What Happens When Someone Dies Unexpectedly At Home About Eric Wandless Renton – Background, Family, Friends, and His Murder

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About Eric Wandless Renton – Background, Family, Friends, and His Murder

Why are you writing about Eric Wandless Renton?

Eric was my uncle and he was my mother’s younger brother. He was brutally murdered 25 years ago when I was just 16 years old. I want to write something in his memory as a tribute to him. Also, I want to tell you about the circumstances of my family background that led to his growing up in an orphanage – that is, his mother died a few days after his birth and his father, then a lay-preacher, turned to alcoholism. Death of his wife. When he was killed, the newspapers didn’t have the time or the inclination to properly explain these cases, and recently it all came up again in the local media. So it’s time to elaborate about the incident, family background.

What do you remember about the events of 25 years ago?

My uncle, Frank Hughes, discovered Eric’s body. Frank was Eric’s brother-in-law, who had known Eric for decades. Frank gets a call from an employee at Eric’s supermarket, saying Eric didn’t show up for work. This prompted Frank to move into the bungalow with his wife Hilda (my mother’s sister). Frank first looked through the window and told Hilda not to come inside. Hilda called my mother and initially told her that Eric had passed away. A few days later when my mother was told the horrible reality, she was met with numbness and disbelief. Obviously, it was a big shock to everyone. Eric was buried about a month later. Crime Watch publicized some of the items the killer had stolen from Eric’s home, and a member of the public identified one of the items, a lamp he had recently bought at a second-hand shop, leading the police to catch the killer.

How do you and the family feel about 25 years since his murder?

I think it is very important for people to realize that Eric’s death was nothing but the act of a malicious and evil person who had an evil plan in mind, to hit an easy target.

The killer was not provoked. If someone (anyone) is said to be “motivated” to commit murder, then how ridiculous is it to load a TV, microwave, lamp, etc. into the car as an afterthought to their victim. The killer’s bag contained a dagger and a rolling pin. He hits Eric with a rolling pin and hits him seven times. It is the work of a cold, calculated, ruthless killer: Malcolm Roberts. He was caught thanks to the help and dedication of the police, crime watch and the public.

What do you remember about the house in Charnock Richard?

It was a nice and tidy place, in a cul-de-sac. I remember his cabinets were full of small cars, which were expensive collector’s items. I just remember sitting at the dining table and after eating we also played chess there.

What kind of person was Mr. Wandless Renton?

He was a brilliant, intelligent man. My brother Michael said it was “comical” too. He was in no danger to anyone and couldn’t possibly harm a fly if he tried. He was tall, thin and not at all stout. His enthusiasm for chess inspired many others to play and compete. Eric was tall, as were his father and his sister Hilda and her sons Martin and Graham. Martin said Eric was a big spender. My sister thought he was a bit naughty, but she rarely met Eric. Like his father, Eric also suffered from chronic bronchitis.

Sometimes the phrase “only the good die young” comes to mind. I think it’s admirable to inspire people to compete in any activity, and many people have admired Eric for his involvement and contribution to the world of chess.

The many friends Eric made just goes to show what a likable guy he was. It was a loss to our family; He will be missed by many.

Eric had many friends. My mother told me that Eric used to go to Holland to play chess, at least with his friend Charles Aznavour, who sang “She”. I recently caught up with Tom Rose, a very close friend of Eric’s. Tom Rose was the first person to win the Eric Vandless Renton Memorial Trophy. Tom Rose has this to say about Eric:

“He [Eric] It was one of my closest friends. I first met him when I was 12 years old. Over the years he would often unexpectedly call my wife and me and share food.

“Eric was exemplary in his enthusiasm and actually getting things done, rather than talking about them or planning them. He not only arranged for the Chorley tournament (and helped keep the Blackpool tournament going) but also wooed people for sponsorship, and relentlessly solicited entries. He Knew that simply mailing out entry forms was not enough – so wherever he went he would contact players and persuade them to enter. As a result the Chorley tournament had a huge entry and a lot of sponsorship. After his death it dwindled considerably.

Most people didn’t know the real Eric. They only saw the slightly eccentric character and his homosexuality (which incidentally was always discreet – and never grew in the presence of his heterosexual friends. When you got to know him, you’d know he was one of the kindest and most generous souls you could ever hope to meet. .Not a day goes by that I don’t miss him and miss him sadly. His other close friends were Tony Hill (local businessman and owner of Hill’s Bakery and Retail Stores). Unfortunately his closest chess buddies (Roy Waterhouse, Jack Wolstenholme) He passed away a few years ago.

Eric played many chess tournaments in Holland and had many friends among Dutch chess players. Some he invited to play at Chorley and arranged for them to stay with his friends, so when we lived at Chorley we had Dutch guests staying in our spare room during the August bank-holiday.

When Richter played concerts in Manchester in the late 1960s or early 1970s, he met the great concert pianist Svyatoslav Richter through their mutual friend Roy Waterhouse (a keen amateur pianist).

