Iím a keen visitor to Lytham on the Lancashire coast which an hourís drive away from home. I always think of Les Dawson when Iím there as he bought a luxurious house on Islay Road when the money start coming in (he didnít head down South to London like many do.) I often time the journey so I arrive at Lytham at 12:30pm when hung pangs are pinching my stomach. Before I head to the beach I often call at the main cemetery and have my sandwiches and a frothy coffee near Lesís grave. Itís such a peaceful cemetery even though the quietness is peppered by the occasional plop emanating from the putting green of the adjoining golf club.
I realised Iíd never visited the place where Les breathed his last breath so, on a trip to Lytham, I set off a little earlier and headed to a Spire (BUPA) hospital in Whalley Range two miles south west of in Manchester centre. The large individual family houses surrounding the hospital were under a level of quietness that only seems to come around on Sunday mornings. It was raining lightly so I finished listening to a Radio 4 drama until it stopped.
Les and his second wife Tracy came to this hospital on Thursday 10th June 1993 so Les could undergo a general check-up for insurance purposes. This large loud barrel-shaped comic had long-standing health problems from a life of smoking and drinking and was a heart-attack waiting to happen. Heíd had a heart scare while performing in panto at Wimbledon and Tracy had done her best to get him to give up smoking and eat healthily. However it was all in vain: at this hospital Les was put on a treadmill and had his heart monitored. Afterwards he and Tracy were in a cubicle waiting for the results (later they were due to meet comedian Foo Foo Lammar in Kendalís in central Manchester.) Les asked Tracy to get him a coffee and a magazine. He was a bit tired but this was nothing new as he wasnít physically fit. When Tracy returned she thought Les was having one of his usual dozes; he was well-known for having the odd snooze no matter what time of day it was. However she found him to have died, screamed and summoned help. Heíd died of a massive heart attack.
He was 62 and left four children, the last was Charlotte who was only about eight months old.
Would Les have entered hereÖ