Ted was married and had two offspring. They lived in a modest council house in Chesham, while I slummed it in digs, then a tiny cottage. I got married, and it became customary at Christmas for Ted to roll up with a gift for the lady of the house, and a prolonged kiss under the mistletoe, for Ted was one of those individuals, blest or cursed according to your viewpoint, who magnetised women.

We didn’t spend much time in each other’s homes. Ted liked to go out but he was not a party man. I can only recall two evenings together at his house and not many more in mine. When I was again fancy-free Ted would introduce me to this or that ex-girlfriend and never seemed to lack a pretty face for company. They all loved Ted.

Ted with his first wife-1950sTed with his first wife–1950sWhen I formed a pro-am theatre group, Ted handled the lighting – the Evening Standard praised his effects. When I needed a new TV, Ted supplied it – at a ridiculous discount. In fact he overcame our prejudices as a screen-free household when he presented us with our first Bakelite box as a Christmas gift. Our marriages came and went, and Ted left Tunaley’s, starting his own supply and repair one-man business in an ex-war prefab hutment, tucked behind the Market Square shops. There we would meet and talk, or repair to a simple eatery for a leisurely meal. And still the stories trickled out.

By then Ted was living with a lovely lady in Wendover, where we would take dinner together. His children were both married and both were successful. Ted still tackled TVs. I remember the first printed circuit he saw. He looked at it, dove his hands in, and miraculously it worked. I asked him if he had a manual, how he knew what to do and he shrugged – ‘apparently it’s easy’ he said. And it always was. The man was a communications genius. Which was why I often wondered, why wasn’t he rich?