Mark Morgan – Chatty Man
Mark Morgan – best known to many residents of Balsall Common as one of the village’s full-time barmen, initially at the Brickmakers Arms, then Railway Inn, a stone’s throw away on Station Road – passed away in the early hours of Sunday 30th September 2012 after celebrating his 45th birthday surrounded by friends and regulars at the pub’s monthly karaoke party.
In his days at ‘The Railway’, Mark quickly became part of the furniture and in all but name, part of the family too. Mark was the pub’s resident ‘chatty-man’, the guy with time for anyone and a deep passion and almost photographic memory for all things music and movie related. He was well-liked and much respected:
“Mark was more than just a member of staff at the Railway.” explained Railway landlady Heather Parker, “He was a member of our family. He came into the kitchen everyday to say good morning and have a chat before work and almost as often we would bump into one another in the hall and frighten each other, I don’t know who squealed the loudest.”
Mark was born on 29th September 1967 and went to school at Solihull’s Malvern Hall. His professional career was consumed predominantly, with roles within the leisure industry, across all manner of pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels in and around the Solihull area. This included spells at the Wilson’s Arms in nearby Knowle and the Honiley Court Hotel, before his arrival in Balsall Common with those spells at the Brickmakers Arms and the Railway Inn.
Mark took pride in his work and willingly took on any tasks that needed doing, which at the Railway Inn, could include all manner of things, as Heather Parker explains:
“Mark didn’t just work behind the bar. He often stood in for Michelle, our cleaner, so that she could have a break. We used to joke about how meticulously he buffed the brass rail around the bar to a high shine! Mark took so much pride in every element of his role at the pub. He even fed the three dogs!”
Mark wasn’t quite as brilliant when it came to technology, but always made up for things like this with his kind-hearted nature, as Sarah Blakemore, recalled, reflecting on the occasion when he phoned her at home in a panic:
“He was telling me the internet had suddenly stopped working which meant people in the pub couldn’t watch the golf on TV. I rushed round to find him consumed with panic because the TV and computer had both lost their internet feeds. So there’s me, with zero technical knowledge wondering how on earth I was going to be of any use, but figured let’s start at the beginning and reset the router. Mark’s face when the TV sprang back to life was hilarious, you’d have thought I’d performed a miracle. I still can’t stop chuckling about the way he waved his hands in the air and went “TA-DA! Anyway he sent me off to work with a packed lunch that day!”
Mark was well-liked at the Railway and was often allowed full control of the jukebox, especially when the lads were playing pool:
“Mark had many friends at The Railway and was a member of the pool team. Mark’s vast knowledge and love of music meant that he was always in charge of what played on the juke box.” said Heather. “He had many customers that came into the pub just to see him. He always had time for a chat with the regulars…even with me moaning at him to ‘clean..not lean!’ “
As might be expected with somebody who seemed to know and like every song ever made (including all the background facts, such as which flavoured soup the sound engineers were drinking during recording in April 1976), not all of his tune selections went down perfectly every time:
“We weren’t always happy with some of his tune selections, but just as many were actually quite good. It always made me chuckle to spot him bobbing up and down gleefully mouthing the words to his tune selections, before reeling off six million facts about each one.” said pub regular Craig Burgess on Facebook. And in the same conversation Dan Nelson responded,
“Who are we all gonna have ridiculous conversations with now, on how the world is gonna end and the angles to play to pull off the perfect double on the pool table? He lost me so many games with his terrible coaching. He will be missed!”
Mark’s enclycopedic knowledge extended beyond music and movies into large swathes of TV too, with Mark able to reel off the years many films were released, or the number of episodes Gerry Anderson created of Thunderbirds or Captain Scarlett.
Mark loved his food too:
“He used to look forward to morning shifts when Roger would make him a cooked breakfast which he always smothered with brown sauce!” said Heather.
Mark’s family has invited everyone who knew him to attend his funeral, to be held at Robin Hood Crematorium in Hall Green on Wednesday 17th October at 2pm. The invitation extends also for an after-service gathering at The Forest Hotel in Dorridge after the service.
In Memory: Mark Morgan
A collection of memories from various sources: book of condolences (Railway Inn); emails to BalsallCom.Com; online from Facebook:
“Mark, The Railway is not the same without you … we miss you … sleep tight mate.” xxx Sarah, Dominic and Callum
“Mark was a credit to the railway, he was a true gent in every way. I will always remember his huge cheeky smile and his finger pointing when trying to tell me something. He will be greatly missed… Loved always!!”
