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Quite a few of us in Greystones were lucky enough to grow up with Gordon Cochran making our days that little bit brighter, that little bit more full of joy and wonder.
Whether you were taking the bus to school or, years later, running to catch that train to work, you would often find Gordon, suitcase in hand and newspaper under his arm, making sure that today’s timetable was being firmly adhered to.
Sometimes, he’d be pacing the platform, checking his watch, wondering where the heck that train might be. Just as easily, Gordon would be standing at the front of the bus, right by the driver, sharing some important observations on the day’s traffic, the daily commute, the weather, or the shocking price of oil. Whatever he might be up to that day, you always knew one thing – Gordon was in his element. And Gordon was happy.
Early on in life, the young Gordon became obsessed with imitating his father, Will, the sharp-dressed businessman, catching the train to work, the bus to another meeting, suitcase in hand and newspaper underarm. It would become Gordon’s very existence, living out that boyhood vision of his powerful, dynamic and dashing father.
It was October 1978 when the Cochran family first moved to Greystones, settling into no.9 Hillside – just down the road from his current home, Peacehaven House, a place for adults with a range of disabilities. Gordon quickly let it be known that he preferred living with his hero dad, Will, and his loving mum, Lydia, and so, after a short, unsuccessful stint at a sheltered workshop in Bray, he was free to begin his life as the busy commuter businessman. Just like his dad. It was only years later, with the passing of his parents (Lydia in 1992; Will in 1995), and a short stint living with his sister Ruth and her family, that Gordon finally came round to the idea of living in Peacehaven House. Recently refurbished, Gordon’s home for the last 20 years was given the new name of Lydia House, in honour of his late mother, one of Peacehaven’s co-founders.
You can read all about Gordon’s wonderful life – including his dream holiday, checking out classic trains in America – in Ruth’s sweet, uplifting book, Gordon: Business As Usual (Ballpoint Press). Just hit the cover here to find out more.