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Len was my Dad who was born In Birmingham, England in 1915, an identical twin with his brother Dennis, and died in Musgrove hospital, Taunton, Somerset, England in 2000 after an operation to remove his artifical hips. He died after an angina attack and had he been properly monitored his death could probably have been avoided.
Dad was a member of the Boys Brigade and met Ivy Fox in the Emanuel Church in Alum Rock where they were married in 1937. They bought a new semi detached house at 74 Heathway, Castle Bromwich, Warwickshire where I was born in 1940.
He was employed firstly in a newspaper office as a telegraph operator and was therefore proficient in Morse Code which was how news was communicated in those days.
He was later employed by the Metropolitan Cammell and Carriage works as a bus body fitter working on the construction of the London Tube trains. The factory was employed in arms manufacture in the build up and during WWII so those working there were in reserved occupations but most served in the Home Guard in their spare time and Dad was an anti aircraft gunner for the duration of the war.
After the war, bus construction was moved to Elmdon where my Dad cycled to work each day until he began to fall off his bike and was diagnosed with meniere's disease which affects your balance. The doctor recommended we move away from the industrial area into the countryside to improve Dads health so we moved to North Petherton, near Bridgwater in Somerset where Dad was first employed with Hardy Spicer. He then moved to British Cellophane where he was the "pot man", responsible for the awful smell that the factory chimney then emitted, now long gone.
In 1956 I left home to go to college in London. My best friend there was Dick Goodey and we regularly went to my home at weekends in various Austin 7's which we built and wrecked with impunity. He is pictured here imitating a goat! We had regular visits in Somerset from the Fox family especially Uncle Syd and his wife Sheila with Aunty Mary and Alf eventually moving to Somerset. The photo on the left is one of those family Christmases circa 1957/8. Above right is Sue, Dad and Mum at Bodnant in Wales when they lived at Brecon.
Dad ended up working for Cryptons, assembling transformers, before he retired and moved with Mum to Brecon in Wales. He missed Somerset so they moved back to live in Minehead for a few years before missing Brecon and living there again before moving back yet again to Minehead in a flat and finally to sheltered housing in Dulverton.
Towards the end of his life Dad suffered from angina and pain from his artifical hips. A second replacement was impossible so the decision was taken to remove both hips which would remove the pain but leave him disabled and wheelchair bound. Because of his angina the operation had to be performed under local anesthetic and was actually postponed once just before the surgeon was about to begin when he had an angina attack. He survived the operation but died in Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, Somerset from heart failure after an angina attack a couple of days later.
Created on Jun 7th, 2015