His business partner Markus Nickson said: 'He truly was an exceptional man.' Ken Fishburn, 72, travelled around the world in the Royal Artillery and was killed 20 yards from his front door. Neighbour Mike Sharkey said: 'Ken was a thoroughly hard-working, decent man.' James Jackson, a former Sellafield plant manager, and wife Jennifer were enjoying their retirement in the hamlet of Wilton where they were shot.'They were a very quiet and well-mannered couple,' said a neighbour.Hints were heard: Delia agreed to stop selling copies of the Daily Worker before service (she sold them afterwards outside).Popular Catholicism in the Church of England was at its lively best.Mark Cooper, a fellow taxi driver, said last night: 'All he said was that they had caught him with £60,000 in the bank. He was being investigated and was paranoid his brother and the solicitor were colluding to get him in trouble with the taxman.' It was the start of an unprecedented manhunt as Bird sped through villages executing complete strangers apparently at random. He didn't want to go.' A close family friend told the Daily Mail: 'It was all about the Inland Revenue.Scholarships gained Alan firsts in history and English at Cambridge and a lectureship in English at Durham.
Kevin Commons, the solicitor shot dead by Bird in the driveway of his farmhouse in Frizington, lived with his second wife Helen.
In later years he did not support the party but pleaded for a sharing of a property and a renunciation of the power structures: 'God has renounced power and approaches us only with love.' His personal way of life and humour won him a hearing even when Stalinism and Mc Carthyism bedevilled understanding.
Prayer as the link between the Divine and the human was at the heart of his faith.
He summed up his spirituality in a contemporary classic on prayer, Yes to Prayer (1975, awarded the Collins Religious Book prize).
After his retirement to Gosforth he won more admirers with his Staircase for Silence (1977, showing his love for Charles Peguy), his Night Sky of the Lord (1980, the churches' need to heed the Jewish experience) and Scaffolding for the Spirit (1987, insights into St John's Gospel).
In the Cold War years he was isolated by his membership of the Communist Party.