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whether they survived the war. An even later letter was received from somewhere in South America where Rolf and his friends were hoping to start some sort of busi- ness. The end of a most unusual episode on our fam- ily life.

Did the family musical in- terest continue after the Thir- ties ended – it certainly did – and I believe a number of those early song sheets still exist. Regrettably I have no idea what happened to my ukulele-banjo, but one of my Hohner mouth organs in the key of C lives on, and I play a few tunes on it every week. The piano’s gone; the double bass changed to a keyboard, but the old bat- tery wireless was ousted by a handsome mains radio in a veneered wooden case early after the war. Tunes of the old days can still be enjoyed on tapes and CDs after 70 years.

I never knew what hap- pened to Grandad’s pigeons after he died, but I expect they would have been taken over and looked after by some of his pigeon friends. I seem to remember pass- ing my roller skates to one of my grandsons and Ar- thur Mee’s Children’s Ency- clopaedia also went on a similar route and I’s sure would have helped some of the youngsters in their early education as it did for us three brothers.

I did mention a number of my treasured possessions, and one of which is a pho- tograph of our Dad in his na- val tropical white uniform on board HMS Durban in 1939 in Far East waters. After all these years, I wonder wheth-

26 4 Crown Street, Wellington, Telford TF1 1LP

er he ever knew that after D- Day, June 6 1944, when the Allies were establishing their positions in Normandy, HMS Durban sailed from Oban in Scotland full of explosives. She was one of about 60 ships which were eventually scuttled on June 9 1944 to provide about 7km of pro- tective sea-wall supporting the Mulberry harbours.

HMS Durban was one of the ships scuttled near Gold Beach to support the British harbour at Arromanch and during the next two months over a million troops, 350,000 vehicles and nearly two million tonnes of mili- tary equipment was landed on the beaches. Dad would have been so proud that his old ship was able to play

My name is Eileen Dunn and I am writing to you from my home in Devon where I have just received the Janu- ary copy of the “Wellington News” which I look forward to receiving every month. The

article about RAF

Cosford brought back many happy memories of my 53 years spent living and work- ing in Wellington.

My hus-

band Graham worked for the MOD from 1939 until his retirement in 1981, firstly at High Ercall then Stafford and finally at RAF Cosford. We married in 1945 and moved in 1947 from Penk- ridge near Stafford to Wel- lington with our baby daugh- ter Sheila. We quickly settled in and made many friends in the area some of whom I still keep in touch with.

In 1951 our second daughter Catherine was born and in 1965 we had our son Neil. (A bit of a surprise gift as I was then 44 and Graham was 48!) The girls went to Barn

Farm Infants and then Princ- es Street Junior Schools. Sheila was one of the first ‘first year’ pupils at Hadley Modern and Catherine was one of the first ‘first year’ pu-

Dorothy writes from down under

Dorothy Addison writes from New South Wales, firstly to correct my geography and secondly to thank George Evans for his rail article.

I have just received the January 2012 Wellington News and I saw where you had included my Christmas wishes, but I have to let


such an important part in the eventual victory.

But I was also proud to

become a friend of a driver in the RAF who, a few days after D-Day actually drove his truck on to that beach at Arromanche with the help of my Dad’s old ship, HMS Durban.


So, my story of the Thir- and


The next letter is from a Wellington girl who now lives in Devon.

pils at Dothill Girls Second- ary Modern. They both went on to the Walker Technical College at Oakengates to study office duties. Sheila went on to work at RAF Cos- ford as a typist and then at the Wellington County Court until she left to live in Hamp- shire where she married and continues to live.

Catherine worked for Wel- lington Urban District Coun- cil Clerks Department which was in Walker Street and then Wrekin District Coun- cil at Malinslee House until she and her husband moved away in 1984. They lived in several parts of the country until finally settling in the South West in 1995.

Neil and Karen have lived in Shrewsbury for many years and Neil has had a very successful career in the meat

packaging industry. His work has taken him to all parts of the globe and in January he is to be hon- oured with the Freedom of the City of London. I used to work part-time

when the children were young.

I was a waitress at

Terry Heaths and the Charl- ton Hotel for quite some years both in the restaurant and the evening functions. I loved the company of the other girls working there and we were always happy and had a good laugh together. Graham and I had always been very happy together and enjoyed our retirement very much. We especially liked the meetings and outings with the Civil Ser- vice Club. We loved Wel- lington Market and used to say there wasn’t much you couldn’t buy there! It was a good place to see friends and neighbours and people always had time to stop and chat.

Unfortunately whilst on holiday with Catherine and her family in Devon in Au- gust 2000 I lost my husband of 55 years due to a heart attack.

As I had suffered a brain haemorrhage in 1992 (which was treated by an operation

at Smethwick hospital fol- lowing a flight in the air am- bulance from the Princess Royal), I could not cope on my own and sadly had to leave Wellington to live near Catherine in Devon. I still miss Wellington very much but luckily due to hav- ing Sky I am able to keep up with the West Midland news and also follow the progress of Wolves football team. I am fortunate to have

three caring children, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren (a third is ex- pected any day now) and we celebrated my 90 birthday all together last March. I would like to wish everyone all the best for 2012.

years has come to an end in this chapter and I hope the memories of a number of readers have been awak- ened, especially those who had links with Leicester. I am expecting my grandchil- dren to enjoy reading how we spent our teenage years, with my great-grandchildren adding to their knowledge many years later.

you know that you have me down as living in Melbourne which is in Victoria. I actu- ally live about 16 miles from Sydney in Hansby which is in New South Wales and I though if my friends and relatives read it they might think I have moved house. I hope you don’t mind me pointing this out. Reading George Evans article about the railways re- minded me of the days when my father Jack Clay worked in the Signal Box near Hol- lingswood, as it was in those days, when the


Company was in full opera- tion during the war years. In those days they operated three pits, steel rolling mill and common and glazed brick works and to think now that it has all gone!

As I said in my last letter, please keep up the good work, we always look for- ward to Wellington News ar- riving. Teena Statham sends me from Arleston. I hope you had a good Christmas and were not snowed in. Ed.

Dorothy, Sidney

sounds so much more glam- orous than Melbourne, I hope you manage to get into the city every now and then. Christmas in Britain was very mild, as was January, but February has brought freezing temperatures and snow – we’re all ready for the Spring! The old Lilleshall works at Snedshill has been flattened and is now a super- market and Wickes builders merchant store – looks a tre- mendous building but a bit more of the past has been flattened.


Dave Gregory, Wellington News, 4 Crown Street, Wellington, Telford, Shropshire TF1 1LP Email:


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