Allen Smith, 1912-2019

Allen Smith at the Fire after a Tar Bar’l Parade, in full ‘guiser’ costume

I did not know Allen Smith, but I’ve been fortunate to be able to call his brother Lawrence a friend.

Allen’s funeral will be held at the West End Methodist Church in Hexham on Tuesday. His life has been extensively memorialised in the Hexham Courant 

But even if we can’t add anything more pertinent than what’s already been reported, it would be remiss if we did not, in this diary of life here in the Allen Valleys, note the passing of probably the oldest Tar Bar’l guiser of them all. Born just before the first World War, into a time few of us can even imagine, and bearing a certain responsibility to carry on with the tradition he would have taken up in the Roaring Twenties at the age of fifteen, Allen’s life must have been an extraordinary journey.

The thoughts of the whole community are, I’m sure, with his family and friends at this time.

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