A FRIEND of mine died a few weeks ago, his name was Patrick Cutler, he was the quickest and neatest bricklayer I had ever known.

Most people didn’t call him Patrick, he was known as “Worzel”.

He was a freelance bricklayer, who carried out a lot of work.

When he was slack he would call me up and ask if I could fit him in for a few days of brickwork, which I often did.

This particular day we had a roofing job in Lee Road the back roof was a slate roof so Worzel and I went round there.

We put the ladders up against the roof where the valley was.

I walked up the lead valley, I could fix most of the slates myself but there was a slate missing around 6ft away, it was a pointed ridge so I couldn’t really sit on it, so I had to scramble along.

So Worzel placed the ladder below where I was going to fix the slate and I could slide down to the ladder.

So by the time I had fixed the slate I could see Worzel and the ladder at the edge of the roof, so I intended to slide gently down the roof to him.

As soon as my backside touched those slates, I slid down like a rocket, I could see the whites of Worzel eyes as I hurtled down.

My feet hit the rungs of the ladder with a resounding smack but luckily Worzel held onto the fascia and we all got down safely.

From that day onwards I was known to him as “Dangerous Brian”.

If I had any brickwork jobs come in I would phone Worzel’s “office”, aka the Stingray pub, as soon as they knew “Dangerous Brian” wanted to speak to Worzel he always miraculously appeared.

He was a character and a dear friend. Rest in Peace Worzel.

Maurice Willis

Dove Crescent, Harwich