I must first of all express my thanks to all those members who sent their best wishes following last month's newsletter. I am also most grateful to those of you who explained what would happen to the site if I died tomorrow, particularly Keith Laws and Robert Walden. The question of a successor now raises its head. But don't worry, I'm not thinking about giving it up.
On a personal note I finally bought a digital camera this week so no longer will I have to rely on the one at school being available. I intend to go out this coming summer break and redo some of the early and not very good photos that were taken a couple of years ago with a crummy old Casio. I might also make some progress on the village Tour Guide, who knows?
Talking of the village... Q Lawns have expressed an interest in taking over the maintenance of the Oak Garden as I mentioned last month so, once contracts are signed and agreed, the area should be smartened up. Banham Close is looking like its nearing completion; photos will follow when the sign goes up. Talking of naming roads, my wife went somewhere the other day and noticed some plaques attached to the road names which explained the origin of the name. Well this got me to thinking and so I discussed the idea with Ken Stowell, the A&H Chairman, who, after accusing me of being a glutton for punishment and needing my head examined etc, thought that it was a good idea and that we could apply it to Feltwell. First of all we need the stories behind our road names and then we have to find out how to cut through the red tape and find the money to have the plaques produced etc, etc. