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Leigh Park, Havant, Hants.
(page 2 of 2)


Michael and I made our first trip on a hovercraft on 5th March 1966, from Southsea to Ryde on the Isle of Wight.

I joined mum and dad again on 8th to 12th April 1966 for our second air flight to Jersey, for the annual Easter Athletics Challenge Match against a combined Channel Islands team. We stayed as before, at the Sion Hall Hotel at Longueville in Jersey, although this time we flew from Heathrow and returned to Gatwick.

On 18th June 1966 Michael joined mum and dad with me to visit the first National Hover Show at Stokes Bay in Gosport.

At work, I was transferred to weekly staff; my wage was now £28/0/0 (€42.31) for 40 hours, as from 20th June 1966.

On 9th July 1966 I went with a coach load of other Sports Club members to the Plessey Group Annual Sports Day at AT&E Liverpool, and this time we travelled from Titchfield.

Our 3rd Annual Gala Day at Titchfield was held on 16th July; mum and dad came down again. This year, amongst other attractions, we held a Visual Arts Exhibition, and I won 3rd prize in the Drawings and Paintings class for my sample of illuminated lettering. Mum took a liking to my exhibit and asked if she could have it; she took it home that weekend and it hung in the toilet of the family home for many years.

On 30th July l966 I went with mum and dad on a week’s tour of Wales. We travelled in dad’s Bedford Workabus, but the journey from my home at Leigh Park to Rhyl took about 9 hours, although we did stop a few times to check up on the Football Match - the World Cup Final when England beat Germany. We had no car radio, only my portable transistor radio, which only worked when we stopped the car, so it was a long day. Dad insisted that we pulled in near Rhyl seafront to hear the football summary, before we started to look for overnight Bed & Breakfast.

On the 19th January 1967 I had my 100th chest X-ray in the 18 years that I had been a TB patient, at the Havant Chest Clinic in the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth. A few days later, on the 23rd January, I attended the Clinic for my X-ray result and was given my final discharge after 18 years. My weight was 10 stone 2 pounds 8 ounces (64.6 kg).

The PSSC Club at Titchfield was now holding the popular monthly Novelty Dances with the Clem Laurie Combo and on 18th February 1967 we had our first western-style dance, an enormous success; mum and dad were there, as usual.

An opportunity to return to Cornwall, for the first time since I was there in the army in 1941 came about when Allan Dobson invited me to stay with him for a few days. It was from the 10th to 14th March 1967, and I took some winter leave from work and travelled by coach all the way from Fareham. The journey took almost 12 hours, the fare was 68/- (£3.40, €5.14) return, and my destination was the little village of St Columb Major where Allan lived. He met me at the bus stop.

The 24th June 1967 was the date for our 4th Annual Gala Day at Titchfield, with mum and dad attending as usual. There was also a dance in the works’ canteen to follow. At the now popular Art Exhibition I scraped through with a 4th prize for my pen & ink sketches, a pair of black horses and I was awarded a book voucher for that.

On 15th July 1967 I joined a group of PSSC members on a coach trip from Titchfield to see the Royal Tournament at Earls Court in London. The Annual Plessey Group Sports Day for 1967 was held on 19th August at Ilford, Company Head Office, and again we went by coach from Titchfield. All the events were held in an open field and it poured with rain all day; the evening dance in the canteen was less memorable.

My ten year’s service with the Plessey Company on 26th August 1967 was... just another day.

On 20th February 1968 I attended my divorce hearing at Portsmouth County Court, some 4½ years since June and I were separated. The Divorce was made Absolute on 23rd May 1968. Shortly afterwards I received a notice to quit from Portsmouth City Council Housing Department.

At work, I was transferred to Monthly Staff on 1st March 1968.

On 30th May 1968 I started taking driving lessons with a driving school; the Instructor was Allan Chamberlain of Fareham and his fee was 25/- ((£1.25, €1.89) per hour. During May and November 1968 I did over 26 hours of driving lessons but gave it up when my Provisional Licence expired on 27th November. I was obviously preoccupied with other things: I was desperately looking for somewhere else to live and still very busy with my Social Club work.

