Much missed husband to get a pond-side picnic table

Phil Middle
Phil Middle

A man with a passion for golf and cruises is being commemorated with a picnic table bought by his widow.

Phil Middle died tragically in 2012, aged 65, after a routine operation went wrong so his wife Terry, 72, wanted to honour his memory with a bench by the Tingewick duck pond for families to use.

His life-support machine was switched off after 41 days as a reaction to the local anaesthetic caused Phil to become a paraplegic.

The couple had lived in the village for 15 years and on what was their 30th wedding anniversary, Terry scattered his ashes at sea off the coast of Portugal where Phil enjoyed golfing holidays and cruises.

He had a handicap of 12 and even hit six holes in ones, including one occasion at Buckingham Golf Club where he was a member.

“I’m sure he would like to have washed up into someone’s cocktail,” Terry joked. “But he was actually in a special container of very heavy cardboard.

“So I wanted to do something for the village to remember him too. The plaque says ‘I no longer see you with my eyes or touch you with my hands but I will hold you in my heart forever’.”

Phil went on a number of cruises with Terry and his favourite route was through the Panama Canal in the south Pacific.

Terry, who still lives in Tingewick, has arranged a small ceremony for close friends and family for Phil’s bench to be unveiled on August 23.

Phil’s sister Jenny McCormack and Terry’s 94-year-old mother will be there for the event ahead of a buffet dinner.

“We’ll have a bottle of bubbly and I hope there will be lots of laughter,” Terry said. “He loved red flowers so I’ve asked each person to bring one and we’ll put them in a basket on the table.”