Funeral and baby naming service in Scotland

Bespoke Civil Ceremonies
40 Morlich Place
KY13 8BW
United Kingdom

Tel: 07752 212 067

A Service of Thanksgiving for
the life, love and faith of

Cliff Swanson

7th May 1945 -
9th September 2006

Cliff Swanson - a tribute

When Cliff was born in Wick on 7th May 1945, he soon found out that it was nice to be the youngest of five children and to have two older brothers and sisters who liked to look after you and spoil you while dad was away in the Royal Navy for months at a time. By all accounts he had a good and a happy childhood up there in the north of Scotland fishing away in the harbour at Wick, helping dad on his boat ‘The Gleaners’ and getting up to all sorts of mischief we believe. Although we do have to have some sympathy for him because as he always said he grew up with holes in his shoes and a regular diet of salted herring.

Those were the days alright. The days when you could have fun at the waters edge or have fun driving a van delivering papers on a Sunday morning even though he was too young to drive and didn’t quite understand why he came home with pockets full of eggs and a few chicken after delivering the papers. But it was all good fun according to Cliff and before long, he hung up his paper bag and get an apprenticeship as an electrician before he moved on to work at Dounray for a while. Life was good in those days for the young Cliff and life was to get even better when one day he walked into the Rosebank Hotel and noticed that there was this lovely looking girl working behind the bar called Vera. So dressed in his little raincoat he tried to impress the young lady with a few tricks on his umbrella but failed miserably as Vera thought he was just a bit full of himself and would never want to go out with a man like that. But love is a funny old thing you know and can happen in the most unusual of places. Like on the road from Wick To Aberdeen as Cliff chauffeured his sister in law and Vera to the Granite City to do some shopping. Thankfully that day it was dry and he didn’t need to take a brolly to impress Vera instead he just used his natural charm and charisma and that did the trick. They were together, going out and watched that Elvis movie ‘Blue Hawaii’ numerous times at the pictures even though Vera much preferred his namesake Cliff Richard. But at the end of the day, a Richard, a Swanson, it made no difference, cause this was the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with and so in the late summer of 1966 they were married and began their new life together .

This love between Vera and Cliff was soon blessed with two lovely girls; Dawn and Lorraine and despite the fact that he never changed their nappies he was a dad he dotted on his girls. He loved bringing them presents home when ever he worked abroad in places like Oman and he loved having pretend wrestling matches with them when ever he came home until the day that he encouraged Lorraine to kick him hard like Mick McManus, Kendo Nagasaki and all the wrestlers on the telly used to do, only this time the young Lorraine did KICK him and apparently it was very hard and very sore. And that was the last time he tried that trick with them.

But he was a good dad and as well as being great with his girls and the grand kids he was very good with his hands and could make all sorts of things like dolls house and was teaching the girls the rudimentaries of car mechanics and DIY which came as a bit of a surprise to their respective husbands Bob and Johnnie in years to come although not half as much as Cliff was surprised when he met Johnnie for the first time and there he was doing all the ironing. As we were saying earlier, Cliff was a traditional in many ways. Although he was a great cook and make a fantastic soup and was your traditional father figure at Christmas time who made the dinner, carved the turkey and all of that sort of stuff.

He was actually a very talented man and could do almost anything that was asked of him- except nappies and ironing. But he built the extension to the house, was great at car mechanics and DIY and had a high quality of workmanship in whatever he did. He was one of the few people we believe who could put young Aiden in his place when ever he used that tone of voice and said ‘Aiden’. And he was like that all his life. Good with his hands and could turn his mind to almost anything. My goodness this year, despite his illness he still installed the French windows despite having had his foot amputated. He was a remarkable man in so many ways. Remarkable for his devotion to his family, remarkable for his many years of hard work with Taylor Woodrow and Stirling Council. Remarkable too for his love of a bargain and not so much as buy one get one free offers as buy four get four free offers – and the cupboards are still crammed full of food and I dare say it would be o great surprise to hear that he had already started the Christmas shopping and filled another cupboard or two with presents. He liked his bargains did Cliff but he was also very generous with it and all he maybe asked for in return for the family to visit and the occasional bag of Malteasers of Liquorice Allsorts. And if the kids could come for some good reason – like being in Australia – then he would go out and see them and I know too that Cliff was looking forward to his visit there this November and to using his new sat Nav to get him to the airport.

He was certainly very proud of his girls and I know there is so much we are going to miss about him. Whether it was the New Year parties that he attended in the street back in the days when there were street parties at New Year. Whether it was all the caravans holidays the kids had with dad and all the card games he has taught them. Whether it was the fact that he showed such great courage and determination after his accident 8 years ago and when his foot was removed. Or whether it was his newly discovered love of the internet and find even better bargains than you find in the shop. We miss the simple things like his love of BBC News 24 and Discovery Channel and the fact that he hated the Australian papers are they were full of adverts and no where as good as the Daily Record. We will miss all the times he called Rory ‘My Boy and how he was proud to be a Scotsman. Most of all we will miss his loving presence and his great devotion to the family and we simply hope and pray that until that day when we meet him again, he is enjoying is rest and peace in heaven.

Cliff as we knew and loved him


Poems from the funeral service

Not how did Cliff die, but how did Cliff live?
Not what did Cliff gain, but what did Cliff give?
These are the units to measure the worth
Of a man as a human; true greatness on earth.
Not, what was his church, nor what was his creed?
But had Cliff befriended those really in need?
Was he ever ready, with word of good cheer,
To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?
Not what did the cutting in the newspaper say,
But how many were sorry when Cliff passed away.

Please do not feel guilty It was just my time to go.
I know that you are feeling sad, and the tears just seem to flow.
I don’t want you to keep crying, you are shedding so many tears.
We all come to earth for a lifetime, but for some it’s not many years.
I haven’t really left you even though it may seem so.
I have just gone to my heavenly home, and I’m closer than you know.
I know you long to see me, but there’s nothing I can do.
Just believe me when I say this, I’m right there next to you.
I’ll send you little messages so please try and understand.
For when your time is ready, I’ll be there to take your hand.


Prayer from Cliff's service

Thank you Cliff

Thank you for all the good times and the happy memories

Thank you for all your friendship, your generosity and your determination in life

Thank you for all your love and goodness and everything you have taught your family and life and how to find happiness

Thank you most of all Cliff for just being you

You have filled your niche in this world and accomplished your tasks

And you leave this world, and all of us richer, because of you.

Cliff Swanson

Your life we honour
Your departure we accept
Your memory we cherish
In grief at your death 
But in gratitude for your life
We are truly grateful for the privilege of having shared life with you
Rest now at the end of your days
Your work is done
Rest in the hearts and minds of all who love you
And if we can learn from his experience
And profit from his example
Perhaps we can live better lives for having known him