We went to see my wife (Carole's) Dad on Saturday 12th December. It was his 87th birthday and he was born in this little town of Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex in 1928.
He worked as a shipwright close to where the photograph of the telephone box is. It is a dead industry now, but he goes out for a walk along the sea wall every day. He even used to swim by the creek until the summer of this year.
He likes to eat his lunch out every day and goes to the many pubs, cafes and restaurants in the small town. He is the alfresco man of Burnham-on-Crouch, joke Carole and myself.
Everyone knows him and he always talks of old school friends that have passed away every time we visit. This is sad, but he keeps his chin up and plods along. Besides my wife Carole, he has three other children (all grown up) Two sons and another daughter. A son and a daughter live in the streets close by.
He is a very active man who likes to get out and about as often as possible. He does not enjoy the winter months too much because this hampers outdoor movement for him as he feels the cold more then most younger people.
After our pub lunch, we went for a walk along the sea wall and I took some snaps on my mobile phone. The shipwrights where he worked all of his working life is no longer there. His father and grandfather did the same trade too.
His grand father used to be in a racing yacht crew for Kaiser Wilhelm II before the Great War and Carole's Dad did work on Edward Heath's Morning Cloud yacht. He always tells many interesting stories and on this visit he spoke of the great floods of 1953 when he was 25 years old. He was enlisted to help make sand bags to prevent further flooding. He said the wall of sand bags only just held, but it was touch and go when the tide came back in.
I always enjoy going to my wife's town of birth because it is still so cut off and remote. A bit like March, where we live in the Fenland.
Being from East London's Bow and Poplar districts, I always knew I never wanted to live in the city for the rest of my life. Despite being a city kid, it was never in me. I enjoy a day visit, but to live in the city... No way! I like the rural things with a nice town close by.
Burnham-on-Crouch as this appeal. The shipwright's that Carole's Dad worked for sent him all over the world. He always came back to Burnham-on-Crouch - the little town of his birth, his fathers town and his father's, father's town. If that ain't roots; I don't know what is... ?