Mourners outside the Lido on the day of the funeral
Published: 19 January, 2017
By DAN CARRIER
THE sheer number of people who wanted to say goodbye to Lido lifeguard Glyn Roberts, who died on New Year’s Day, meant scores who had come to pay their respects had to wait outside the chapel at his funeral on Friday.
Glyn, 48, had worked on Hampstead Heath for 25 years and his status in the neighbourhood where he lived and worked was underlined by the fact the St Marylebone chapel in East Finchley, which holds well over 300 people, was so full there was standing room only, with its gardens also packed. From regular swimmers at the Lido and ponds to colleagues at the City of London, school friends to family, the mourners came from across Glyn’s many interests in life. They included Highgate Lifebuoys chairman Chris Ruocco and Kenwood Ladies Pond Association chairwoman Mary Cane, authors John Healy and Caitlin Davies, and neighbours from Hilldrop Crescent, where Glyn lived.
A lifesaving float was placed on his coffin by colleagues from the Parliament Hill Lido – a mark of respect for the number of people he had helped through his first aid training and life-saving skills.
The service included a poem read by his children Jessica and Edward, the hymn Abide With Me and Elvis Presley’s version of Amazing Grace.
They heard his partner of 20 years, Tory, read a eulogy that underlined the effect Glyn had on so many others.
Tory said: “Glyn was involved in so many things, from climbing mountains to cycling along towpaths. He did 19 marathons and, when he wasn’t doing one of those things, he was training people in first aid or making plans for a children’s garden where we lived, or acting, or photography – he would drive people mad by saying: let me take one more.”
Tory added that Glyn’s wide range of passions had left his family with three garages of car parts to sift through.
She added: “He loved classic cars and had just bought an MG. He loved motorbikes and he’d be outside, working on them.”
Tory told the congregation that Glyn was considered a brother by so many he met.
She added: “Glyn didn’t have friends – he had families. Each day when he went to work, he was with his Lido family. He had his boxing family, his acting family – it was one big extended family.
“I was incredibly lucky to have met a fresh-faced Glyn 20 years ago. We loved each other completely. Glyn may not have been perfect, but he was perfect for me. My grief is beyond words.”
Father Marius Mirtz, who led the service, told the congregation that he could tell what a special place Glyn held in so many people’s hearts by the sheer scale of the funeral, adding: “I have never seen so many people gathered in one place to remember a person. This is a mark of the esteem Glyn’s memory will be held.”