back to article The Life and Times of Lester Haines

"So what are going to say about him now that he’s gone? Are you going to say he was a good man? Will you be saying he was a happy man?...  Fuck no." Legendary Vulture Lester Haines Lester Haines: 1960-2016 Lester Haines was born in London in September 1960, and was the eldest of five: he had three brothers and a sister. …

  1. Bubba Von Braun

    Thanks for the memories

    John thanks for the obit, my dealings with Lester were on Lohan, and it doesn't surprise me his mischievous nature goes back to his earliest school years. Like some of us we never quite out grew that disdain for authority.

    It does go to show, the most precious thing we own is time, and Lester did so very well touching many in his journey..

    One day, maybe Lohan can slip the surly bonds of earth and slap Lester in the face. ;-)

    Bubba Von Braun

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: Thanks for the memories

      Reading back over a few select articles by Lester, I noticed from the comment sections that Lester never got a gold badge. Now I know that gold badges are conferred by El Reg, not earned by votes, but can I suggest that we all visit Lesters Last Post (pun INtended) and up vote it one last time until El Reg confers the coveted Gold Badge.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Thanks for the memories

        Fantastic idea. Upvoted, and raised to the brass for consideration.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Thanks for the memories

          "Fantastic idea. Upvoted, and raised to the brass for consideration."

          Yayyy!!! Gold badge appeared!!! At least I hope it's gold and not just highly polished "top brass". Thanks for passing that one up the ladder!

          1. Mark 85

            Re: Thanks for the memories

            "Fantastic idea. Upvoted, and raised to the brass for consideration."

            Yayyy!!! Gold badge appeared!!! At least I hope it's gold and not just highly polished "top brass". Thanks for passing that one up the ladder!

            Well done, El Reg!! Have one on me.

      2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: Thanks for the memories

        Ditto. I like the idea of a posthumous gold badge.

      3. magickmark
        Thumb Up

        Re: Thanks for the memories

        Upvoted, and El Reg should make him a gold badge anyway!!

        Come on guys do the right thing! If anyone deserves it, it's Lester!!

      4. Gert Leboski

        Re: Thanks for the memories

        Great idea. Done.

      5. Vic

        Re: Thanks for the memories

        can I suggest that we all visit Lesters Last Post (pun INtended) and up vote it one last time until El Reg confers the coveted Gold Badge.

        I've upvoted, but too late - Lester has a Gold Badge...


      6. Zane

        Re: Thanks for the memories

        Good idea. Done.

      7. Kiwi
        Thumb Up

        Re: Thanks for the memories

        Thanks - to John Brown, to El Reg, and to those whose votes helped. By the time I got here the Reg Badge of Goldage had been awarded.

      8. Dabooka

        Re: Thanks for the memories

        Good idea, upvote added.

        I'd go one step further and create an annual award in his honor; I'm sure the regulars on here could think of something suitable that could warrant such annual recognition?

  2. Spasticus Autisticus

    Manningtree - my neck of the woods! After 50+ years I'm nearly accepted here now :-)

    Action Outdoors!! Run by two friends of mine.

    I feel famous by association.

    RIP Lester

  3. Pen-y-gors

    Greatly missed

    The world needs more like him.

  4. analyzer


    Just awesome

  5. Down not across

    The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long - and you have burned so very, very brightly, Lester.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      And I'm sure his eyes have seen a thing or two that us people wouldn't believe as well.

      Godspeed, wherever you are.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon

        "And I'm sure his eyes have seen a thing or two that us people wouldn't believe as well."

        Yeah, like C(eiling) Beams in the local pub near Alpha Centauri's planning office no doubt :)

        The guy *is* a bit of a legend, I'm just surprised he wasn't more famous.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He probably empathised with the rather barbed nature of many Reg readers who have little time for pomposity or ignorance

    Surely not. I come here for the general tolerance and consideration for others.

    Lester Haines, Douglas Adams, Alan Turing*...ὃν οἱ θεοὶ φιλοῦσιν, ἀποθνῄσκει νέος.

