On Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day. Although here in the UK the day does not have a long tradition compared to Mother’s Day, entering popular culture in the early 1940’s, at Peverel Court Care we are very much looking forward to celebrating the day.
Honouring fathers for all they give to their families. It is an ideal opportunity to spend some time appreciating Dads.
On Sunday relatives are invited to visit Bartlett’s, Stone House and Merryfield, to spend some quality time over tea and cakes.
It’s lovely to reflect on fond memories. We spoke to some of our residents about the stories they have of their fathers. There are some heart-warming, interesting and funny stories.
Celebration at home – Eric Wing
“At around six years old, and after an eventful day culminating in a Guy Fawkes Night celebration at home, I was given a lit sparkler by my Mother. For some inexplicable reason and with youthful exuberance running high, I thought it would be fun to surprise my Dad with it, applied to a very sensitive part of his anatomy. I had not reckoned on the fact it would burn through several layers of clothing and further inflict painful burns to his bottom! The consequential pursuit around the house as he tried to catch me was only halted by my Mother’s power of persuasion that the combined events of a special day and Guy Fawkes Night had tipped my excitement over the edge, and that I should be let off any retribution that he had in mind. Unbelievably, he agreed and retired from the chase nursing a very sore rear end. Sorry Dad! With all our Love & Best Wishes on Father’s Day, as ever. From your sons Stuart & Geoff and families”
Surveying, vegetables and the western front…a story about Peter Smith
“My Father was easy going good Lord yes. He had a brother Uncle Harry. My Father was a Quantity Surveyor which is why I became one. I called him Dad. He had a large garden where he grew vegetables. My parents had a nice and happy marriage. Father went to see his brother (Uncle Harry) who was a Console General in Algiers. Father took Mum and me to visit him. I remember staying at a house with a girl and her family who came from Algiers, I can’t remember her name. Dad volunteered in the First World War and was posted in the Royal Field Artillery in France on the Western Front, he fired guns and survived. He returned back here and met Mum and then had me”.
A shining light that shows you the way – Lesley Fisher by Sarah Nevard & Amy Nevard…
“Lesley’s husband was called Frank. Sarah & Amy spoke with Lesley (Mum & Nan) about Frank and Sarah’s childhood memories. They reminisced about Moat Park in Dover, Bank Holiday Monday Picnics, playing ball games and playing with a frisbee , learning to ride bikes with Shaun where Lesley (Mum & Nan) was always ready and waiting with the savlon and plasters. Sarah says of her Dad “miss you Dad always in my thoughts and prayers”. Sarah shared a verse that is written on a frame that she gave him and now has in her home: A Father is a shining light that shows you the way”.
Kindness matters – Dorothy Watson
“My Dad was a kind man, it means a lot being kind doesn’t it?” He worked in an office. He was a good Dad, a patient man. He loved me and my sister, his family was his hobby. We went to the seaside once we got a car, Wales also. He wasn’t supposed to because of his heart, but he drank a lot of coffee.
Ida smiled throughout this chat about her Dad – Ida Downs
“He loved his children so much he was lovely. He used to go out a lot for a drink to the pub and spent a lot of money. Mum didn’t tell him off not really because he was very nice. He liked to be in a job. He had clothes in his drawers and used to wear them. He liked a drink outside of the house in the garden. He had black hair and made you laugh. He used to do all sorts and used to drink, he was a happy drunk. I loved him. He did the garden, he grew flowers and vegetables and I helped him I enjoyed eating his home-grown food. Mum loved him and I loved him”.
