Some treasures were discovered in our attic ahead of the installation of a new roof. I found the photograph displayed above. It was taken in 1941 at RAF Padgate near Warrington in what was then Lancashire. It shows the rugby union team and there's my father Philip sitting third from the left. He can't have made many appearances for the RAF Padgate XV as he was only there for twelve weeks of intensive training before being shipped off to India. Prior to volunteering he had been a primary school teacher for four years but had resigned his post in order to join the war effort. I guess that all the other team members had done the same and that a number of them never came home.
Below you can see the Under 16 rugby squad from my old secondary school in Hull. The picture was taken in 1969 - probably around Easter and this time sitting third from the left it's me - the author of this humble Yorkshire blog. I enjoyed rugby and though I say so myself I was good at it - being picked to play for my city and in the following year I was the youngest player in the school's first team. I was once described as "tigerish". It's funny but after all these years, I can name nearly all of the other boys... Foster, Carleton, Tarbotton, Wilkie, Lund, Sumpton, Hawley, Harrison, Hirst, Hawtree. There were a lot of "H's".
None of my three brothers took to rugby but Simon was a pretty good footballer. Paul was into rock climbing and rowing but Robin really only showed prowess in swimming and still enjoys it very much today. Like Cro Magnon, he has his own pool way down in the south west of France.
Snipped from the team photos, there's me and Dad below. Can you tell which is which? Dad would have been twenty seven in 1941 but in 1969 I was fifteen.