Chapter 2 – Dad growing up

Dad’s father was a new house builder in Horsham and very much a man’s man! Those were the days when most of the building work was done by hand, with fewer machines and a lot of back-breaking digging and lugging. I’m not sure his childhood was that happy when he was at home because I think the “slipper” came into play a lot more than it might these days. However, Dad managed to get out and about a lot as children did in the 50’s. Sounds quite idealic from that point of view and it certainly fuelled my father’s love of everything nature.

But as he grew older, Dad had to help with the building work, which certainly meant he grew into a strong and fit young man. At that time the company had moved to Solihull and the work had changed from doing mainly Horsham property remodelling to a variety of building work from new builds to renovations. I think that houses built prior to the war were becoming unfashionable, so there was plenty of work modernising those homes, as well as building lots of new buils as local house builders

Once they moved to Solihull, Dad found plenty of wild and wonderful places to visit on his bike and told many a tale of the days he’d be out and about from dawn to dusk. He and his friend Robert would just disappear in those days of little communication and certainly no mobile phones. If they wanted to let their Mum know they’d be late, they had to find an old red phone box and call on the landline. Not really so long ago in years, but a different world.

During those long adventures, Dad and Robert would explore all over the area and that stood him in good stead when he became a tree surgeon.

When they were about 16, Dad and Robert ventured further afield and took a trip back to Horsham. It was a nostalgic time for my father as he showed his friend all the places he had explored as a young boy. They camped in the woods and discovered places that even Dad didn’t know about. A very precious time for the two of them and Robert still fondly recalls their trip together.