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Wed 04 Aug 2021 - Farewell Neil Chorley BT Manchester Staff

Farewell Neil Chorley

Hi From BT MR Staff,
Neil Chorley 1.jpg
Jim Perkins got in touch with the sad news of Neil 'Angel' Chorley's death. Jim wrote a very personal account of his friendship with Neil over many years.

I first met Neil when we both ended up in the Training Manager's office for being late on our very first day at work - we'd both rode to work on our motorbikes and hadn't been able to get to Portland Street on time, so missed our induction. Whilst sat waiting for a rollicking, we introduced ourselves to each other before continuing to discuss the top speed of our bikes, mine a Triumph and his a Royal Enfield, before concluding that neither was quite quick enough!

This debate would continue for a number of years, as we both entered production motorcycle races in the 80's with Neil performing very well around the IOM road racing circuit.

Neil was a bit of a rebel when he first signed up with Post Office Telecommunications straight from school, so he was consigned to telephone kiosk maintenance duties out of Crossley Street Garage in Gorton following those first three apprenticeship years and the block release courses at Openshaw, where some might remember him from. During his time at college, he'd managed to gain something of a reputation for being a Hell's Angel basically, because he had a motorbike and hence the nickname, but he was never an official member.

The closest he came was when one of the local chapter members demanded that Neil let him ride his beloved Triumph Tiger 110 now a 650cc chopper with extended forks, up a ramp that had been placed in the street and on top of a barrel. Rather than let somebody else take his bike from him, Neil elected to do the stunt himself and so ended up in hospital with concussion, having lost all of his front teeth when the bike smashed into the ground!

We're pictured here shortly after his infamous jump with his new Norton!!! whilst camping out in a muddy Snowdonia field, February 1974 on the Dragon motorcycle rally, North Wales. You can probably tell that we weren't really the kind of lads to appreciate the Sweet but they really rocked the Winter Gardens in Blackpool at the POE Union's Christmas do in '72ish, and we were there when it all kicked off...

Neil back row, top left on team photo was always trying to organise events in those days and he obtained some company sponsorship to set up Crossley Rangers FC, playing in the Manchester Publicity League on Saturday mornings straight off the back of a late Friday night out. It was a team mixed with friends and colleagues including Gaz McGraw Blackfriars Exchange, back row 5th from the left Paul 'Jethro' Williams a great lad RIP- bottom right and me bottom left.
The home ground was close to the Crossley Street garage, which was quite handy for those of us that could be bothered to go training straight after work.

Neil had always been a reds supporter and I'm a blue but that didn't stop us going to the Man U away leg with St Etienne in France, September 1977 where we found ourselves right in the middle of some infamous crowd trouble - https: Q1KjaqAT3Sg?t=206 it's probably not a claim to fame that anybody would like to make, but we were there when it all kicked off - again! We were actually heading down for a camping holiday in Saint Tropez on the south coast and were lucky not to get banged up on the night of the match - San Trop was lovely by the way but bloody expensive.

Neil left Manchester Central POTS after a fairly short career, having studied with the Open University to obtain his degree in computing. He eventually joined an American CAD company, Calma and commenced his training with them in Sunnyvale, California - a step up from the training schools in Didsbury and Stone in Staffs, though his actual workplaces were back here in the UK, with one being just down the road at GEC in Trafford Park. He was a really clever lad and very single minded at that time in his life, so whatever he turned his hand to, he'd do it really well and with great enthusiasm.

After leaving Calma in the 80's, he started up his own business, AC Computers in Wigan, providing LAN networks and SAGE accountancy training with his partner Val. They both worked hard for many years and enjoyed a great deal of success before selling up and retiring to their barn conversion in St Helens.

Unfortunately, Val passed away from Covid earlier this year and Neil was to follow within a few months, succumbing to pnuemonia on July 18th.

Friday 6th August at 12:20
Eccles Crematorium
716 Liverpool Road
M30 7LW

Jim went on to say:-
I believe that there are no restrictions on the numbers to be allowed into the chapel, but I also understand that there won't be any kind of a gathering afterwards due to family illness. RIP Neil.

Message dated: Wed 04 Aug 2021

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