The 5th and last Annual Gala Day at Plessey Titchfield was on 22nd June 1968. It poured with rain most of the time and some of the outdoor events had to be cancelled. Fortunately we had arranged for the Arts & Handicraft exhibition to be held in the staff canteen, so all the exhibits were safe. I won a prize for my wood carving! A giant mural painted by Mrs Maureen Rae, the site Post-mistress, was unveiled, and it covered the whole of one wall in the staff canteen.

From the 5th to the 7th August 1968, I was in Cornwall with mum and dad to visit Allan, who by now he had moved to Roche, and we spent a pleasant two days touring the area.

On 21st December 1968, we held our Christmas Dance in the staff canteen at Titchfield, and mum and dad were there, of course. They went home the following day and I travelled up to Wimbledon on the following Tuesday, by train; the single fare was 17/6 (£0.88, €1.32). The following Saturday, Gordon, Diane and family came up by car from Hampshire and joined us for Christmas. I went home with them on 29th December.

During the months of January through to March 1969, I spent a lot of time viewing houses in the Fareham and Gosport areas, with mum and dad coming down as often as possible to help me with this. I made the decision to purchase the house at 31 Woodstock Road, Gosport, on 19th April 1969 after viewing it twice.

Portsmouth City Council had already ordered me to vacate the council house at Lockerley Road, so I had to find somewhere to live while the house purchase was being dealt with, and Gordon and Diane came to the rescue and invited me to stay with them at their home at Bushy Down Farm, Droxford. On 16th May 1969 I moved out of the council house at Lockerley Road, Leigh Park, put most of my furniture into storage and stayed at Droxford with Diane and Gordon until I got the completion date for the house in Woodstock Road.

In the meantime, I had made another weekend trip to Wimbledon to see the family; on Friday 25th April we went to see the local Boys Brigade display with some family participation, and on Saturday 26th April I went with mum and dad to a Ladies’ Festival Dinner Dance at Croydon.

On the 12th May 1969, I signed the draft contract for the house at 31 Woodstock Road, Gosport. Meanwhile, whilst still living at Droxford with Diane and Gordon, I made another trip to Cornwall between the 24th to 27th May to stay a few days with Allan, who was now living at St. Austell. I was to be a guest at the inaugural Dinner Dance of Teddington Auto Controls’ Social Club, held at Carlyon Bay, on Bank Holiday Monday 26th May 1969.

Friday 13th June 1969 was the completion date for my house in Gosport and the vendors moved out. I moved out of Bushy Down Farm at Droxford on 26th June 1969 and into my new home in Gosport.

Some points of history: On 9th November 1960, John Kennedy became President of the USA; in Britain, the last batch of National Servicemen were called up in December.
In 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space and Britain applied to join the Common Market. The youngest woman MP, Margaret Thatcher, became a Parliamentary Secretary…
In 1962 the last trolley-buses were taken out of action in London, Telstar was launched from the USA (eventually) making world television possible.
In February 1963 Harold Wilson took over as Labour Party leader at the age of 43, the Great Train Robbery took place in August and Harold Macmillan resigned as Prime Minister in October; President Kennedy was assassinated in Nov 1963.
In 1964 “Steptoe & Son” was declared the “best TV show” (although who by?), beer was up to 2/1d (£0.11, €0.17) a pint in the Budget, and the world’s population was increasing by 63 million people a year. The Windmill Theatre (“we never close”) closed in October 1964.
In 1965, Stanley Matthews was the first professional footballer to be knighted and Sir Winston Churchill died in January. Edward Heath became Tory Party leader and David Steel became the youngest MP at age 26.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

Text by Alf Allen 1999. Edited and spell-checked by Mike Allen 2003.
Most photos taken by Alf and most illustrations drawn by him; scanned from his albums, etc., now in my possession and digitally edited 2003-2005.
Yes, yes, the photos and layout need updating - the website was first designed in "dial-up days", before any sort of broadband, and everything had to be small so it uploaded and downloaded fast. Work to do, I know.

Website produced 2003-2013 by Mike Allen - a fatuous platitudes production.

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