85 years ago today, as my Grandmother described it, the midwife had to fight to sort her out ... the baby was put in the corner until they could get to him ... Not the best of starts for someone I really admire.
He didn’t have too much fun at school – and most of his memories are of the cane that was used regularly on everyone – but especially for people like himself who were not good at sports.
In 1935, he was chosen to lead the parade for the Silver Jubilee celebrations of King George V ... sadly for no other reason that he was fat enough to play the role of John Bull. However when I think about that, it makes me sad, but double proud ... First I have this great picture of him :-
But, secondly, it must have taken a lot of courage for him to do it – Whether he even realises that or not.
By the time he was approaching his 14th birthday, he found that he liked art, but his parents couldn’t see why he wanted to stay on at school, even though he had thoughts of studying commercial art. So, he left school and joined a local building firm. Within the year he left that and went to work for the same firm as his father, Samuel Williams on the Barking docks. He signed as an apprentice , and worked there until 1947. During the war he also served in The Home Guard, once he was old enough.
After the war he decided he wanted to go to Bible College, and got the entrance qualifications he needed to take him to The National Young Life Campaign college in Kew. At the end of those 2 years he searched for guidance, and ended up working at Ford’s in the maintenance department.
On this day in 1949, he was with friends at a service at The Royal Albert Hall, when one of his friends met another group of people – To cut a weird link short the 2 of them went to take some services in the village belonging to one of the members in the other group - ... YES .... my parents had met .... and married in 1952.
He started working for Collaro Ltd, working on the design of tools to manufacture the stereo record player pick-up. In his spare time, he continued studying and did some part-time teaching for South East Essex Technical college, eventually getting a full-time job there, as a lecturer in Mechanical Engineering in 1960.
In 1961, with their first child now 3 months old, they moved to Fflint, where he was teaching at Connah’s Quay. They lived there until early 1967, when with their 2 children, they moved back to Essex, this time living in Upminster, where a third child was born 5 months later.
He is now teaching at the same college, but it is now called The North East London Polytechnic, and his subject is Production Engineering.
But still he studies .... and studies.
He did a B Sc from The London School of Economics as an external student, then did a 1 year course at Imperial College to gain his M Sc. Then, completed the hat-trick by going back to L.S.E. to study for his Ph D in Business Management ... I went to see him collect his degree while I was at colloge – One of the proudest days of my life.
Sadly, at just before his 6oth birthday he was made redundant. However, rather than sitting still another move was on the cards, buying a large house that needed modernising. Originally the plan had been to maybe do some B&B, but when that didn’t work out, there was always plenty of DIY to keep him busy.
However, the brain still wanted to work, and he started writing articles for a magazine, called Prophetic Witness. This became a regular occurrence, so much so that 11 years and another house move later he decided to build on that; and 2 years ago had a book published about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
He is loyal and honest - and I know that as I walk in the door tonight he will automatically put the kettle on!
Today is his 85th birthday – he is a very special person – I am very proud to know him, and even prouder to call him Dad -
Thanks for being my Dad - I love you!