It’s with great sadness that the Enfield & Barnet Branch report the death of one of their stalwarts, long standing member and friend, Andy Milne.
Andy died in Barnet General Hospital in the early hours of Sunday 11 June. He had been rushed to hospital the previous Friday night with breathing difficulties
Andy had extensive engineering skills; he built his own brewery at home using redundant photo processing tanks and became a self-taught brewer. His brewing skills came to the branch’s notice in the 1980s when he supplied a firkin of beer for staff consumption at a beer tent the branch was involved with at Cherry Tree Woods in East Finchley. His beer was as good as any of the commercial products on sale that day. Over the following years Andy supplied beer for all sorts of private functions and parties, including the writer’s own wedding reception.
Andy secured employment with the Firkin chain and brewed at several of their breweries, finally ending at the Ford & Firkin in Romford until new owners, Allied Domecq, pulled the plug on brewing.
He went on to brew at Mighty Oak in Brentwood and moved that brewery to Maldon. He left at that point as the commute from Finchley wasn’t practical. Andy had two further jobs outside brewing before he retired.
After retirement Andy helped with the installation of Tintagel Brewery and the formulation of their beer recipes. Andy continued to host events several times a year at his home where he generously supplied copious amounts of his excellent beer, the last time being on his 70th birthday last year. He was always self-deprecating about his talents and never sang his own praises.
Andy and his long term partner Sandie Ward, who predeceased him by three years, worked at the Great British Beer Festival for many years until the smoking ban came in.
During 2015 Andy was diagnosed with lung cancer and underwent a course of radiotherapy which appeared to have been successful. In December 2016 however Andy was admitted to Barnet General Hospital and transferred to the Royal Free where because of an embolism his right leg was amputated above the knee. He was very pragmatic about the loss of his leg and was transferred to the rehabilitation centre near the Elephant & Castle where he was fitted with a prosthesis. He was able to return home shortly after.
As well as his brewing and engineering skills Andy was a skilled model maker, making beautiful dolls’ houses initially for Sandie’s grandchildren.
Andy’s funeral was held on 4 July at the Islington & Camden Cemetery
Andy will be sorely missed by many people and remembered with great affection.