    *Three people I happen particularly to have admired, that's all.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Now now, this isn't the time to be bringing Orlowski into the conversation :P

    2. Vic

      Surely not. I come here for the general tolerance and consideration for others

      ITYM "I come here for the general tolerance and consideration for those who warrant it"



  7. Diginerd


    I'll get me coat...

    Respect - you are sorely missed.

  8. TaabuTheCat

    2016 - Can it be over soon please?

    What a crap year with a lot of losses. You may not make the "celebrity" news Lester, but you were a star around here and will be missed.

    1. An ominous cow heard

      Re: 2016 - Can it be over soon please?

      "What a crap year with a lot of losses."


      In all seriousness, can we please just try switching 2016 off and on again. It doesn't seem to be doing what it should have been doing, in so many different ways.

      Please raise a glass to Absent Friends, and in hope of a better 2017.

  9. Pet Peeve

    Lester was even cooler than I thought he was. Rest in peace, sir.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      I subscribe to that view. I've always liked his articles, and I read Rockall at the time without even knowing he was behind it. Now that I do know, I'm just amazed at how life can be.

      A pint for you, Lester.

  10. fruitoftheloon

    .sheds[!] a tear

    Cluck a duck, another good one has left the building earlier than one would have hoped....

  11. Gert Leboski
    IT Angle

    Thank you.

    Thank you Mr Oates and The Register. I think this piece was needed.

    Really appreciate the brutal honesty and I'm sure he would have too.

    I think I now see why I related to Lester's words so strongly.

    Thank you.

  12. Chris G

    Thank you

    A fuller account of Lester's life and times, he was so much more than just a Reg reporter ( without wishing to demean the rest of you) I wish I had known him personally. You have to admire his drive a willingness to tackle anything that came up in front of him that he found interesting.

    I shall raise a glas of Rioca to his memory along with that of a friend of mine who died a year ago today.

  13. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Poorly worded writing in the article

    "Lester Haines was born the eldest of four brothers and a sister in London in September 1960."

    I hope he's up somewhere shouting down at that!

    In all seriousness though, he's sorely missed and this full obit was excellent reading . Is there a word for happy/sad at the same time? Lester would know.

    My claim to fame is that he once replied to one of my commentardisms in a complimentary way :-)

    1. Michael Thibault

      Re: Poorly worded writing in the article

      >Is there a word for happy/sad at the same time?

      If there isn't, there probably should be. Try this:

  14. Egghead & Boffin

    Sorely missed

    That has to be the most honest, and therefore best, obituary that I have ever read. Thank you. I still miss his articles and LOHAN updates, they were guaranteed to brighten my day. I hope someone has taken over the mantle of trying to get LOHAN into space in honour of his memory. I still have the T-shirt from the kickstarter and wear it regulalry. Please could we have a project update, penned in a suitably 'Hainesian' style ?

  15. Pat Att

    What a guy. If only I could fit a quarter of this into my life.

  16. EJ
    IT Angle

    The saddest thing is to only discover the brilliance of people after they've passed. Thanks for the great read.

    *Where's the IT angle? in honor of Lester...

  17. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Thanks for this

    I always thought he was rather like an iceberg - but a hot one. Nine tenths below the surface but going like the clappers in all directions.

    Thanks for the confirmation.

  18. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    The reminder we needed

    I knew him beyond the comments pages only once he roped me into the LOHAN project; he was kind enough not to sneer too much at my designs for high-altitude altimeter tests and we followed a few balloons up and down...

    And then there was the whole 'quid a day' thing. Triggered, I think, by his adventures in Darien, it was a cause that he really pushed - and persuaded me and a handful of others to join in, raising significant funds to the benefit of Malaria No More over the years. I trust that El Reg will be running the event when it returns next year, perhaps as Lester's memorial?

    Sadly I never met his family other than Matt and Katerina; several attempts to meet at his house in Spain came to naught on synchronisation errors. Aye well.

    ad astra tabernamque, Lester, and here's one from me.

    1. VeganVegan

      Re: The reminder we needed

      Let me echo "Ad Astra Tabernamque".

      Aim high, and make sure you have a drink in hand.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: The reminder we needed


      Good point that man! We didn't do the quid-a-day nosh posse last year and so I think we should do a Lester memorial one in 2017.

