A local man, born and bred. One of four children that grew up in Redricks Lane, where his dad was a gardener. They didn’t have electricity until the army arrived during the war.
He often spoke of walking to school at Fawbert and Barnard in Sawbridgeworth, in all weathers.
Although “top of his class”, he left school at 14 to begin his apprenticeship as a tool room engineer. He worked at Auto Cam at Harlow Mill; despite not being a swimmer himself, I remember him teaching us to swim in the open-air pool there. He finished his working life at Hanley Smith where he worked well into his eighties. If it wasn’t for the side effects of treatment for cancer; he would have loved to continue to work. One of the lucky ones, he loved his work.
He undertook his National Service at RAF-Weeton, near Blackpool. This was just a few miles from where his future wife grew up. They didn’t meet until later, when dad was a patient in Rye Street Hospital where our mum was a nurse. They got engaged at the top of Blackpool Tower.
Mum’s health had a significant impact on all of us at various times and life wasn’t always easy as our mum spent a significant time in hospital in London. This was before he had a car and that he continued to work despite having three 3 young children, I believe to be a great testament to him.
Money was tight and holidays were always spent in Fleetwood, visiting with mum’s family. Later, he loved his holidays in France visiting Barry and his family.
Without doubt it was his trip to New Zealand, to visit his brother Gerald, that was a trip of a life-time.This gave him so many wonderful memories and right up to his death, would love to tell his stories.