Laura Paul and boys. X x
“Mark, you were a kind, special person, we will miss you so much. RIP with the angels xxx.” Laura, Paul (Farugia)
“I still expect to see you behind the bar, will miss you so much. You’ll always hold a special place in my heart” x x x x x Danielle Garcia
“I will miss working with you Mark. Will never forget you. Sweet dreams xxxxxxxxxx Becky (Franks)
“We miss you so much. You were part of our family not just a worker, there are so many things that we will miss. Uour meals where we would have a good gossip, behind the bar we’d have a laugh, you popping your head in the living room to say goodnight and just you being you. You have touched us all”. x Heather, Roger (Parker – Railway Inn).
“We will miss you. God bless.” xxx Michelle & JB
“Mark, will miss you mate! Will miss winding you up and the laugh we had! RIP hunny, sweet dreams xxx”. Sammie
“Such an eclectic knowledge of music & films, alwaysalways spot on dates & names – will be missed by all.” Jim Thompson
Mark Morgan – The Facebook Collection
Mark, you will be sorely missed by all who knew you. You were my best friend and I will miss our games of pool and the banter. Rest in peace mate.
Sunday 30/09 at 6:16pm
I can’t believe it, so shocked and sad.
Sunday 30/09 at 6:48pm
Sarah Babycakes Sheldon
So sad xxxx
Sunday 30/09 at 7:01pm
Terence Hall RIP Mark..a nice honest soul gone before his time.
Sunday at 7:16pm
Very very sad
Sunday 30/09 at 9:39pm
RIP Mark. The world will be a sadder place without your jokes and banter. My thoughts are with all his family and those who had their lives touched by him.
Sunday 30/09 at 10:26pm
Am gutted. It was his 45th birthday yesterday. At least he had a good night with his friends before he left us.
Sunday 30/09 at 10:31pm
Rip mark, u will be missed.
Sunday 30/09 at 6:26pm
Sad day today, a true gent
Sunday 30/09 at 8:12pm
I can’t believe it xx
Sunday at 8:56pm
Rip mark never forget you
Sunday at 8:17pm
Just heard how awful he was such a nice guy really shocked
Sunday at 8:21pm
Danielle C Garsia :-((( x x x
Sunday at 8:31pm
Julie Pettifor Tom and I have just heard too. Sad and awful too.
Sunday at 11:36pm
Lost for words. RIP Mark, less than 24 hours ago we were ‘singing’ Daydream Believer on Karaoke….shocked is not the word.
Sunday at 8:20pm
Just heard it myself 20 mins ago, unbelievable. RIP Mark.
Sunday at 8:30pm
Lost for words 🙁 x rip
Sunday at 8:33pm
Paul Farrugia Shocking
Sunday at 8:33pm
Danielle C Garsia
That will always be a really special memory of mark you and him belting out daydream believers ! He was such a nice bloke so genuine and there aren’t many out there like him ! 🙁 x x
Sunday at 8:45pm
Elaine Brown I’ve only just found out. . .so shocked, so sad. God love you Mark xx
Sunday at 9:34pm
Sarah Grace Blakemore You guys gave him a fantastic night from what I hear….he had a lovely birthday…so so sad :0(
Sunday at 9:44pm
Mark I will miss you RIP XX
Sunday at 8:23pm near Kos, Dhodhekanisos ·
Becky Franks Xxx
Sunday at 8:28pm via mobile · Like
Lindsay Keating Yes a kind soul as I remember x
Sunday at 8:33pm
So shocked! Just cant believe it! RIP mark x
Sunday at 8:50pm
Toni-Ann Turner So in shock 🙁 rip mark xx
Sunday at 8:57pm
Who’s going to entertain me now when i come round to anoy everybody? And answer every one of my 500 questions? RIP mark, ill start the next convo next time we meet (up there) .
Mark had a answer for every question lol I just can’t stop the sick feeling on my stomach and the journey home will be a very sad and long one.