      I guess we could call it the Lester Eat More to Give nosh posse? I should probably apologise for my awful pun, but stuff it. I like puns, and I'm sure he'd forgive me.

      Anyway I didn't get to partake fully in the last one, as I was so busy at the time that I actually bought my week's food on the way home from work on the first day. Hence I didn't have time to email in my menu/plan. I was pleased, doing the spreadsheet afterwards, that I spent £5.08. Not bad for budgeting in my head as I went along. Anyway I'd like to do it again properly, and this time no chickpeas!

      I always enjoyed Lester's articles, and I also found it particularly pleasing that he'd come and join the fun-and-games in the comments. Thus making the comments more fun, and adding to the games.

      Thanks to El Reg for the great article.

  19. Bill Fresher

    Really good obituary.Thanks el Reg.

  20. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Lester Young - Pres - was one of jazz's greatest tenor players, not a trumpeter.

  21. zanshin

    A Great Read

    I was too late a comer to things El Reg to know all that Mr. Haines had worked on here. My thanks for sharing that and so much more about him, especially with so many contributing views. Learning all that he'd done and been was quite inspiring.

  22. DV Henkel-Wallace

    Thanks for the phenomenal obit

    I always read the pieces with his bylne -- his personality definitely came through. But I hadn't realized how wide his influence was. El Reg is definitely a different place without him.

  23. Mark 85

    It wasn't until I read this that realized what a renaissance man Lester was. Suspected it from some of his articles.. but wow! Here's you Lester, you're missed sorely as the world needs more like you.

  24. Daniel B.

    The Man who put Playmobil in Space

    I wish he had been able to get LOHAN flying as well. His articles and projects will be sorely missed.

  25. Steve Aubrey

    Thank you

    Thank you, El Reg, for this wonderful obit. I have been waiting for it - at the time of his demise it was promised, and now that promise has been fulfilled.

    Never met him, but I feel like I knew him (even before this) better than any of the celebrities who have gotten much press this year by shuffling off this mortal coil.

    I don't drink, but I understand the sentiment of a raised glass. Goodbye, Lester.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Thank you

      "I don't drink, but I understand the sentiment of a raised glass. Goodbye, Lester."

      I shall have another one on your behalf (and anyone else who is teetotal!!!) from my "hewn from the living glass" LOHAN tankard.

      ad astra tabernamque

      1. Steve Aubrey

        Re: Thank you

        Mr. Brown, I admire your diligence.

      2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Thank you

        Mr Brown, my own 'hewn from the living glass' LOHAN tankard is a thousand kilometres from me at present, so please be diligent on my behalf also!

  26. 9Rune5
    IT Angle

    Great obit for a great man

    I was a bit concerned when it did not show up earlier, but the effort put into this shows and I thought it was a great read. Thanks to all involved.

    Oh, and where is the IT angle?

  27. 404

    Lester was a dick.

    There you go - my interactions with Lester in 2000 over a damn El Reg Vulture pin contest were venomous and it took John Lettice to smooth things over - but it IS a nice pin.

    That being said, that was a nice obit - quite a bit of information about Lester's life. Seems he led a pretty interesting life and got around quite a bit - which is how it should be, I think. I wonder what made him essentially say 'Fuck it'? Had to have been huge - that's not the guy I had a flame war with.

    In the end here though, I'm feeling my mortality - Cheers, Lester! You get to live forever in the Wayback Machine! You fuck!

    Dennis 'Yeehaw' before the fuckup, now '404' Price

  28. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Great Chap. The Rockall Times inspired me to make my map of Rockall, I was going to send one to Lester for his next trip, with a suitable Blackadder-esque "fill in the blanks" comment, but the next trip never happened.

    1. kmac499

      Rockall memory

      Once had to explain to an American, (who by their standards was quite cosmopolitan) that the furthest west outpost of the UK was this vlcanic plug named Rockall. As this was pre web days the only way we could convince him was to show him a map in a filofax and keep him awake til' the shipping forecast..

      Happy Days...

  29. Rainer

    Good obit

    Thanks for the "post-pub" column. There are a few gems in there.

