LORD DRONE’S MIGHTY FLEET STREET ORGAN,
THE WORLD’S GREATEST ONLINE NEWSPAPER
MONDAY 4 MARCH 2024
Final salute to our old pal Ash, doyen of the royal reporters
PORK TALK: Alan Frame (with sausage) chats to Joan Walton after the service. Ashley’s son Nic is in the background, centre
Our Ash would have loved it! Just as former Daily Express Executive Editor Alan Frame was about to be greeted by Ashley Walton’s widow Joan at the former Express Royal Correspondent’s memorial service reception a flunky shoved a sausage into his hand.
Frambo and other members of the World’s Greatest Lunch Club had joined family, friends and some of Fleet Street’s finest at the service to remember Ashley Walton who died in January, aged 78.
Alan said: ‘Talk about Sod’s Law: I just tried to ignore it and Joan, being Joan, carried on as if nothing was amiss.’
The packed service in Ashley’s home city of St Albans was a joyful, upbeat celebration of his life as a journo, raconteur, author cycling proficiency instructor and charity worker.
His two sons, Ollie and Nic, who had flown from his home in South Africa, read poems by Christina Rossetti and Anthony Dowson and his cousin, Sheila Longville, shared some lovely family memories.
Former Expressman and lifelong friend, Tony Boullemier delivered well-received eulogy.
Afterwards a reception featured photos and other memorabilia from Ashley’s career.
Ollie Walton intends to compete in The Great North Run on behalf of Pancreatic Cancer UK in memory of his father. Donations via website https://greatnorthrun2023.enthuse.com/pf/oliver-walton or by contacting him on 07905 674109.
Alternatively, donations may be made to Rennie Grove Hospice, Tring.
BY ROYAL APPOINTMENT: Ashley’s Press passes
HER MAJESTY REQUESTS … Ashley’s royal invitations
CHUMS: Ashley’s fellow members of the World’s Greatest Lunch Club are, from left, Dick Dismore, Alastair McIntyre, editor of the Daily Drone appearing by kind permission of Lord Drone, Roger Watkins, Pat Pilton and Alan Frame. Readers may notice some disparity with the club ties. McIntyre is wearing the latest version and Dismore, Watkins and Pilton are wearing an earlier design, Frame couldn’t find either of his on account of it being his man’s day off. Possibly.