clem and Frankie Says:

    I really got to know Albie when we stood together at the gates of Christopher Hatton and started talking about the lack of a secondary school south of the Euston Rd. It was Albie’s ranting that really got it all started; and it fired me up to start saying ” he’s right, it’s unfair, it’s illogical, we should do something!’ . Logic was a big thing with Albie, in my memory. He would argue at length against policies and arrangements because they simply didn’t make sense. And he was right – they didn’t and still don’t. Thanks for that amazing energy Albie – it was really fantastically useful and inspiring. Albie went on to produce some fiercely logical statistical arguments to support the campaign for a secondary school in our community, and I remember the moment his catchment area maps were projected during a deputation in the council chamber – clear, bold and unarguable -as being a turning point in the fortunes of the campaign. We will all miss him hugely, and send our love to Sue, Iggy, Theo and Millie x

  45. Christina Lorimer, Graham, Says:

    The vivid image that first surfaces after the shock of hearing the dreadful news of Albie’s death, is that of Albie, Sue and family arriving at a picnic we had last year on the heath. Albie was loaded up with two huge bags, one of these a weathered old rucksack (similar to one I’d known as a child), from which he produced a sturdy piece of rope – perhaps forty foot or more in length. Eyeing up the nearest suitable tree selected for its extending branch at the required height, he proceeded to cast one end of the rope upwards and over to bring both ends back together in what I remember as a ‘bowline’ – I ‘m not sure because I don’t really know about knots, but Albie certainly did.

    At the same time, Iggy, Theo and others set off to find a stout piece of wood to complete the affair, which they duly did, and in a very short time, there was a tree swing – its height off the ground adjusted accordingly for youngest to oldest alike and the party had a focal point.
    Needless to say, the other bag, a black carry-all shoulder bag which was a familiar sight on the front Albie’s bike, was filled with delicious food. Usually, its contents would put me to shame, but on this occasion I’d made more effort, encouraged or inspired by the example of other Fiore-Harris picnics. In the by-going that day I heard from Albie about the wild places of London and the wildlife, and snippets of his enormous knowledge of where to go and what to see.

    It’s an aching realisation once again, that there’s never enough time. I regret my own tendency to be in such haste and not to make more time for wonder.
    Our thoughts are so much with you all. Love from Christina, Graham, Rona & Ishbel XXXX

  46. willie bloch Says:

    Willie says:
    I first met Albie and Anne in 1973-74. When I was at Edinburgh University, I knew a girl there called Sheila, who came down to London to live with her sister Fo. Apparently, Albie had befriended Fo at a bus stop in the Kings Road and she was staying as a guest at his house on the south corner of Russell Square. When I later came down to London to pursue a career in Fleet Street, I got in touch with Sheila (I can’t remember how as this was in the pre-mobile phone era) who was also staying at Albie’s, care of her sister — which is how I met Albie and Anne.
    We seemed to hit it off: Albie was a games freak, and I was into games, too, in a small way. But Albie’s skills were way too professional for me. Dungeons and dragons was the latest in roleplaying games at the time, and Albie was in his milieu in its esoteric minutiae. I think Albie was a tester for some of the big board-game names such as Spears or 3M, and there was usually an on-going game at his home. One of my favourites was Regatta, a yachting board game that I would bore Albie with (it was far too easy for him) by asking to play it whenever I came round.
    He was a magnificent host: I would often turn up on his doorstep after a shift, to be ushered into what seemed like a 24/7 dinner party, and although the house might be packed with his friends, Albie and Anne always made you feel special.
    I remember Sebastian, his black dog: he would roam around the flat making doggy smells — to which Albie, on encountering one, would respond ‘SEBASSSS!’ Sometimes I’d bump into Anne and Albie (he’d be wearing his peacock outfit — two-toned shoes and a plum coloured silk bomber jacket) walking Sebastian in Russell Square and I was saddened to hear of Sebastian’s death after falling from the stairwell of the flat in Bedford Place.
    I never knew how Albie had time for all his hobbies (it was too much fun to be called work); his games and puzzles work, his joint venture Hatch, his architectural pursuits and, of course, the non-stop social life. I also remember the pinball machines and end-of-pier slot machines in Albie’s hall after he moved round the corner into Bedford Place. There was always a pile of pre-decimal pennies to feed into them — and the beauty was, win or lose, you always got your (or Albie’s) money back.
    As the years rolled by, I saw less and less of Albie and Anne as family and Fleet Street shift patterns started to erode any social life. We later kept in touch only by Christmas cards — and my wife Wendy would often scold me for not having kept up my friendship with Albie, having last seen him in the early Nineties. Albie was wonderfully kind and engaging with youngsters and Wendy and our children recall a memorable day out in Coram Fields when Albie made frizbees for them out of lolly-pop sticks. They worked, too, and have been treasured over the years. One of my last connections with Albie was finding his book on solving Rubik’s cube and another of Rubik’s snake-like puzzle.
    He was only a phone call away — but that is perhaps the measure of friendship: he was never really far from my thoughts. I hope it is of comfort to Sue and their children that Albie touched so many lives and left them with wonderful memories.

