I would like to celebrate Chris’s great gift for friendship. He and my late husband, John Shember met as new entrants to the Probation Service in Birmingham in 1969. Together with Jon Turner they formed a friendship that was lifelong. They shared a flat in Stephenson Street right in the centre of the city and relished the great variety of music the city offered. In their work, they personified the idealism of good practice based on good social principles and that style of work was lifelong. Their paths separated as Chris and dear Dilys moved to Edinburgh. As their careers developed the trio never lived near one another again. Instead they planned ways to meet regularly, choosing places that appealed, were reasonably central and offered good food, ideally with afternoon tea options plus excellent book and record shops to browse. Ilkley and similar towns met their criteria admirably for happy reunions. They spent time walking and camping too as many photos describe.
As politics and fashion affected policy, they shared dilemmas, triumphs and sadnesses. Chris never grew stale, his notions on how life could be made better, fairer and happier were always to the fore. He never lost sight of reality and I can still hear the giggle that accompanied many a serious state of the nation discussion. When John developed leukaemia, Chris was a great support, always ready to listen and visit even though he was grieving Dilys’s untimely death. His final gift was to play at John’s memorial service. He came to Rugby for a rehearsal of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D, ostensibly so that he could check the organ but mostly so that John could hear and be delighted by Chris’s playing of that wonderful music. Chris was the best and kindest of friends. I do not know a better tribute to this dear man.