James Macgregor Marriott.

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Sue
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James Macgregor Marriott.

Post by Sue » 14 May 2013, 12:31

When my Dad died last year, aged 95, I said I would write about his life on this site. Whilst I have numerous resources to go at, I have still not got round to it. However this forum will give me an opportunity to write some little snippets.

At the moment we are busy renovating the family home, in order to sell it. We have recently cleared our all the remaining boxes of ornaments, ephemera and such. My dad was an avid Burnley F.C. fan and had numerous newspaper cuttings,programmes, tickets, videos etc. indeed some of his archive material has been used in the many books recently written about the club, and his name appears in the credits. This formed the bulk of the boxes in the garage.

My sister is also an avid fan so my Dad left all this wonderful historical stuff to her. Jane collected the boxes last week and with the help of one of my brothers, also a keen fan, she is starting to catalogue things. However in these boxes are all sorts of other cuttings. One is a photo taken of my Dad in 1960, presenting a darts prize in his capacity as an area manager for Vaux breweries. He is the man in the middle, denoted by the fact that he is shaking hands with players on both sides of him. Dad was a mere 43 years of age!

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Let me tell you a little story about the darts championship. It was held yearly and the cups duly presented and engraved, then resided in a cabinet in my Dad's office. Now my Dad wore false teeth. As we had a close family friend who was a dentist, Dad had a number of pairs of teeth. Don't ask me why, but I think he found false teeth uncomfortable and would swap around the ones he wore. He had his favourites, one pair of which he kept in the office so if he had an important event or meeting he could freshen up with a clean pair of teeth. One year this spare pair went missing. He searched high and low and as they were his favourite pair he was most disgruntled about the loss.

Roll on to the annual darts presentation the same year. Speeches were made and the cups presented whereupon one of the winners was heard to say, "Are these yours Mr Marriott?" , and promptly produced the full set of gleaming gnashers from the depths of the cup. How they got there we will never know.

My dads life is full of little anecdotes like that.

The FA Cup is topical this week, perhaps sometime I will tell you the story of the brewery sports day that fell on the same day as the FA Cup. I think it was about 1967.
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Re: James Macgregor Marriott.

Post by Sue » 26 Jan 2014, 21:33

I have just had a fabulous afternoon and evening with my cousin Peter, browsing and identifying very old family photos and reminiscing on our Dads. He now has a CD of such photos and numerous other bits of memorabilia related to his Dad, uncle Wilf, plus a number of genealogical anecdotes and stories of the loves and lives of ancestors long gone. Believe me life does not change. Dad and Uncle Wilf much loved, sadly missed



This is a prelude to my next book My Widdup Family... Writing due to commence soon.
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Re: James Macgregor Marriott.

Post by LizG » 26 Jan 2014, 23:35

Lovely story Sue.
Liz

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Re: James Macgregor Marriott.

Post by Stanley » 27 Jan 2014, 04:40

Good story Sue and it strikes me that there will almost certainly be a connection with the Coronation at Horton Corner which was a Vaux House.
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Re: James Macgregor Marriott.

Post by Sue » 27 Jan 2014, 16:09

I am not certain but my cousin and I think this is my Dad. Note the clothes they are wearing.
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Re: James Macgregor Marriott.

Post by Sue » 12 Feb 2014, 20:48

Sheffield Blitz

During the Sheffield Blitz, Dad was on duty at a Barrage Balloon centre which was part of No 16 Balloon centre based at Norton. There were several sites through out the city that were linked to this centre .There were 300 men from each of 939, 940 and 941 squadrons of the RAF making up the unit. I think Dad was stationed in 939 Squadron which was based on Attercliffe Road , Sheffield. The blitz took place over the nights of the 12thh and 15th of December 1940. On the night of the 12th December almost 50 balloons were hit and damaged by shrapnel from our anti aircraft defences. The day after Dad wrote a letter to his mother, Nellie, dated 14th December 1940. She copied it out I presume to send copies to members of her family such as other sons and sisters living in Burnley. I have a copy of this letter and this is what it says.

Dear All
Just a line thats all. As you can see I am OK up to press. I was on duty through it all last Thursday night. We got the red warning at 7.3 and they were over immediately, At the beginning of the raid we were the first to be hit. They dropped several incendiaries on our building but our lads had them out in double quick time. The guard put five out straight away on the road by putting dust bin lids over them. But it was all to no purpose. Ours being a residential district, there were soon four fires burning all around us. One of the St Marks Church was burning like fury. Of course when Jerry came later he made straight for our end of the city where the fires were. Soon all the shops on the Moor were blazing so he made them his target. About . O clock I got a phone message,
“ Big waves of bombers approaching” “ Take all cover” .Of course I was on duty-it would be my night. Soon after that we heard the planes and shortly there was a terrific crash outside. The first of many and in came the windows and part of the frame. It blew my colleague off his chair (he was nearest) and he bumped into me and we both went on the floor. Luckily we had a cloth blackout over our side or we might have got cut. We put the blackout up again straight away as we were showing a light and found we were still on the phone. After that it was one long succession of thuds which shook the building. Then in a lull we went outside and Ye Gods all the city was burning the length of the Moor. Our H.Q. is ringed by craters and we were lucky not to have a direct hit. The phone went dead about 1.00a.m but we still had a private wire to our control room. The C.O up there kept in touch with me all the time. By this time we were in the passage outside my office because there was a danger of glass, and I was blown out once more when I went to answer the phone. Then things went fairly quiet until about 4,00 a.m., a delayed action bomb went off next door. I thought it was all over and got under the staircase and held my tin helmet on and hoped. The building sprayed us with bricks and clods of earth (it was mainly in the garden). It blew up two of our motor transports and badly injured three of our men. At 4.30 the All Clear went and so I went down to the hospital with the injured and got a lift part way home. My! !hat a journey but I walked home the rest of the way. It was terrible . Fires burning everywhere, but the worse place was the casualty ward in the hospital. The injured I mean. Anyway I got home, safely ( after walking past umpteen delayed action bombs) about 7.00 o'clock and found everyone O.K.
That's about all I know. I've seen the damage but the others can describe that. But what shocked me most of all was that hospital. I'll not go into details but I hope I never have to go in again.
I am now going back on duty. Three of our lines are now working so I will say Cheerio!
Jim
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