  47. Becki (Hector and Orlando) Says:

    I remember so well the ‘picture’ Christina ‘painted’ at the time of her picnic last summer and her description of Albie making the swing – making her birthday swing even more so! As we no longer live in London it was a lovely reminder of Albie and his family who we knew as part of the Christopher Hatton community. It was this gusto of Albie’s that i remember (fun loving, generous and an appetite for life) and it clearly touched everyone of us who came into his orbit. Orlando remembers attending one of the infamous parties (Iggy’s sixth) talking of cricket with Albie and the everlasting image of the lucky dip barrel. I keep thinking of Italian paintings and sumptuous feasts. What an extrordinarycelebration of life it will surely be on friday.

    All our love to Sue, Iggy,Theo and Millie xxx

  48. Anna Boyle Says:

    Albie

    We were lucky to be at the right place at the right time, with you guys. The era of early family life would always be memorable, but was really, much better with Albie, Sue, Iggy and Theo,, this was before lovely Millie was born. And since we missed most of the Chapter of Millie we were particularly looking forward to crossing path’s more often now that Millie is going to Soho. Which is where we last met, and found that bad news of illness, which was not going to get him down.
    Sharing a passion for bikes was great, we were also a bike focused family and often involved in discussions, of what models and makes where interesting. Kids and bike festival they where fun .Showing a dignified pace of life on there bikes was impressive .
    We went to the Italian parades thanks to him connecting the past and present as he often did so well.
    Being with Albie made you feel that the world might make sense after all. Being frank and sensitive were his strengths. We shared problems of lack of school places, which as he investigated where worse than we realized. He helped to bring attention, and was part of team close to forcing authority to fulfil there obligation equally to the community of Kings Cross, Holburn, I hope the authority realize what a missed opportunity they had there.
    Particular memories are for Amy that he was the first person to let her have sugar in her tea, Mine is him being confident that he could teach Amy and I to correct a Rubik cube, there are rules of it I still remember. Dexter remembers playing many hours and always the thrill of lucky dip. For being part of my children’s childhood I am grateful.
    When we moved, we missed the life we left but new what we wanted to recreate in the sense of community and tried to, but not the same.
    I remember being relaxed and happy in his company and uncommon for those days when checking kids they would always be happily playing away. And so often I could go back to being happy. All our Love xxAnna Amy Dexter Tim

  49. Ian Says:

    Albie and I first met in 1981 and started to work together from 1982. We are all unique, but Albie came with added zest. He was his own man: but always willing to help, ever resourceful and blessed with an acute sagacity. I have so many memories and these I will cherish.

    In late 1985 we both left Games Workshop and established a business called Hatch. Hatch assessed, edited and originated a number of books and games. It included an unusual interlude when Albie travelled to America for a three week trip and asked me to mind his flat. Three weeks passed, a month, then finally a year before he returned – Albie always had his own sense of time.

    It is because of Albie that I met my wife, so I have more than most to thank him for.