Back for the Religious Holidays – Emanuel (Manny) Gerrard
“My Father was clever, he used to sell things for a Scottish company – sheepskin, goat skin and anything that had fleece on one side and leather on the other, kilts also, not in this country, in The Union. I had a younger sister. My Father was always travelling but always came back for the Religious Holidays. I went to Synagogue with him and celebrated the Passover at home and the whole family gathered. My Father was injured in a car accident between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the car rolled. A few locals found him, called for help and they took my Father to hospital. He broke his hip basin which had to be joined by wire, he had scars on his tummy but he carried on the best he could. My Father spoke four languages, Hebrew, French, German and English. Prayer books were originally written in Hebrew which was translated to English. On Sabbath you cannot make fire or use lights, my neighbour came to remove the fridge light bulb. In the Jewish community a ball of string was wrapped around in a circle, anything within the circle of the string was fine. Hebrew people worship one God and there were slaves in Egypt, Pharaoh who let the Jewish people go, they went through the desert to reach River Jordan, the book is written by a famous Roman Historian”.
Blackrock Sands – Jeannie Kilpatrick
“We had fun when we went to Blackrock Sands in Wales, went to live there for a year whilst Dad was helping to build the Power Station, it was great fun. I remember pinching Dad’s best roses for throwing at the Sunday Parade”.
Good advice – Kathleen Blanning
“Our Dad was a very good and honest man. He never put anyone on a pedestal because he would say you’ll fall off. Mum and Dad didn’t believe in vaccinations, my brother and me did not have them. My brother thought he was a good man also. He was a hardworking man he couldn’t stand a lot of heavy clothes like me. He would roll up his sleeves. When he delivered to customers for his brother, he wore a kaki smock. He was very protective of us. He hated people who were dishonest, good advice of a common sense man. His brother had a greengrocer shop in the village and my Dad had some customers in the villages who relied and trusted him before the war to deliver. Dad was too young for World War I too old for World War II he didn’t get to fight in any war. His brother lost his eyes in the war. When Dad wasn’t well I would chop wood for the fire. Dad’s Mother nursed him back to health and they had a nice unity”.
He was very handsome – Bridget Taylor
“I was born in India and had two sisters, Pam the youngest was born in England and Margaret in India. My Father died when I was 9 years old. “Mum married again when I was 14”. The cook was mincing the meat and I watched him, he kept putting his finger in I was 3 or 4. Father shouted your finger and rushed me to the sick bay, I can remember it well my Father was very good. Mother told me off because I shouldn’t have been there. He was in the Army a Mechanical Engineer he died in Britain. He was in the Army in Hong Kong. He was very handsome”.
Do you remember him in his uniform? “yes. We lived together, I was the eldest sister with two others. I was walloped on the bottom for opening a parcel between 3 and 4 and my Father said you won’t do that again!” (Bridget really giggled when she told me this and her voice became louder from a whisper). “Before he went into hospital with TB he was removed from the Army he died. I didn’t go to the funeral but I saw Mum crying. The Army gave us the option of staying in England or returning to India, she chose to return to India as we had lots of family there”.
How did you get back to India? “We returned by ship, it took 6 weeks. Mother met Ronald Beckett soon after we got to India, he was a kind man and we called him Dad. In 1947 the family returned to England because we were thrown out of India when I was 15 years old”.
Bridget pointed to some photo albums in her room and showed me pictures of her and her family in India, they were fascinating!
The Golden Arrow and a pair of tickets – Eric Wing
Much of Dad’s childhood was spent watching his father drive the “Golden Arrow” steam train out of Victoria station on the way to Dover. Our first family home, in 1956, was a flat on the top floor of Highlands Court, Gipsy Hill. There Dad took great delight in standing on the balcony and showing us the trail of white steam billowing along the horizon from the engine pulling the “Golden Arrow” – still being driven by his father – again en route to Dover. We could even hear the distant sound of the whistle as the train entered a tunnel and disappeared from sight. Dad memorised the timetable, so we wouldn’t miss it!
Forty years later I took Dad (then aged 74) up to Victoria station to watch the departure of a specially chartered running of the “Golden Arrow”, once again on its famous route to Dover. But this time, just before the train pulled out, I gave Dad a pair of tickets, and we climbed aboard. That return journey – and all it meant to Dad – was one of the most memorable days of his (and my) life.