I hadn’t seen Mark for quite a while, in fact our paths didn’t cross nearly so much as when we used to help organise the annual Halton Libraries Paranormal Week together with Janette Fleming. However, we did occasionally communicate via facebook and read each other’s missives on our respective blogs. We weren’t close friends, but I liked Mark, he was that rarity – a decent, honest, kind and genuine man. He was almost a decade and a half younger than me so it was a total surprise when I got a message last week telling me of Mark’s death.
I was up in the far north of Scotland at the time enjoying a holiday and I have to admit my difficulty in believing that Mark could have died. I’d been out of electronic touch with the rest of the world for over 10 days, and as far as I knew Mark was well, healthy, and busy with his latest project.
Sadly the reports were true. Mark has gone.
So I’m still struggling with the idea that I’ll get no more ‘likes’ for my posts, see no more of Mark’s zany observations of life, and see no more of his passionate fighting for those causes he believed in.
I met Mark when I went along to attend the talks during one of Halton Library’s early Paranormal Week events. My regular attendance was noticed by presenters Mark, and Mike Jaega, and they invited me to join them in the pub, at the end of the week celebration, and subsequently to join their paranormal investigation group.
I learnt an enormous amount from Mark and his seriously scientific approach to paranormal investigation. There was no room for fluff and fantasy there. I also had a great deal of fun on the investigations I attended with him. I loved the book he co-wrote – A Beginner’s Guide to Paranormal Investigation – filled with the wisdom culled from years of his investigations. I even ended up on telly because of Mark. His team Para-Projects were involved in a TV series called Spook School and I made a brief appearance on a couple of episodes. This led, later on, to an exciting few weeks filming, as the presenter, for a pilot show that was to be called Behind the Legend.
Later on with Mark, Janette, and others we spent many hours planning what new, fun, and interesting stuff we could bring to our annual Paranormal Week that ran eventually, I think, for 11 years.
Thank you, Mark for introducing me to, and for encouraging my interest in, the world of the paranormal. Thank you, for your patience and persistence, for your talent and enthusiasm. It was a pleasure to work with you and a pleasure to know you. I’ll miss you. The Paranormal World will miss you.