A German plane crashed outside Victoria Station but if you were one of the rich few you could always doss at the Green Park Hotel for 7/6 until the rubble was cleared. Of course, little was Hitler to know that my Dad had been called up that very month by the Royal Air Force with the express aim of kicking his German arse.
A short, moving service marked 76 years since the first Battle of Britain Day took place on the White Cliffs at Capel-Le-Ferne, Kent on Thursday.
Each year on September 15, members of the public gather at the site to pay their respects to the sacrifices made by RAF aircrew in 1940. The service began after a Spitfire flew overhead, and visitors gathered at the memorial site heard a delivery of Winston Churchill’s famous speech about The Few.
Battle of Britain Day is marked on 15th September each year to commemorate the defining battle in which the RAF repelled the German Luftwaffe’s largest major assault on London, 76 years ago.
The first battle to be fought almost entirely in the air, the Battle of Britain took place between July and October in 1940. Around 1,500 aircraft are thought to have taken part in the aerial warfare, in which men from New Zealand, Poland, Canada and Czechoslovakia fought alongside British soldiers.
Ninety four years ago today, my Dad, Alexander Walker Hamilton was born. He’s been dead since he was 58 but he’s still my Dad. Here he is with a young Mr H, outside our luxury holiday accomodation at Kinghorn, around about 1971.
Apparently it’s Fathers Day this month. Now, by the time my Dad died, 35+ years ago, that was some fancy American nonsense for jessies and / or the English. Today, a quick search on Amazon showed that there are 1,246 CDs available for purchase with titles like “The Best Dad In The World…Ever”, “My Dad Rocks”, “How It Works: The Dad: The Album”, “Dad – The Collection” and “Please Stop Beating Me Dad, I’ll be Good, I’ll Be Good”.
Back in pre-jessie days, my Dad owned precisely three records, accumulated over 40 years of passionate collecting. They were;
As I Love You – a 4 track EP by Shirley Bassey
The Best Of The Mills Brothers, and
Glen Daly Live at the Ashfield Club
Amongst his friends, this was regarded as affectation of the highest order. Most of them got by with a Josef Locke 78 for high days and holidays.
So, here for your pleasure, is his collection.
My Dad (below left)
You’re both lang deid, but on this day in 1961 you did the decent thing and got married. From left to right – Cath Muirhead, her husband, Molly Keepe (my Dads sister), Dad, Mum, Betty Graham, Phil McLuskey. Pictured in the glamourous Gillsland Hotel (they got it free as my Mum knew the cook!)
Apparently there is some Christmas thing happening about now, but to me, the 24th December will always be Deid Dad Day. Yes, it was Christmas Eve, 1980 when my Dad died, just after my Mum had nipped oot tae the shops with my Auntie Eva to buy some Christmas stuff, seeing as how my Dad was supposed to be staying in the hospital. But in the finest tradition of the NHS, they said he was OK to come home. The ambulance dropped him off late morning, my Mum went to the shops just after dinner, so it was just me and my Dad when he died.
Here he is, taking a short break from kicking Hitlers arse in World War 2, second from the left, at a military wedding. Do the click thing for a big version.
Mrs H had an auntie die this week. It was her Auntie Famie. I never met her as she’s moved to England a long time ago, along with her husband Bob Todd. I only found out her name was Famie Todd after she’d died, which was downright spooky because I had an Auntie Famie, who married a man called George Tod! So we both had Auntie Famie (Tod/ds). Weird.
Anyway, my Auntie Famie was actually my Dads Aunt, so she was my Great Auntie Euphemia. My Grans’ sister, Euphemia Moore Bell was born on February 5, 1906, in 3 Faraday Place, Addiewell, her father was William and her mother, Mary. She married George Robertson Tod on December 24, 1932 and died on March 18, 1994, at the Eastern General, at the age of 88.
Her Mum died when she was 2 years old, and she was farmed out to her aunt and uncle in Dalzel, Lanarkshire. I mainly lived with her and George from when I started primary school aged 4, up until I got the key to my Mum and Dads house when I was about 9. They lived 3 doors down from us in Temple Park Crescent and as I had a lisp as a youngster, she was always Mamie to me, as I couldn’t handle the letter F back then..
Picture 1 shows Famie as a young woman, with my Dad, and his sister Molly (Mary) and brother Ian (John), probably in either Breich Terrace or Addiewell, in the twenties.
Picture 2 shows George as a young man. He was a violin maker, and had a workshop in his house, as well as playing in orchestras and dance bands.*
Picture 3 shows Famie and George as I remember them in the seventies.
*picture taken by Drummond Shiels, Photographer, 70 & 72 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh
The Palais de Dance, Fountainbridge, Edinburgh was where my Mum & Dad met. It was also the place my Uncle Phil punched oot a certain Tam Connery. An amazing dancehall, according to my Mum, it was turned into a bingo hall and has been lying derelict for decades while a student housing builder tries to demolish it. Welcome to Edinburgh and their shameful cooncil.