Early Life

As briefly mentioned in my previous post Dad wrote a book called "My Early Life" He never tried to get it published even though he kept saying he would have liked to try - the nearest was snippets on the BBC Wales Website a few years ago.
It was about what it was like growing up as a child during the War years (2nd W.W.) along with some memories of other things he got up to.
His Brother John did the sketches in it, most of the information and places are local to us here in North East Wales which if you take the time to read this blog many of you won't recognise but I hope you will still enjoy it, who knows you may recognise a name a street or something.
I will write it here just as Dad wrote it.

This is my recollection of my early childhood I was born in Bromfield Park in Mold on the 8th May 1940 just after the start of the second world war, so to start life for parents must have been very hard indeed with the austere conditions of the day.
Food and Clothing were rationed and to a child of that time the most important thing was rationed - sweets! but more about them later.
As far as I can recall I must have memories from when I was about 3 years old, The house we lived in was on a bit of a hill we had a clear view of the skies over towards the direction of Liverpool.
I was taken out of the house on more than one occasion to see "the lights" these were the beams of searchlights up in the sky 
"Do you think our guns will "Gerrum" Dad"
These of course were looking for German aircraft who were bombing the cities and docks. Again as I recall being taken by my father to the recreation ground in Mold to see 2 searchlights and their crews. This was in daylight and maybe they were practising I do not know. I also remember we had a small Anderson Air Raid Shelter underground in our back garden to which we were to retire to in an air raid and I have vague recollections of being in this shelter I certainly remember playing in it when I was four of five.  I shall say at this point I also remember that just after the war  MY Father and others dug it up and a man whose garden backed on to ours  who I called Uncle Alf took this shelter to be his coal shed and I know it was there at his house for 30 years after - I often wonder  if it is still there today.
But having dug it up there was a large hole to fill in our garden and all sorts of rubble and rubbish was put in this to fill it including a small battered red pedal car which I cherished. I can remember to this day I shed buckets of tears as I watched it disappear under the rubble and soil. I could not take my eyes off it and crried and cried until it was out of sight.

Another memory was of lowering the paper blackouts on the windows of our house at night These were made of a stiffish black or dark grey paper with a piece of wood running along the top and bottom. These were lowered at dusk and pinned at the sides with drawing pins so that when the lights were put on in the house not a glimmer of light would be seen from outside.  It was said that aircraft could see a chink of light from a great height and of course this was what they were looking for and in those days navigation was not as good as these days and by dead reckoning by the stars and in daylight, by ground maps, and flying from Germany looking for Liverpool they could be as much as 30 miles out.
I remember listening to the wireless for news I of course was very young and just happened to be there but at this young age I can remember the droning voice of Lord Haw Haw  he always started by saying - This is Germany calling  Germany calling - then would go on to say how Britain was losing the war  and suffering great losses. Also on the radio were programmes put out to assist the war effort I don't remember much about these I can recall one was called Workers Playtime which was put out to keep up morale of the factory workers by playing lively music one or two comedians and interviews with workers. We listened to all news programmes but as a child they didnt mean much to me,  but on a Sunday night it was a must to listen to the Palm Court Orchestral Concert.which was listened to without fail, I in my early years preferred Dick Barton Special Agent and his 2 sidekicks Snowy and Jock.

I shall leave this here for now - As I said times were hard and food rationed - more to follow soon

A little bit about Mervyn

I thought for my first posting on here I would tell you a bit about Mervyn
He was a devoted man to his family and friends,  His wife Beryl, Children Janet, Stephen and Alison, and Grandchildren Simon and Megan.
During his working life he was a well respected member of the workforce at a local cement works there he progressed to Senior Production Manager but had to take early retirement due to a heart attack  followed by  triple heart bypass surgery.

During his career one of his great pastimes was the restoration of Blodwen, Blodwen was a steam roller which I will tell you about sometime later in this Blog. It was a very proud day when Dad and those who helped him were finally able to "Steam up" and Blodwen rolled out in all her glory

Throughout his life Mervyn came into contact with people from all walks of life but he treated everyone the same.
He was a keen fisherman, enjoyed gardening and staying with Mum at their Caravan at a beautiful quiet campsite in Mid Wales where they met some lovely people who became very good friends of theirs.

My Dad was very passionate about Local History and was a valued member of the Local Historical Society which he enjoyed immensely and contributed valuable information.
He also compiled a book called "My Early Life" this was about his life growing up during the second world war. Snippets of this were put on the BBC Wales Website  a few years ago called "Mervyns Memoirs"  they still remain there today along with other memories of his.
He also too part in a BBC Wales TV Programme about Childhood Memories of growing up in Wartime Wales.

Mervyn was also a very determined man who would speak his mind quite openly (vex or please)  if he believed in what was right for people He was very keen to help anyone in any way he could If you ever had a problem he was always there as a friend or Dad, He was always the one to ask, 9 times out of 10 he had the answer /solution, if on the odd occasion he didn't know he went to great lengths to find out for you.

My Dad lost his very short battle with Cancer in September 2009 aged 69.
From becoming ill,  then being diagnosed, and losing his life to the illness was only 3 short weeks so you can imagine what a shock it was to all who knew him especially us - his family.
It was the biggest shock for my Mum who sadly passed away only 4 months after Dad this January 2010 she too was only 69 years old
They married when they were both only 19 and had celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in July 2009

Mervyn was a unique character who left a lasting impression on all he knew and whom he came into contact with and is greatly missed by everyone