  30. DrJaymansLoveCookie

    RIP Lester

  31. druck Silver badge

    So much

    It wasn't until I followed the links in the obit did I realise that so much of what I love about El Reg was down to one man. A very sad loss to us all, and especially his wife and young family.

  32. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Penny Arcade pretty much matches my feeling on how 2016 has gone... Lester included...

    1. Intractable Potsherd
      IT Angle

      Yes - I have been warring with my feelings about this year, because, by any objective criteria, it has been utterly shit, but my subjective joy at the birth of our twins means that I will remember this year as one of the best ever (and I do find myself worrying about the equivalent of the eagle swooping down on the little 'uns ...)

      Let's hope 2017 is less awful than 2016.

      Oh, and this is for Lester, a man I wish I'd known -------->>>

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Lester Haines ... this pint's for you my friend!

  34. Mark 85

    Hey.. 2016... we'll trade you. Give us back Lester and take the Biebers, Kaynes, Kartrashians for starters.. I've got longer list if you need more.

  35. Snar

    Nice one!

    Thanks for this.

    Lester was a huge part of who El Reg is/was. The Register has been my home page since the early 2000's.

    We need his protégée. Seek and ye shall find.

    RIP Lester.

  36. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Holy damn!

    That's some damn fine Obit about someone who went places. I better get get a move on...

  37. Simon Lynch
    IT Angle

    A real original

    Thanks for that John - not an easy thing to write 'right', but sure his many fans will appreciate the great job you have done in pulling together the many threads of his life and telling us about a very unique person.

    Whenever I saw his name on a Reg article I knew it would be worth reading - starting a decade and a half ago. The Rockall Times was an quixotic venture that I found hilarious at the time, his attempts on the real rock equally so. His other projects were also seriously entertaining. Few of us chase our ideas properly, even fewer chase our mad ideas. No-one does Playmobil re-enactments of current affairs...

    We exchanged a few emails over the years and I was very happy when he once took up a tip from me on some internet stupidity and did an article. I had never felt before sad about someone I had never met dying...

    The only time I ever found him boring was the '78th' article on post-pub snacks (the previous '77' were entertaining). There should be a VC (Vulture Cross) melted in his honour for death in the line of duty.

  38. MrT

    Not just a sayer...

    ...but a doer too - this is sad news. Lester wrote from life and brought experience to play, and was not just content to be a mouthpiece. Right up there IMHO with guys like Tony Tyler, who also had a wide range of skills (and not just his Macbiter persona), and Mel Croucher, who continues on in that same tradition. I enjoyed reading of Lester's antics and his articles over the years on El Reg as much as I enjoy reading work by writers in Private Eye, for example.

    He will be sadly missed. My condolences go to his family.

  39. CCCP

    Thank You Lester

    I didn't know you, and we were often at opposing views. But I salute you for the informed discussion that is the hallmark of el Reg. This is becoming a rare commodity.

    RIP Lester

  40. Rattus Rattus

    Farewell Lester

    You will be sadly missed. One of this site's top contributors, I always enjoyed your articles.

  41. Michael Habel

    With all the memes about how 2016 need to end...

    It really needs to end now... So many Stars have fallen from the Sky, and the World is so much darker now. Mr. Haines was perhaps along with Mr Travaglia were the original voices that have attracted me to this Site since the late 90s. With their writing styles.

    As far as I concerned he was Mr. Register, and I'm left to wonder if it'll be up to Mr. Orlowski to pick up the regins now?

  42. graeme leggett Silver badge

    damn fine obit

    In that normally a précis of someone's life is too few words to do anything more than sketch out the edges and major features.

    I'll just nick something from Donne

    "Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind"

    And say that by knowing more of the man, the diminishing feels more

  43. sandman

    A very sad loss indeed.

  44. Uffish

    So he really was a genius...

    ... and a damned fine man.

    Thanks for the obit, it shows that the little glints of brilliance we perceived were part of a brilliant whole. An inspiration, and much missed.

  45. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Party time

    There's got to be one hell of a party in Heaven this year - wish I was there!

  46. witchy

    RIP Lester

    Kinnell, 55 is no age. Thanks for the words Reg, he'll be missed.

