The funeral of Vic Whittingham former Chairman & long-standing Vice-President of Worcestershire County Cricket Club will take place on Thursday 29th December at Cheltenham Crematorium at 1.00pm. Everyone is welcome to attend the Crematorium but there will be no gathering afterwards as the family have requested privacy at this sad time.
We are hoping there will be Thanksgiving service for his friends in January or early February and I will let you know if and when this will take place after the New Year.
The Reverend Mike Vokins has said the following words on behalf of the Club as he knew Vic very well and was an old friend:-
The Club was sad to hear of the death, on Thursday 8th December, of Vic Whittingham, a long-standing Vice-President of the County, and one of its most faithful members. He would have been 95 in January.
After an early foray into the oil industry Vic ran, for some thirty years, his own very successful electrical business in Bahrein, and was responsible for bringing electricity to that country. Just prior to his retirement and his return to the UK Vic and his second wife, Joan, bought Bredon Manor (the distinctive Cotswold stone manor house one can see when heading south and crossing the River Avon on the M5 near Bredon). Unbeknown to him his purchase included the delightful added benefit of a cellar full of vintage port which he was wont to share with his friends at New Road on special occasions (and at other times too!). When Joan died Vic married Lillah and together they made the Manor a place of welcome and warm hospitality. Their New Year’s Day ‘Black Velvet’ parties were legendary.
Being the sort of man who felt it right to do his duty and to put something back into life, Vic was a long-time committee member of the Bahrein Association. He was also a committed member of the Chindits Association. He had served with the Chindits during the Second World War, when it was the largest of the allied Special Forces. They regularly operated deep behind enemy lines in North Burma in the War against Japan and, for many months, lived in and fought the enemy in the jungles of Japanese- occupied Burma, totally relying on airdrops for their supplies. It was a challenging time but Vic drew great strength from the camaraderie built up there. For many years around Remembrance Day he would head to London to meet with former colleagues, and to march with the veterans in the Remembrance Sunday parade down Whitehall. He had hoped to be part of the parade this year, but his failing health did not allow this. Typically he made sure to watch the parade on TV and was moved by the fact that, had he been there, he would have been one of only two Chindits on parade.
Organisations with which Vic was associated seldom got less than his full commitment and faithful support. That was certainly true of his association with the County Cricket Club. He joined the Club soon after his return from the Middle-East and, after being involved with a number of players’ benefit events over the years, he was encouraged by Roy Booth to stand for the Committee. Elected in 1984 he quickly became a conscientious and diligent member of the Ground Committee. He became Chairman of that Committee in 1991, by which time it had become the Ground and House Committee.
It was around this time that the Club, having bought the Ground, felt it right to develop its own full-time catering operation and, in this, Vic was to the fore. His vision, energy and wise support and encouragement of the senior catering staff, and his eye for detail, saw that the operation was well-founded and that standards were set high. He was delighted to see how important a part of the Club’s overall activities that it’s in-house catering continues to be today.
He stood down as Ground and House Chairman in 1998, and was appointed a Vice-President of the Club. His enthusiasm for all things Worcestershire and his faithful support for the County saw no diminution, and rare was the day of cricket at New Road when Vic was not present. Especially after Lillah died he greatly valued the friendship and company of his Worcestershire cricketing friends. And he made it part of his life, too, to get to see the County at as many away games too as he could manage, right up until the end of the past season. The Club has long been very fortunate in the faithful and keen support of so many members.
Vic leaves a daughter, Susan, and a son, Brian whose mother Jill was Vic’s first wife. They have arranged a private family funeral and it is not yet known whether a Service of Thanksgiving for Vic’s Life will be arranged later.