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BERYL WEBB

Any Gary Numan fan would know the name Beryl Webb, its true to say behind every great man there’s a great woman. In Gary’s case its his mum Beryl Webb, Beryl under took a multiple number of tasks behind the scenes, including running the fan club and organising clothing and, as well as assisting in running the family business of Rock City Studios in Shepperton. Most fans warmed to her, as she always looked after their interests when on tour, booking rooms for fans without accommodation. But most fans remember her from the fan club days, can you remember those little notes signed by Beryl, a very simple gesture, but it made you feel part of something special. I and all numanoids (Numan fans) would like thank Beryl for the fantastic job you have done over the years and we all miss those fan club days. Below is a small interview with Beryl by Linda Duff for from Smash Hits.

Smash Hits was a pop music based magazine, aimed at teenagers and young adults and originally published in the United Kingdom. It ran from 1978 to 2006 and was issued fortnightly for most of that time. The name survives as a brand for a related spin-off digital television channel, digital radio station, and website which have survived the demise of the printed magazine,

Beryl Webb: Smash Hits have been reasonably kind to Gary over the years and being a pop stars mum they wanted to interview me. After speaking on the phone to Linda Duff for several years, we finally met and the results of the interview should have been printed in the 28th of March edition of Smash Hits. Linda was just how I had imagined her to be, really friendly and easy to talk to.

Gary and Beryl

Beryl, Linda Duff (Smash Hits)

The following interview originally appeared in Smash Hits 

Beryl Webb had just handed in her notice at the local soft drinks factory when her life “altered dramatically”. Her son Gary Numan had almost overnight, become a pop star. Now she divides her day between running the fan club and organising Gary, as well as assisting in running the family business of Rock City Studios in Shepperton, Middlesex. I clearly remember his first gig. As I queued to go in, I thought to myself there must be somebody really big on look at all these people But they all had black clothes on and when I went inside, I suddenly realised they were here for Gary. To this day, I don’t think I’ve ever got over that feeling. And my life did change from then on. The house became like Euston Station and the fan letters started pouring in. Sackload after sackload of mail!

Dyeing Gary’s hair is the big problem. It’s really strange when you’ve got all this green gunge in this hair and somebody walks in. They look at him and go ‘Cor! What’s that? They don’t recognise him. He also does all the make-up himself. With the latest image white face and blue lips I could have strangled him. There we were, on the first date in Wales, and he had used white pan-stick which left him with great big skidlines all over his face. I said to him ‘Gary, you’ve got to pat it . . . .‘ and we eventually got it right with half an hour to go before he was due on.
The hardest part now is that all the fans know who I am. They ask things like ‘Is Gary really quiet? (Yes. He’s definitely a very quiet person.) ‘Does he wear pyjamas?’ (No.) ‘How many fillings?’ . . . Anything! Actually, he doesn’t have a bad tooth in his head and he eats such terrible food . . . sausages and chips, hamburger and chips. That’s the whole menu.

The only thing I don’t like about this business is the critics. I often just want to do something nasty to them . . . I told the pop-writer John Blake (now with the Dally Mirror) that he’d been in the front of my hate book for three years. I said ‘Every time I open my book, I punch your face!’ And Paula Yates came up to me and said ‘Aren’t you Gary Numan’s Mum?’ So I answered ‘Yes. And you’re Paula Yates and you’ve been very nasty about my son . . . ‘Well, her face just went purple and she was so embarrassed. But don’t get the impression that we’re stuck with Gary all the time. Once the show’s over, I disappear. And all the naughty antics they get up to, they can do it quite happily. Mum’s not around,”

Beryl at a Numan convention

Gary, Beryl & Tony

Beryl with Steve organiser of a Numan disco and Beverly

Beryl at Thames Television Telethon

Beryl and fans at the Warbirds Air Display

 

BERYL WEBB R.I.P.

Beryl & Tony

Beryl & Gary

Tony:  I first met Beryl in 1954 when we were teenagers, and we were married not long after I completed my national Service in 1957. We have been happily married for almost sixty years until, after twenty six years of fighting various cancers, Beryl sadly lost her fight, on June 7th, 2016.

Beryl’s first encounter with this awful disease was breast cancer in 1990. That was also the year we started what was to become a big part of our lives, line dancing, or what became known to us as Partner Dancing.

Over the following twenty six years Beryl faced many hurdles, and cancer stalked her for the rest of her life. Her breast cancer finally resulted in a double mastectomy but not before the cancer had escaped into her bones. She then had to face the awful cancer of the esophagus and she was so ill with that, we thought we would lose her. That cancer was attacked with Brachytherapy and it appeared to have been beaten, but not quite as it turned out, as it was a contributing factor at the very end.

