IN its ‘Photo Album Memories’ feature, the Dispatch recently published a 1955 photo of my class at Springfield Junior School in Bulwell. My sister forwarded the paper to me in Perth, Australia, where I now live with my family.
I was born and raised in Bulwell and educated at Highbury Secondary School for boys. I left school when I was 15 and was first employed at Bulwell Finishing Company as a trainee assistant dyer.
I left Bulwell Finishing to work in Dumfries, Scotland at the age of 20 as a foreman dyer at the Nith Dyeing And Finishing form, which was part of Wright And Dobson Bros, of Carlton Road, Nottingham.
A year later, the Nith closed down and I joined Wright And Dobson as a foreman dyer. During the next 17 years, I progressed to head dyer, manager and eventually group dyehouse manager.
The company went into receivership in 1986 and I was part of a management buyout team with the role of dyehouse director and finally leading to operations director. At the age of 50, I made a decision to resign and do my own thing for the next eight years which, in the main, was my hobby of house maintenance and garden landscape.
At 58, my wife Suzanne (we are now in our 44th year of marriage) and I left the UK in 2005 to live in a village called Arboleas in Almeria, Spain and stayed there for the next four years.
During this time in Spain, both our children, Grahame and Nicola, emigrated to Perth, Australia and are now residents. We, of course, had to follow, in 2009, because the distance was too far for us to bear not being near them. We are now hoping to stay on a permanent basis.
While we have the good weather and we play golf three times a week, we do miss the beauty of the English countryside, particularly our beloved Derbyshire where we had wonderful times. We also have lovely memories of our cottage in Eastwood which was more than 300 years old.
From here Down Under, we all wish everyone in the Dispatch district a belated but very happy and healthy New Year.