Peter 'Spyke' Golding - 1949 - 2010
Former Chair of Nottingham CAMRA and one-time editor of the Nottingham Drinker, Spyke Golding was well and truly worth over his weight in any precious commodity. Greatly missed by all who knew him socially and as a colleague in his leisure and professional interests.
What you said:
From Colin Elmhirst: "Always a larger than life figure he will leave a huge gap in the life of Nottingham CAMRA Branch, All we can say now is Cheers Spyke, you will leave the World - and Nottingham in particular - a less colourful place."
From Mike Bajcar: "Spyke was always scrupulously honest but full of mischief. He dabbled in electronics and at the time of the pirate radio stations he set up an immensely popular, illegal station, Radio Castle in a disused railway station in Sherwood, Nottingham. He was eventually caught and following a prosecution was invited to do a show on BBC Radio Nottingham, a station that he has appeared on numerous occasions since."
A fond memory: 'He was particularly proud of a letter he received from a much-loved a teacher at Alderman White School at Chilwell:
"Dear Spyke, Surprised to hear that you have gone into teaching. I hope you get a class full of Spyke's – you bloody well deserve them!"'
From the Nottingham Drinker
(Edition no. 101 - available on-line)
Peter Bernard 'Spyke' Golding
A reflection and celebration of Spyke's life by his close friend Mike Bacjar
Introduction by Colin Elmhirst
Spyke was one of the earlier members of the Nottingham branch of CAMRA, the campaign for real ale. He became chairman in the mid '70's after a spell on the
committee as social secretary. In Spyke's time as chairman of the branch, the beer festival at the Victoria Leisure Centre became established and also the newsletter; initially the Notts and Derby Drinker, in collaboration with the Derby branch of CAMRA, and then in the mid 90's the Nottingham Drinker was born.
He found time after relinquishing the chairmanship of the Nottingham branch to be a regional organiser for CAMRA where his tour of branches on a modest-sized motorbike along with his
rather large frame gave some people to liken him to a balloon on a roller-skate.
As his working commitments grew he took more of a back seat for a while but still wrote many articles for the 'Drinkers' coming up with championing the use of buses, trains and aeroplanes in
his in praise of PUBlic transport.
Always a larger than life figure he will leave a huge gap in the life of the Nottingham CAMRA Branch. All we can say now is Cheers Spyke, you will leave the World - and Nottingham in
particular - a less colourful place.
Spyke asked me to make sure that this was a celebration today, only bright colours which is why we have even asked the undertakers to not wear black – they don't generally dress like that….honest! He also asked for no tears, though I told him I could not promise that.
Peter Bernard Golding was born on 17th March 1949 and died after a short illness on 28th October at the age of 61. Most people have known him as 'Spyke' and if you asked him why he was known as that he would tell you that it was because he was so tall and slim. He was actually quite slim at the time he was given the name, though never that slim!
We first met in 1964 at a Church Youth Club where I found that Spyke was a very intelligent person imbued with a strong sense of mischief, which gave him a mild sense of notoriety in Carlton where we lived. His father died of MS when Spyke was young and he was strongly affected by that, supporting the MS charity all of his adult life.
From his School reports came the following comments:
- December 1960 (aged 11): "A capable boy; he should do well."
- July 1961 – Games: "Finds Games difficult."
- April 1962 – Physics: "The standard of the form's work is far below Golding's. He should be in a higher stream, if such existed."
- July 1964- Sciences: "Outstanding."
- Headmaster's comment: "A lively if somewhat undisciplined approach to life in general: has still to learn the advantages of a sense of discretion."
Spyke was always scrupulously honest but full of mischief. He dabbled in electronics and at the time of the pirate radio stations he set up an immensely popular, illegal station, Radio Castle in a disused railway station in Sherwood, Nottingham. He was eventually caught and following a prosecution was invited to do a show on BBC Radio Nottingham, a station that he has appeared on numerous occasions since. At that time his main interests were the breeding of tropical moths and chemistry, the latter of which manifested in a love of pyrotechnics. He held legendary firework displays with home made fireworks, every one of which ended with a massive bang. This makes today's date even more poignant for those that have known him for a long time, November 5th. He later got a degree in chemistry which led, almost inevitably for Nottingham at that time, to a job in research at Boots.
When I went to work in Manchester Spyke became a regular visitor when we went sampling the local beers, Boddington's being a particular favourite as at the time it was worth drinking. Without really knowing it, we had begun appreciating Traditional beers though before CAMRA we barely understood why. When CAMRA was formed it seemed a natural home for Spyke and he quickly embraced its principles, taking part in an early demonstration against the closure of the Barnsley brewery. He was eventually made redundant by Boots and went into teaching, and apart from his period of training, all of this was at the Alderman White School at Chilwell. He was particularly proud of a letter he received from a much-loved a teacher at our old school:
Surprised to hear that you have gone into teaching. I hope you get a class full of Spyke's – you bloody well deserve them!"
Spyke was a superb cook and with his love of food and drink his weight steadily increased (in case anyone hadn't noticed) and his unorthodox appearance and ways endeared him to most of his pupils where he became known as Beefy. Once his nickname of Spyke became known, he was generally known as that, though not to his face. His love of nature led to the setting up of an after-school natural history club, which had a waiting list to join. In the sciences he enjoyed teaching about the fermentation process and reasons why Carbon Dioxide should not be abused by putting it at pressure over beer – to catch them young! However, I asked him just a couple of weeks ago what his best moment in teaching was. He told me that a young girl was crying with her friends on the last day of term as she was being sent abroad by her parents for an arranged (and forced) marriage. He managed to get the wheels in motion to stop it and, so very Spyke, he was really proud of that; so very Spyke. Spyke was a man who made lots of friends and few enemies. He tolerated virtually everyone, disliked few (though he recently made an exception for Kay Cutts, the Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council!).
A lifelong Forest supporter and season ticket holder he followed the team whenever he could and to every match home and away through Forests glory days and successes in Europe. He took early retirement and travelled widely, generally with beer as part of the reason for his visits. He was a successful Bridge player, a hobby that even delayed his pub visits and latterly he became the Editor of the Nottinghamshire Drinker, which won the award for the best CAMRA magazine for the last three years. Spyke and I were frequently taken for brothers, his usual response being that we were only related by girth. He was like a brother to me, though I am but one of hundreds who are already missing him terribly. I have received numerous messages, every single one of which used the same cliche, that Spyke was larger than life. Oh boy, wasn't he just that? I think you will be remembered amongst many other Nottingham Legends for years to come, perhaps not like Robin Hood or Cloughie, but a legend nonetheless.
Spyke, I end with some words you hated: 'Last Orders'
Scattering the Ashes
A final toast from his friends
From left to right Chris Holmes, Derek Adams, Andrew Ludlow, Colin Elmhirst, John Westlake (b/g), Steve Westby - Chair of Nottingham CAMRA and Mr and Mrs Mike Bajcar.
Page updated 12th October 2015