Beryl knew that the bone cancer was terminal but she fought it all the way, everyday and in every way. She refused to let it win. When asked, as she so often was, “How are you feeling Beryl?”, her stock answer was always “I’m getting there.”

She never complained and she refused to give up her dancing, which she loved. She also helped and encouraged many friends as they also came to face the dreaded cancer. Beryl was a very courageous and wonderful lady, and I was so lucky to have her as my wife, and I treasure the years that we shared.

I would like to sincerely thank every single person that has donated to these charities, and hopefully those of you that will do so in the future, in Beryl’s name. Thank you also for the many lovely comments made by those of you that knew Beryl. She was a lovely, unique, beautiful person, both inside and out.

Thank you all very much.

www.justgiving.com/Tony-Webb1 (for ...Cancer Research UK)

www.justgiving.com/Tony-Webb2 (for Macmillan Cancer Support)

www.justgiving.com/Tony-Webb3 (for Marie Curie support nurses)

 

Beryl & Gary’s children

Beryl & Gary

Gary Numan:  June 7, 2016. My Mum died today, and I am heartbroken beyond measure.

It cannot be possible that a better Mother has ever existed. I have been wrapped in love, care and kindness since the second I was born. It never wavered, not once, no matter what I did, or how often I let her down. Absolute and unconditional. Beautiful.

She has guided and helped my brother John and I through every stage of our lives, from tiny babies to the men we are today. Through triumphs and disasters, successes and failures, great things, and shameful things. She has been there to lift us higher, or help get us back on our feet. There is nothing she wouldn't do, at any time, throughout my entire life, if she thought it would help, even if it was just to make us smile. She made us feel anything was possible, that we could do anything, be anything, and she gave us the courage to try.

I have only good memories. My childhood is one long happy memory of being, along with my Dad and John, the most important thing in the world, her world. Always safe, always secure, always loved. That blanket of love, that cocoon of protection and support, gave me a start in life that I was never able to repay, and it has comforted me every day that I have breathed air. She made us laugh, kept our secrets, joined our battles, surrounded us with warmth and never ending affection. 

She was remarkable, unique, and so I find myself sitting here, filled with a sadness that constantly overflows. Shocked at the speed at which it all came to an end. I love her so much, I have so much to be grateful to her for, so much to be thankful to her for. It's impossible to truly grasp that I will never see her again, that I will never talk to her again. I have a lot of pain still to come, but it will be a good pain. Every tear will be a witness to the love she earned, the love she deserves. Every sob will be a celebration of the never ending love she leaves behind.

Her long, defiant battle against many forms of cancer has been a shining inspiration, not just to me, but to so many other people that she helped along the way. She seemed genuinely indestructible. So much so, that I think sometimes, the true horror of what she was fighting, and the enormous suffering she endured, seemed almost as nothing. She bore it all with such incredible courage that she made it seem far less than it really was. Where others have succumbed to this horrific disease at the first hurdle, she has run countless marathons and more, for decades, and literally fought to the very last breath. Not only did she never complain, as breast, skin, throat and bone cancers attacked her relentlessly, she laughed, for year, after year, after year. I have never seen bravery like it.

But now she's gone, and I am alone in the dark. These words are clumsy and do her no justice at all, and I'm so sorry for that. I wish I could do better. But, I am broken.

But, broken or not, a word also about my Dad. I have always admired my Dad beyond all other men. He is the man that, and I'm not sure even to this day that he's aware of this, set every standard for me to aspire to, in all those areas that are truly important. Loyalty, integrity, courage, kindness and generosity, to name but a few. Before I had a family of my own his praise was the only praise that mattered to me. It's still hugely important. He is a good man, and the best father I could ever wish for.

But, if I loved him absolutely before today, and I did, I love him far more now. The love and care that he has given my Mum in her final days has been nothing short of incredible. No matter how sad it has been, it has been a beautiful thing to witness. Such total love and devotion is a very rare thing. After sixty years together they still laughed and played like love struck teenagers, sharing every moment in a bond never broken. Through every agonising stage of my Mum's long, long battle, he has been right there by her side, doing whatever needed to be done, and so much more. She could not, would not, have survived all these years without him. What he has gone through these last few weeks I can't begin to imagine. But he has done it with a strength and composure that I can hardly believe. My admiration for him I didn't think could be any higher, but I was wrong. What a fantastic husband he has been to my Mum, what a fantastic father he is to John and I. He is a phenomenal, remarkable human being, and I stand 
humble but proud in his shadow.

What a couple they have been. What an example to the world, as husband and wife, as parents, as grandparents. Truly exceptional.

But my Mum has gone, and I miss her. I love her so much, but life will never be the same again.

Bye bye Mum. Until I see you again xxxxx

1938 to 2016

Floral tributes

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