  47. Hopper262

    Great read about a great man

    Lester was sort of the face of el Reg for me; I always looked forward to his next barmy scheme or clever turn of phrase. How thrilling to know his life held so many more adventures than the ones he'd told the last few years.

  48. Sir Runcible Spoon

    Request to El Reg

    Any chance you could update the vulture with a little twinkle in its eye?

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Request to El Reg

      ^ This is an excellent idea!

      Alternatively, could Lester's name be added to the clacks?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Request to El Reg

        "Alternatively, could Lester's name be added to the clacks?"

        This was suggested at the time.

        Usenet Headers

        X-Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines

        1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

          Re: Request to El Reg

          Good - missed that somehow.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I often think of Lester's articles when I visit el reg and how much I miss his wonderful way with words and his general no-shit-takery in the comments.

  50. m0nkf1sh

    Thank You...

    ...El Reg for a great Obit - Lester contributed so much to this rag, he will be very much missed. I loved the SPB and always eagerly awaited the next installment every week.

    Now will someone pick up the reins and get that frigging LOHAN launched in his honour. Just skip the red tape and hit the damn button...

  51. Vic

    So ... LOHAN ...

    I only knew Lester through his work here. That's probably for the best - we;d have got drunk and punched each other out. My sort of bloke...

    We owe it to him to get LOHAN launched. Is anyone running this now? If not, we need to put a team together to deal with the bureaucracy. Lester and the rest of the team have done the hard work - let's get the thing airborne. Ariadne's going to be a teenager before we know it...

    I'll happily volunteer my meagre skills to further the project. Anyone else?


  52. Dan 55 Silver badge

    RTVE interview translation

    Can't really add much more to what's been said above. I can however add a translation of the TV interview which was done in 2011 after he'd spent 5 years in the village.

    Some family members have come to see and they always come in like this [mouth open] because it's a shock. I'm a Londoner, it's a radical change. Let's go in and see where I work.

    My luxurious office. I work here every day using the Internet. I'm a journalist. Six months ago we launched a paper plane from 30,000 metres. It was a success. We appeared all over the world, in the press. It’s the beer’s fault, as usual. Here’s the famous plane, and here’s the famous Playmonaut.

    [Subtitles: The plane was lifted up with a helium balloon, 30km above the surface, and the flight lasted 90 minutes.]

    I live here with my family and I’ve got five dogs and five donkeys. Well, I’ve changed clothes and let’s go and see the donkeys.

    This is the best place there is. Here, in the afternoon, with a beer and a view of the Sierra.

    This one is called Ruperta[?] and the foal is called Bella.

    The people in the village showed me how to care for donkeys. The most difficult thing is to go out in winter to feed the donkeys hay. If we don’t sell the male donkey we’re going to have more donkeys. Donkeys are an extravagance these days. Before coming to Spain I didn’t have a dog, a donkey, or anything. I’m not going to give this up for anything. I’m going to get changed again and we’re going to see a little of the village.

    They received us quite well here in the village. It was a little bit strange for them… a family from England arriving in a big lorry full of things.

    L: Hey, Venancio, how’s it going?

    V: How are you doing?

    L: Well… bad weather at the moment.

    V: Yes, it’s really bad.

    L: How are you?

    V: Well, good.

    L: Venancio.

    V: Well, what do we do here… Work a bit when it’s good weather. On the fields, with the livestock.

    TV: How many people live here?

    L: 10.

    V: We don’t get bored.

    L: Six years.

    V: Six years, he’s one of us now.

    L: The same… more or less. Thanks Venancio.

    V: Thank you.

    L: See you later.

    As an Englishman it’s impossible to live in a village without a bar, so the solution is set up a bar. This is my son Rui, he’s come over from England to work on the bar project.

    L: What do you like most about Spain?

    R: The weather…

    R: I’m going to move some tiles.

    L: Go ahead lad, get working.

    There’s been no bar in this village for at least 40 years. We need something now.

    TV: Do you think it’ll be profitable?

    L: Well there are many people in the area, it’s not just the village, yes it’ll be profitable.

    I’ve got time to play the guitar a bit. These days I only play it a little, for my daughter, she likes Paulina Rubio a lot. I bought this guitar 20 years ago or more, 25 years ago, yes. It’s a Japanese guitar but it’s very good.