    In 1988 we divided up the assets of Hatch. Albie stayed with publications, I focused on consultancy and trade – but we remained firm friends. A friendship that never dulled, no matter how long the separation. We had a tradition that when he came to Derbyshire we would play pooh sticks, in the smaller of our two rivers. I am glad that last summer he was able to bring Sue, Iggy, Theo and Millie and we played pooh sticks for one last time.

    I had to wait for today before posting. Today is the 28th of August. Today I watched my friend go to rest in the woodland; while the leaves danced in the sunshine and white clouds scudded across a blue sky. There I said a farewell I had not foreseen. IAO

  50. molly cantalupo Says:

    SOMEONE PLEASE FIND A WAY TO MAKE A FILM OF HIS LIFE ” ALBIE”

  51. Brian Meitiner Says:

    How many old friends I see above all remembering the person that introduced us.
    I met Albie a 1000 years ago because of his love of old amusment machines. He had a shed on Camden Lock long before it was famous and I would do up the machines before they were sold. I never got any money for it, but received more wealth than anyone could want. I more or less spent every evening until the early morning in the Holburn flat.
    With his help I set up one of the first stalls in the market in Camden, everyone from the flat helping. Some of the junk that I sold was joked about for years afterwards.
    I remember his cooking skills, he actually did the reception for my younger brother, and even after I got married we would eat round his flat a lot until I moved to Spain.
    He visited me once and we had a great time but then we would only see each other every couple of years when I was in London.

    He influenced my life in so many ways, and I’d like to say Thanks Albie.
    and all the best to Sue, Iggy,Theo and Millie

  52. Roland (Rip) Hodson Says:

    I remember Albie, long before Iggy, Theo and Millie, when Albie swept into Sue’s life and swept her off her feet. Sue looked so happy that I sensed this was the big one for both of them. And so it turned out to be.

    I remember Albie cooking “Eggy Bread” for Iggy and Theo and a flat stuffed with fascinating games and artifacts. I remember Albie’s mind, stuffed with fascinating ideas and experiences.

    Albie’s departure leaves a big hole in the world, especially for Sue, Iggy, Theo and Millie. But it was great to hear Sue say how she could see Albie living on through Iggy, Theo and Millie. He also lives on in the impact he left on the rest of us who knew him, even if for too short a time.

    The best tribute those of us privileged to live on could make to Albie is to support Sue as she guides Iggy, Theo and Millie into adulthood.

  53. Jim Toone Says:

    Yesterday, on Friday the 14th of January 2010, jet-lagged and weary after the previous day’s flight from Seattle, having spent five weeks in the USA over Christmas, I struggled with a strong cup of tea and nothing but the resolve that frequently gets us through days of cloud crunching tiredness, collapsed into my worn and comfortable padded swivel chair in what laughingly passes for my study, pushed aside a pile of books and paper, and opened up the internet.

    There are times in our lives when memory and recall are so painful that we eschew any thought of even attempting them. There are moments when memories are the saving graces of our days. Sometime late in the night or the early morning, my body clock still fighting the overwhelming urge to sleep, I began trawling for memories: just some slapdash word searches, mostly involving Southend-on-sea.

    I saw the pier; the Kursaal, where my mum and maternal grandmother worked; there were views of Priory Park, the old swimming pool at Thorpe Bay, Southend’s Marine Parade. And as I picked my way through the jumbling randomness of it all, I threw my alma mater into the trek – Southend High School for Boys – and it was there that I found the Guardian obituary for Albie Fiore.

    Now it is the following day. Snow and slush clog the slope of my street in Leicestershire; frozen fog blinds my view down the hill. The days of hot summers and Fox Hall farm, Rebels (or ‘Cut Throat’) Lane, open top buses to the seafront, ancient sturdy elms on the playing fields of Southend High and in the hedgerows of Shopland, are all gone.

    I visited Southend for the funeral of a dear old friend in the first week of December 2009. I lamented the passing of a kind woman, whose life was far from easy. I took the occasion, for the first time since 1988, to return to the street in which I had lived out most of my childhood, risking the pain of viewing my old home, now devoid of my parents and their smiles and hugs. I visited the only one of the ‘old guard’ still resident there, now cheerfully ninety and beaming at my bouquet of flowers in her hand.

