Today’s blog is a bit different. It is a celebration of my Dad’s life as he died in 2007 but he would have been 100 years old today.
He was very special to us all, but to Clive and I especially, as it was him that kept telling us to ‘live our dreams’ . Every new challenging step we take, we think of him. It is the driving force of what we do today. When we set up Woodland Turnery others said ‘get a proper job’ but my Dad’s answer was ‘Go for it!’
He grew up in North London. In the early years, spending many weekends helping the local car mechanic, he eventually went to work in a furriers in Conduit Street, near Regent Street London as an apprentice fur cutter and eventually working up to a fully qualified mink fur cutter (frowned upon these days but a very skilled job in its day). He met my Mother here (he was 16 she was 14) and she was an apprentice fur machinist later qualifying as a mink fur machinist. Mink has the closest individual strands of fur on its pelt of any animal and both the cutter and machinist must not cut or machine the strands of fur but only the pelt, so they were both highly skilled. With War starting Dad went into the Army as a Tank Driver and was complimented on his very good skills as a driver. He married Mum on the 13th August 1940 before going overseas. He fought in North Africa, before being taken a prisoner of war at Torbruk (the first time it fell) first with the Italians and then the Germans. He got moved across countries and was in Poland for quite some time. He was a resilient man. luckily, and as the Russians approached the POW camps he was forced by the Germans to take part in the ‘long March’ westwards see
Amazingly he survived this and was luckily repatriated by the Americans, arriving home in May 1945, at 5ft 10 ins tall and weighing just 6 stone (just over 38kg). With help from my Mother he slowly regained most of his health, bearing in mind a full meal to him in the early days of recovery was 1/2 a boiled egg. It took many months before he gained the weight back properly. He then went on to be a Civil Servant working up the grades and at the same time became a Special Constable in the Metropolitan Police, eventually a Sergeant. After retirement he took up gardening, machine knitting ( knitting many a pullover for all members of the family) and then also learning Lacemaking and demonstrating at the craft Saturdays with us at the National Museum of Wales.
He took great joy in watching our progression with our gift ware and lace making supplies but unfortunately died before we had progressed far with our Spinning wheels and accessories.
In the later years he and Mum would love to got to visit Linz and Tam in Scotland and their favourite place was Luss at Loch Lomond. So on 30th December 2007 we spread their ashes there.
Many fond memories…………..