Friends of Alan Wood remember him with a pint and a packet of Mini Cheddars at his local pub the Willoughby Arms in Little Bytham 10 years after brutal murder
A village pub became a place to remember a kind and gentle man on the eve of the 10th anniversary of his brutal murder.
Alan Wood was killed in his Lound bungalow on October 23, 2009, and colleagues and friends from where he used to work at Sainsbury’s in Bourne gathered at a special reunion at the Willoughby Arms pub in Little Bytham tonight (Wednesday, March 23).
They were joined by his younger sisters, Janice and Sylvia.
Alan, who was 50 when he died, was a regular at the pub and would always buy a packet of Mini Cheddars and enjoy a pint of lager while sitting at the end of the bar and chatting to friends.
Jane Wells, 63, a colleague and friend of Alan from Bourne, said: “He was very strong but gentle and a kind and considerate person.
“He would do anything to help anyone.
“Alan was funny - he could be very mischievous sort and would sometimes play tricks and pranks.
“He loved his music and gardening was part of his work as well as a huge passion.”
Nathan Mastin, 41, from Long Sutton was also a friend and colleague of Alan and came up with the idea of the reunion to remember him.
“When he was killed there was nothing really that we could do other than to come together and remember Alan,” he said.
“He was really popular and everybody liked him.”
Nathan said what happened to Alan stayed with everyone who knew him:
“We all think about what happened to him because it was such a horrendous crime,” he explained.
“It does stay with you and haunts you when you see murders in dramas on TV.
“The fact that it happened to such a nice and gentle makes man makes it hard to comprehend.”
Alan was born in Gillingham in Kent but moved to Grantham when he was young and then on to Stamford and Careby before moving to the bungalow in Lound.It has since been demolished.
Alan attended what is now Stamford Welland Academy and as well as music and gardening, Alan was a keen photographer who had taken pictures at friends’ weddings.
His other passion was motorbikes, especially a black Triumph Speed Triple which he had for several years.
His youngest sister Sylvia Allett, who is originally from Careby, had travelled from France.
Sylvia, 56, said: “This is my first time I have been to one of these reunions.
“It’s just a lovely thing to do to remember him.
“Alan was gentle - a lovely gentleman.
“He was very generous and always had a pocket full of change to buy people drinks.
“He was our big brother.”
His middle sister, Janice Wood, 59, who lives in Stamford, added: “The Willoughby Arms was his second home and what he called his local.
“He spoke very favourably of it and I think he found it comfortable with all of his friends and their families here.”
Alan also worked as a bar man at the Willoughby Arms for a time and did the gardening there.
Mr Wood was last seen on October 21, 2009.
His body was found three days later at his home in Edenham Road in Lound.
The 50-year-old had been bound and tortured for the Pin number for his bank cards.
His throat had then been slit and a deep wound to the back of his neck suggested the attacker had attempted decapitation.
Mr Wood's bank cards were later used at cash points in Bourne and Stamford to remove a small amount of cash from his account.
Police have maintained contact with his family as they continue to investigate.
Martin Holvey, the senior investigating officer from Lincolnshire Police, said the response to a renewed appeal to mark the anniversary had been good. Today and tomorrow, police have been in local supermarkets to speak to people about the murder.
He said: “We have had a very positive response from the public, including some people who have contacted us for the first time and people that may have seen our offender.
“It all needs to be checked and verified but it’s very encouraging that people are contacting us 10 years on.
“We would like to thank the TV , radio and local press for the support they have given us.”
More by this authorMatthew Brown