    Despite farms and fields of boyhood now being a golf course and secondary school; notwithstanding the loss of the Southend’s old town and heart: the flea market, the Talza Arcade, the gloriously blue and silver painted Victorian pier buildings and ‘What the Butler saw’ machines that promised much and delivered a pennyworth for an eight year old; for that short cup of tea and a chat in Lewes Road, I felt that not everything had gone. But it was all too clear that more, much more had been lost, when I read of Albie’s death.

    I can’t recall exactly when I first met ‘Albert Fiore’ – as he was listed in the class register of the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic primary school in Southend. It must have been on that grey (as I seem to recall it) and nervous day at the beginning of September 1951 when I was let loose in a world of books, incense and competitiveness.

    Riot of black curly hair and bright eyes that he was, Albie and I were destined to be deadly rivals. It wasn’t the fighting, scrapping sort of rivalry on my part that would have been common in youngsters: no, it was me when his painting of Richard the Lionheart beat my outlandish notion of some underwater picnic – when ‘haphazard’ was the word I challenged him with in the spelling B and he rejoined with ‘ricochet’. Albie could spell my championship word – blast him, but I couldn’t spell his: we were nine at the time. Whether it was football or running, cricket or tree climbing – I was always a challenger, and more often than not, came in second.

    Yet Albie was the opponent I liked and admired. He was the victor who never crowed over his conquest. Of all uncommon things in a gifted boy, he was gracious in an old-fashioned way that seemed imbued with the spirit of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’.

    So we, classmate rivals, sat down with our contemporaries on hard seats with shaking hands and completed our 11 plus exam papers. There were never many who passed from Sacred Heart – in later years I wondered whether there was a ‘quota’. Albie was the only boy to pass (with two girls). I couldn’t look him in the eye – to my eternal shame! But then I was told that I was border-line and could re-sit the exam. It was Albie who was the first to congratulate me when I passed.

    We both chose to go to Southend High School for Boys, but, resplendent in our new green blazers, we were in different streams and opposing houses (inevitably) and so we drifted apart – not leas because I was a ‘troubled teen’. I left to join the Metropolitan Police. Albie studied architecture, the decades passed, and that was where I was – until yesterday.

    Now I have read the loving and fulsome tributes to a son, father, husband, brother, uncle, cousin, friend, human being. I have read of the man who shared my love of London and its history. Who was moved, as I was, by the lyricism and poetry of Bob Dylan. With whom I would have argued over sport and laughed at the ridiculous – and he is gone. There are infinitely great absences – the Albie you all knew and loved now seems a monumental absence in my life.

    It is never too late to mourn a death. It is never too long to celebrate a life. It is always too soon to lose someone, even when you discover, as I have done, what might have been. I hope, for you all, that the gap he has left will be filled with his wonderful example and the memories which remain, and I offer my thoughts and such prayers as I have, to his family and friends – I so wish I had been able to know him again – I and those I love would have been richer for it.

    Goodbye old friend

    Jim

  54. Andrew Sutton Says:

    I never had the good fortune to meet Albie or even to realise his many accomplishments. However, for two reasons he will always be remembered to me. The first was for writing “The Halls Of Tizun Thane” in White Dwarf and for the many magical memories the playing of that wonderfully written scenario brings back to me. So strong was the impact this made on me that Albie’s name stuck with me and years later (in January 2009) I named my son Albie so in a way my son is named after him.

    Belated goodbye Albie.

    Andy Sutton

  55. olivermarksaccountOliver Marks Says:

    Here’s some video of Albie cooking on May 12 2009

    I used to hang out with him on Saturday mornings in Soho way back in the 80’s to play pinball together and drink espressos at the Bar Italia. We lost touch a bit after I moved to the US in 199something but on that trip back to London in 09 I found him online and we subsequently had a great conversation at his place.
    We went to Argos with Iggy to buy a video game where I said my goodbyes, little realizing that would be the last time I would see Albie.
    I really miss that guy, he was one of a kind

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