    [Plays “Paulina Rubio - Ni una sola palabra”]

    Thank you Los Narros and good night.

    I came to Spain because I’m quieter now. I’m a quieter person. I wanted to leave England because there are a lot of people there.

    L: Are you there Katarina, let’s go to the mountains. This is my daughter Katarina.

    K: Hello.

    TV: How old are you Katarina?

    K: Nine.

    TV: What do you like most about living in this village?

    K: Playing with my dogs.

    L: Let’s go in the car, then.

    L: We’re going to El Barco de Ávila, but we’re going to go through the mountains a bit.

    L: I had friends in Salamanca and I came here a lot, I came to Castilla y Leon for 20 years, I like it. We came here, we looked at houses, we bought one in five minutes, and that was that.

    Here we are in La Sierra de Gredos. In the north of England there are places like this, but not so harsh. This is a harsh area.

    We’re passing over the river Aravalle very close to El Barco de Ávila. In the distance you can see the old bridge above the river Tormes and Valdecorneja castle.

    When I’m in the country side I’m rustic, authentic. When I’m in the city I’m urban. You can change, can’t you?

    This is Valdecorneja castle. We have a lot, Spain does as well, I like castles. I’ve learnt a lot of vocabulary living here, watering can, scythe, road, alpaca, things like that, country things. I’ll never forget my homeland, I don’t miss England but I still like it.

    L: Afternoon.

    Person in bar: Wow, Lester, how’s it going?

    L: How’s it going?

    P: I got to know him almost as soon as he arrived here. He’s still very English. He’s got a feel for the area, it’s like his mother. When he arrived he drank pints, now he drinks bottles…

    All: Cheers.

    If I were to leave here I’d really miss it. It’s a beautiful place, here for example we’ve got the fountain where people washed their clothes before. There aren’t any places like this in England any more.

    L: How’s it going?

    L: This is Danilo, another neighbour. We’re going to say hello to aunt Maria who had her 103rd birthday last week.

    TV: The oldest person in the village?

    D: Of course.

    L: Of course.

    TV: Let’s go to meet her.

    L: Yes, let’s.

    L: I think that the clean air and water has got something to do with it, without a doubt.

    M: I was born here. I was baptised in Santiago, in Aravalle. Old people have always been renowned. Now there is nobody, we’re alone. They all left, the lords aren’t there anymore. Good. [At least I think, I might have missed something.]

    L: It’s always interesting to talk about the past with older people.

    M: Before people lived very well here. [People had] respect.

    L: Aunt Maria… how was your birthday last week.

    M: Good.

    L: Did you dance a bit?

    M: No.

    M: [Something to do with Lester taking her photo outside]

    L: That’s it, there you are, aunt Maria.

    M: But I was younger.

    L: Yes, 100 years old. Just 100.

    M: Yes.

    L: Goodbye from me and the the residents of Los Narros. See you later.

    1. 404

      Re: RTVE interview translation

      Thank you for that - can only upvote once but what the holy hell was this?

      'When I’m in the country side I’m rustic, authentic. When I’m in the city I’m urban. You can change, can’t you?'

      What did Lester do? Why would he say this? This is a guy who would/could rip you to shreds and then laugh, sing, dance, and fornicate in your entrails. As former entrails, I am suspicious.

      Ya'll have my email - somebody hit me up.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: RTVE interview translation

        I think it's more "You can change [depending on where you are at the moment], can’t you?" rather than changing forever. Spanish can be a bit terse like that sometimes.

    2. JohnOates

      Re: RTVE interview translation

      Muchisimas gracias Dan, good work.

    3. Vincent Ballard

      Minor corrections

      Where you have "it’s like his mother" I heard "Ya es uno más", which I'd translate in context as "He's one of us now". And I think that Tía María says that it's Los Narros (the town) which has always been renowned, not old people, and that the reason that there isn't anyone is that they've gone to Los Señoritos and something like Lestar (presumably larger towns - many villages in Spain are dying because the younger generations go to the cities - but I don't know the Ávila region at all apart from Ávila itself). The bit about taking the photo was "Do you remember when you took that photo of me there?"

