Remembering family man Sid

Sid Porteous
Sid Porteous

A well-respected and highly-regarded man, who was heavily involved in various aspects of community life, has passed away, aged 79.

Sid Porteous, from Howling Lane, Alnwick, died on Tuesday, September 4.

He was married to Eileen and the couple had two children, Ian and Robert.

His funeral will be a Cowpen Crematorium on Wednesday at 12.15pm.

Sid, who was born in 1939, played an active role in the Armed Forces and remained a loyal member of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Association until his death.

The Regiment will be well represented at his funeral and the eulogy will be given by Major (Retired) Bill McDonald BEM.

Sid was quite unusual in that, at some time in his life, he served with the Royal Navy, the Territorial Army (TA) and the Royal Air Force (albeit on the civilian staff).

He served briefly in the 7th Battalion The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers (TA) before he joined the Royal Navy in 1958, where he served for 10 years, reaching the rank of Leading Seaman.

On leaving the Royal Navy, he re-joined the TA in the Northumbrian Volunteers, based at Fenkle Street, Alnwick, which, in 1975 became the 6th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (6RRF).

Sid served in 6RRF until the Battalion was disbanded in 1999. During this time, he served in the Battalion Training Team and eventually was promoted Warrant Officer Class 2 as the Orderly Room Quarter Master Sergeant.

A true stalwart of the Armed Forces, Sid delivered the exhortation (the poignant We Will Remember Them reading) at Alnwick War Memorial each year on Remembrance Sunday.

Maj (Retired) Fred Calvert said: “I never once heard him speak ill of anyone. He was a gentleman, a good friend and loyal to each organisation that he joined.”

Sid was employed at Whittle Colliery, at Hampeth, until it closed when he became the Clothing Storeman at RAF Boulmer where he worked for 20 years.

On his retirement from RAF Boulmer, Sid was a guide at Alnwick Castle for 10 years.

Away from work, Sid had many hobbies. One of his passions was fishing and he often went sea fishing with his friends.

He also had a very good singing voice and he relished performing on the stage.

Many years ago, he joined the Alnwick Variety Company soon after it was formed.

The Company used to stage three shows a year for charity, initially in the Olympic Room at the town’s White Swan Hotel and then at the Alnwick Playhouse.

When the Variety Company folded, Sid joined a local choir. He then moved to the Bailiffgate Singers before moving to the Barbershop group known as Lionheart Harmony.

A few years ago, Sid and his Lionheart Harmony colleagues recorded a fund-raising song for Alnwick’s Aln Valley Railway. The track was to the tune of Chattanooga Choo Choo, with lyrics written by railway members.

Gary Brown, from Lionheart Harmony, said: “The word legend is overused these days, and I don’t use it lightly. But that’s how I’d describe the wonderful Sid. He sang with emotion and thrust and he made people smile. He was a warm, lovely, family man.”

A love for singing and performing, Sid was also a popular member of Alnwick Stage Musical Society.

Sid was also involved in the Scout movement. He joined the 2nd Alnwick Scout Group as a Scout Leader in the late 1960s and served for 25 years. His knowledge of knots – from his time in the Navy – was passed on to generations of Scouts.