Why was Eric raised in an orphanage? What do you remember about your uncle?

It is difficult to say the exact reason, but given the circumstances, the reason seems understandable. Doreen (my mother) was 15 months old and her sister Hilda was 7 when Eric was born. A few days after giving birth to Eric, his mother Evelyn died, leaving father James Luther Vandless without his beloved wife, but with their two young daughters and a newborn baby. James Luther Wandless was a Methodist lay preacher and the loss of his wife was too much for him. Until then, he never kept alcohol in the house. The loss of his wife was devastating and he turned to alcohol and soon joined the army and survived WW2. After the war James Wandless worked in a foundry in Farrington, Leyland. He died when he was 60 years old. We do not know what the conversation was about what would happen to the children. Evelyn had a sister, Lillian, who was married to Arthur Noblett. They had a daughter, Edna, who still lives in Chorley. Edna’s parents bravely took in two additional young daughters, Doreen and Hilda, into their home in Bootle and effectively raised the three girls. Taking on a newborn (Eric) would have felt too much, as they would have had their hands full with three daughters. Getting help from the orphanage should have been the logical approach, but they never lost touch with Eric. Eric didn’t quit. His father may have known someone at the orphanage who he felt was the best option at the time, rather than trying to take care of him himself when he was devastated by the loss of his wife. We have a photo of Eric and Doreen when they were just three and a half years old and what an amazing resemblance they have. He looks healthy in all the photos. Edna and Hilda were old enough to move to Southport when the war broke out. My mother lived with Aunt Lil and Uncle Arthur in a bomb shelter in their backyard. A bomb fell in my mother’s bedroom on Litherland Road in Bootle. When she was five, they moved to Chorley and, initially, lived in the basement of a dentist (Teddy Tyrer) on Park Road.

After the war, my mother, Doreen, would go everywhere with her brother Eric when she was a teenager. Although they had a lot of arguments when they were young, they were also good friends. Doreen would stick with Eric, because he wasn’t an aggressive guy. Eric said, she, my mother, should have had a boy because she was so difficult. So when Eric grew up, he also stayed with Aunt Liles and Uncle Arthur during summer vacations. Doreen also once stayed with Eric for a week – albeit in a girl’s dormitory – at an orphanage in Frodsham. So we don’t know Eric complaining about his life in the orphanage. Wartime was no doubt difficult for everyone, but he was a well-educated, well-spoken gentleman and had many brilliant friends.

My brothers, Michael and James Fowler, helped Eric move from St Thomas Road to Charnock Richard’s bungalow. I remember visiting Eric once at his bungalow. He made me a microwave meal and we played a game of chess in his kitchen. I was about 13 years old and learned to play a long time ago. Eric taught my brother Michael to play chess and he and our cousin Martin Hughes used to keep Eric company in his insurance rounds in the backup area.

Eric, Doreen and Hilda’s mother and father are buried together in the cemetery at Bootle. Hilda Renton adopted Eric at the age of 16 and his adoptive mother was buried with Eric in Chorley Cemetery.

Are you and family aware of your uncle’s sexuality?

Eric told his sisters before the murder. It was never considered, brought up, discussed or even suggested to me or my brothers – sexuality was not a topic of discussion. My mother and my cousin Martin and his wife Sandra remember that Eric once had a girlfriend whose father owned several butcher shops near Frodsham, Cheshire. Coincidentally Frodsham is where the orphanage was. Martin and Sandra remember visiting the girls at their father’s farm, so their sexuality may have changed later in life.

Perhaps Eric has not been as successful as he would have liked with women in the UK – this is not an uncommon problem that can affect and change people. I know from personal experience that the proportion of single women and single men in the UK is much higher than that of men, and I will write more about this soon. However, what happens behind closed doors is nobody’s business as long as it is mutual.

Are you and the family celebrating an anniversary?

We visited the cemetery and met some relatives. It is not a festival date. In a way the family thinks this is bad news. We all have fond memories of Eric and we know that Eric was thought highly of by many, which means a lot to us and the most important thing is to remember those we have lost.

What happened after the murder?

His estate was wound up soon after the murder. Eric was a businessman, and businesses require investment, as we know there was very little left for anyone. Eric left some of his miniature cars at Tony Hill of Hill’s Bakery. Hilda and her husband Frank passed away in the past few years.

We’re told that Malcolm Roberts was sentenced to 15 years for murder, so he’s probably out – that can be little consolation to anyone.

January 11, 09 marks 25 years since the death of Eric Vandless Renton. Clearly a great man, from Chorley.

I answer these questions in memory of my uncle: Eric Wandless Renton.

Doreen Bottomley (formerly Fowler and Wandless) may be the last surviving Wandless of the bloodline. Dorrance’s father, James Luther Vandless, was born in Ireland. It is possible that James Luther Vandless had relatives in Cork, Ireland, who moved to America, but we have no documentation of this.

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