What a shock to hear the news RIP Mark,you will be missed.:(
So shocked 🙁 will miss you mark rest in peace xxx
Danielle C Garsia
The railway won’t be the same without him there will seem very strange not to see his face behind the bar anymore :-(( x x x
Sunday at 8:30pm
Such sad news 🙁
Sunday at 8:32pm
So sad news bex xx
Sunday at 8:51pm via mobile
Was watchin him sing at karaoke last nite shockin ….
Sunday at 9:00pm
Sarah Babycakes Sheldon
Such a shame rest in peace xx
Sarah Babycakes Sheldon Yeah just reminds you how precious time is and to enjoy it 🙁 x
Sunday at 8:33pm
Sad day! A gent and a good man. RIP
Like · · Sunday at 9:00pm near Berkswell ·
David Jordan Mark. Best known as Brickies bar man and railway way bar man. A true gent!
Sunday at 9:03pm via mobile
Sanj Sharda RIP Mark! God bless your soul !
Sunday at 9:05pm
Dominic Bennett Unbelievable News, RIP Mark
Sunday at 10:50pm
Dominic O’Leary Eades
R.I.P Mark. I’m still at a loss for words. A Gentleman always. Sleep well mate.
Sunday at 9:08pm
I’m with you on that Dom, words alone are never enough in moments like these are they? Can’t even begin to describe how I’m feeling right now about such sad news.
Sunday at 11:09pm
Dominic O’Leary Eades It’s a terrible example of how short life can be. I was singing Kareoke with him for his birthday just hours ago, and then this awful accident takes him away. It’s all so sudden.
Sunday at 11:30pm
RIP Mark Morgan : ( another friend died in tragic circumstances! Gutted : (
Sunday at 10:25pm
Nicky Gazzard U ok huni xx
Sunday at 11:04pm
Just sad another good one gone x
RIP Mark, god bless you xx
RIP mark will never forget you hunny! Xxx
Horrible news. Hope you’re all ok, was a lovely fella, thinking of you all..x
Rip mark ! Xx
Mark I can’t actualy beleave you are gone! It’s not fair, you know they say the good die young and you really were one of the good ones! There is defiantly a place resevered for you up in heaven darling. Rest in peace babe sweet dreams xx
Dominic O’Leary Eades
Terrible nights sleep! Still numb today.
Danielle C Garsia Me to Dom it’s just horrible x
Alex Wilson If you need anything mate i am here even though you have plenty of people around you. I think everyone is still in shock, can’t believe it
Ian Woodford This is where a dislike button is needed
David Ottley So sorry to hear the sad news
It’s such a shock to everyone Dom. On top of that for you guys to have to deal with the aftermath……. Sending hugs and echoing mr wilsons offer of help xx
Hardly had any sleep last night. Still can’t believe it. The pool team will be paying their respect tonight by playing a few games, having a few drinks and listening to the kind of music Mark liked. Hope you can join us.
Same here mate. Just in total shock and disbelief. I was at work last night when I found out and just couldn’t concentrate all night. Same goes from me. Anything you guys need/need help with just ask.
Yesterday at 10:23am via mobile · Like
Have been to church today said a prayer and lit a candle for mark, our thoughts are with his family
God bless mark xxxx
Have just found out- so shocked what a dreadful tragedy RIP mark xx
RIP Mark! Our thoughts are with his family and friends!
Life is so precious and can be taken away at anytime…thinking of you and your family mark xxx
An awful sad day…… A lovely, gentle soul. A real character …. You will be missed by many Mark. Thoughts are with family and friends tonight. God bless xx
Will never forget the first person to serve me at the bricks. Daft as a brush but you had to love him!
Sunday at 9:39pm
Sunday at 9:52pm
RIP Mark an honest gentle soul..and am proud to say freind.
Sunday at 9:57pm
Such a shame RIP mark x
Sunday at 10:09pm
Slim God bless you Mark xx
Sunday at 10:10pm
I’m gutted Vix I just can’t believe it! : (
Sunday at 10:21pm
Such sad news
Sunday at 10:29pm
Just heard, I can’t believe that news, please someone tell me that its not true, what ever happened there? Saw him last week, happy go lucky smiling and happy.
Sunday at 10:34pm
Mark ..It was a privilege to have known you RIP ..friend .
Sunday at 10:47pm
Rest in peace mark xxxxx
Sunday at 11:00pm
Can’t describe how sad I feel right now.
Sunday at 11:12pm
rip mark such i nice bloke so tragic you are with the angles know xx
Very sad news.