It is my sad duty to report the untimely passing away of the DOC Regalia Secretary Paul Johnstone.
Paul developed a respiritory problem during December and had some hospital treatment over the Christmas period, but was taken back in again last week, since when he had undergone more tests.
Although there had been no worsening over the last week, Paul died suddenly at 5:15 am today (29th January).
I can count “Jonno” as one of my best mates and had known him since we were both involved in the local branch of the Norton Owners Club in 1974. My Ducati addiction and the reliability record of my Paso was one of the major reasons for Jonno abandoning Japanese hardware for the Bolognese treasures in 2001, when he bought his ST4. He took on the DOC Regalia when it was at a low point in 2003 and has rebuilt it to a successful operation, including the DOC’s first foray into electronic trading with the E-bay online shop.
Jonno was Best Man at my wedding to the current Mrs Spaggy and a regular companion during TT week, where he was responsible for organising the switch of the Mad Sunday Rally to the Creg in 2009. We last met at the hospital last Sunday, when I had promised him I’d get the first drinks at the BMF Show. I’ll save it for the TT, when I can share it with all his other mates.
Paul is survived by his widow, Marie, and two daughters, Sarah and Charlotte. I will miss him as much as they will.
The DOC Regalia operation is on hold until we organise an interim set-up pending a new Regalia Secretary. Please direct any enquiries to me.
This has come as a complete surprise. Jonno was a club stalwart and a thoroughly decent chap. He had the demeanour of a dour scot that only thinly disguised his wry sense of humour. Not many may know that Paul had for many years previously been active in a charity to provide assistance for disabled motorcyclists.
Anyone whoever bought any regalia from Jonno will know that he took great pride in what he did and made a point of always buying the best quality merchandise he could to bear the club’s name. As it happens I’m wearing a 2005 BMF rally shirt Paul had made up special. It’s been through the wash a hundred times and still looks almost new. But that was Paul all over, if a job’s to be done, it’ll be done right.
Well I’m totally shocked by this sad news, that’s 2 members of the ‘Port Erin Crew’ inside of a year, John Sandercock being the other sad loss.
I’ll join you in toasting Paul at the TT Spaggy, I know he’ll be missed by all the Crew.
My last memory of Paul was the night I shared with him along with Spaggy, Keef Grotherfill,(Fothergill) Barb (Mrs Grotherfill) and their young master William in the Curry house in Port St Mary.
Paul and I had a looong chat about fine red wines, whilst I drank it by the pint.
He was very knowledgable about Bikes, Bike racing and fine Wine…
3 of my favourite subjects/pass times along with spending time in the company of good/nice people and Paul was definitely one of those in my book.
My thoughts and best wishes are with his family, tonight I’ll raise a glass of Red to him and say…
“This one’s in the memory of Paul who was taken long before his time”.
Edited because I’ve had time to gather my thoughts after a long walk.
This is certainly a shock.
I was privileged to share his company at several BMF Rallies and a number of TTs.
I will raise a glass to him on the Island.
Condolences to his family.
Shocked and sad to hear about Paul’s passing, you will be missed. Our condolences go out to Paul’s family. RIP Paul.
Just want to add my condolences to Pauls family & friends, it must be a shocking loss.
I didn’t know Paul terribly well, but I’ve spent a good few hours on DOC stands at Stafford with him over the last few years and always found him good company and a thoroughly nice chap.
this came as a total shock. having only been at two events with paul i found him to be a cracking chap and very helpfull. sarah is shocked too, she used to love selling regalia with him at the stafford shows and in doing so knew paul better than myself.
both our thoughts and condolencies go to pauls family and friends at this time.
rest in piece paul.
I heard the devastating news from Martyn.
A great loss to both the club and more importantly his family and friends.
I had nothing but the upmost respect for Paul during my time on the COM and admired his straight talking no nonsense unflappable approach and dry sense of humour.
He also turned the regalia operation into a great service for club members, commissioning some really good items that were top quality. I have 7 of the sport classic T shirts that I wear every day in winter and I shall think of him every time I put one on.
I was as shocked as everyone else, my drawers are full of club merchandise thanks to Paul.
Thoughts with family and close friends, it was a pleasure and a privelege to know Paul, messages of condolance have also arrived from the factory.
I have a few ideas of how to remember Paul, I will hopefully be able to share soon as and when it/they come off.
I visited Marie on Sunday, and we had a lengthy chat about Paul, and the DOC Regalia operation, and I can now add the following information.
Charlotte (Paul’s daugher by Marie) is currently in Canada, and is coming back on Friday. She expects to be back for a week, so Marie is aiming to have the funeral during the week beginning 8th Feb. There will be a general invitation to all DOC COM and other members, so even if you are not specifically asked, please turn up if you are able. DOC shirts will be welcome too.
Both Marie and Paul had an opinion that wreaths and floral tributes are a waste. Consequently, although Marie would appreciate the gesture of a floral tribute from the club, she would discourage individual ones. The reason being that the cemetery can’t even give the flowers away to local hospices or old folks homes as in the past, so they simply get chucked in a skip 48 hours after the funeral. Blame the health & safety bods. Paul would have loved that! Marie thinks this would be a waste, so requests instead that if anyone wants to make a donation or show their appreciation it be done through a charity.
Paul had strong links to the NABD but in recent years lost most respect for them as it appears they now spend much of their revenue on alchohol. Instead, he was a great supporter of Riders for Health, and never missed a Day of Champions at Donington to help support them. I agree with Marie that a donation to RfH would be the best option, and am working on getting something on site which will enable such donations. Details will follow in due course.
I will keep everyone updated as things move on.
Just a short update on the latest position.
Paul’s funeral has been arranged for Monday 15 February, 12.15 pm, at Gilrose Crematorium, Groby Road, Leicester LE3 9QG.
The ‘wake’ afterwards will be held at The Brant Inn, Leicester Road, Groby, Leicester, LE6 ODU.
All DOC members will be welcome to attend, and I hope we can show our appreciation with a good turnout. The wearing of the special “show” DOC shirts (red & black, embroidered) will be positivley welcomed as a mark of respect.
Maria has requested that there are no floral tributes/wreaths, as it would not be possible to keep or use them after the service. Instead, a charitable donation for Riders for Health would be preferred. I am setting up this facility through the DOCGB.org website.
Sympathy cards can be sent to - Maria Johnstone, 47 Queens Road, Hinckley, Leics. LE10 1ED.
Any further news will follow as appropriate.
paul managed to find me a 916 t-shirt in grey, he had loads of the other colours at stafford but not a grey one. but bless him i contacted him after the show and he found me one, what a star.
i’ll now look after that t-shirt and only wear it to special occasions.
Further to the earlier information, I have now set up a page in Paul’s memory for donations to Riders For Health. The page can now be found via a link on the DOC.org website regalia page, or by going direct using this link
Please give generously. Despite the title, it won’t come to me. Honest.