Tributes to ‘Big Al’

Alan Parkes
Alan Parkes

FRIENDS and colleagues have this week paid tribute to a ‘larger than life’ character who worked at A2B Taxis in Kimberley.

Alan Parkes – known to everyone as Big Al – was a line manager at the firm when he died on Tuesday July 19 after a short illness, aged 57.

Away from his day job at the taxi company he was known across the area as a DJ, former record shop owner and radio presenter on Amber Sound FM.

A2B Taxi owner Steve Austin said: “Nobody had a bad word for him. He was honest and loyal and always there to help. It’s a massive loss personally and as a colleague as well.”

Born in Kirk Hallam, near Ilkeston, Mr Parkes was well known through the area for decades thanks to his mobile disco business playing at countless weddings, birthdays and other events.

Friend of more than 25 years Darren Rowley explained: “He would play a wedding, then he’d play the daughter’s 18th and then her wedding too.

“He was larger than life and he’ll be sorely missed.”

He also performed as a DJ in numerous local venues across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire as well as running his record store Big Al’s Records for around ten years.

At his funeral last Wednesday, more than 200 mourners could not fit into a packed St Thomas Church in Nottingham Road, Ilkeston, during the service, such was his popularity. And nearly 700 people have also joined a Facebook tribute page to the father-of-three.

Mr Parkes leaves three children Lorna, 10, Grant, 15 and Greg, 19.

He remained close to his ex-wife Karen Smedley, of Heanor.

Allen and friends are planning a tribute night in September in Mr Parkes’s honour.