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Minor corrections

        Sorry, tía Maria was a bit beyond me. If I were there in real life at least I would have had the option of nodding and saying yes.

  53. MondoMan

    Well done

    Raising one to Lester, his family and friends, and to John for fleshing out more of Lester's backstory. Vultures got game!

  54. Raphael

    Time to raise another in Lester's memory

  55. chivo243 Silver badge


    He was an inspiration to others, to carry on creating and learning. I especially loved the Post Pub Nosh articles.

    Thanks Lester, have one last one for the road-->

  56. cdilla

    Thank you

    Thank you for this article.

    Lester is much missed.

    The Register and the world in general is a poorer place with his passing.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm always amazed by the impact people I've never heard of and have certainly never met have on me. Lester is someone I wish I was, would probably have hated, but probably not. It's at times like this I wish I was religious so I could abjugate my thoughts so some platitude but I'm not so the best I can do is … it would appear nothing.

    To Lester's wife and your two children I wish you a speedy recovery from your pain.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old Boy

    Thanks for the great obit.

    The remaining Borden boys will drink a toast next time we meet up.

    I still can't hear "Smoke On The Water" without thinking of Lester and friends giving a school concert. Still makes me smile. He really wasn't that naughty - I blame Drew :)

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re Rockall - any Wikipedia updaters here?

    I note that, shockingly, there's no mention of Lester or the Rockall Times on the wikipedia Rockall entry. Be nice if someone could get that put right.

  60. Andus McCoatover

    I must've been under my rock too long

    I honsetly just found out - at first, due to the deservedly light-hearted start to the excellent Obit. I thought he'd just moved on job-wise...

    S'funny, even now when I reach for HP to put on my bacon butty, his 'nosh' articles come to mind.

    Grief, I even mentioned him in a post a couple of weeks ago, without knowing. I'd suggested a bacon buttty icon "a la Lester"


  61. Juan Inamillion


    Double bugger.

    I read El Reg fairly regularly and somehow, somehow missed the news of Lester's death until today. I always read anything with his byline and, vaguely, think I must have dropped off reading stuff as his byline was no longer apparent...

    Anyway, that was probably the best obit I've ever read. What a bloke.

    Thanks Lester, thanks for the laughs and for poking sticks through the spokes of the wheel of life (*sigh* sorry, that just came out...).

    A rioja or three will be raised. Hasta la vista.

  62. Gary Bickford

    So sad, I barely knew ye

    I'm very sorry to hear about Lester's sudden demise. We exchanged emails and some other things in late 2015. I had subscribed to the LOHAN Kickstarter, and I had suggested he write about the Integrated Space Plan (, which he did in time to (no doubt) help with our own Kickstarter for the ISP poster. I sent him a copy of the poster when it came out, and I received by coincidence the LOHAN mug and the ISP mug in the same postal mail!

    We are beginning to put together plans for a new edition of the poster, and I would gladly have sent him a copy when it comes out. I had hoped someday to meet him, but alas that will never be. But I'm sure he's now flown higher than LOHAN ever could!

  63. Thomas 4

    Oh goddamn. I loved Lester's columns and artful trolling. =(

  64. Retro Man

    Have just become aware of Lesters sad demise. (Where have I been these last 6 months !!).

    Well, when Lester past a comment or wrote an article, it must have been with no small amount of authority. From Dramatic Arts, to Woodworking, languages, pop groups and special projects, to name but a few of the things he turned is hand to. So, if he passed comment, the chances are he'd already been there, done that and got the T-shirt.

    That obit has done him proud, nicely done.

    For better or worse, richer or poorer, people like Lester make the world a more interesting and fun place to be. We exchanged a few emails about LOHAN last year and the year before. He never missed a reply, but I'm going to miss him.

  65. Triple-J

    Well crap. Another good one gone. I met him when he came to Las Cruces as part of the LOHAN project and had a few beers with him. He was a fine person to share pints with. Dammit dammit dammit.

  66. earl grey


    just sad and sorry for family...

    1. uncommon_sense

      Re: sad

      Yes, Lester is sorely missed, despite his occasional personality issues…

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