(died June 2009)
By Penny Francis
Glen walked in to the Puppet Centre in Battersea Arts Centre one day in 1993 and offered help. He proved to be the most faithful and useful helper ever, sorting files and photos and slides, helping to organise events, decorating the Centre for special occasions, designing leaflets and notices. He had real talent. He was a friendly, quiet and rather mysterious presence. We never knew when he would be there, or when he would disappear, sometimes for weeks on end, and we never knew how to reach him when he was away. He evaded questions about his background, and we never discovered his address or his age. He was greatly appreciated at the Puppet Centre and I think that’s why he kept coming. One got the impression that he was unused to appreciation.
Loretta Howells gave him probably the greatest gift he ever had when she offered him paid work at the Little Angel theatre, soon after she became its creative producer in 1999. He accepted and was instated as admin. assistant and tour co-ordinator and eventually became front-of-house manager. He worked there from 2000 to his death in early June 2009. We took it as a symbol of his being ‘settled’ when for the first time in all the years we’d known him, he removed his baseball cap! He became a reliable and valued member of the Little Angel’s staff, adding to its friendly atmosphere and its smooth running. He would be surprised to learn how much he was valued.
In recent months he became very thin, even thinner than he was normally, and eventually we learned that he was suffering from emphysema: he had always been a heavy smoker.
In the last few months Glen spent more and more time either in hospital or simply too weak to come in to work, and it was clear that he was sinking. To the end he chose not to receive visitors, and he died alone. I believe he wanted it that way.
This most private of men will be greatly missed by those who knew him, for his sweetness, generosity and calm as much as for his many talents which he chose to lend to the puppet world.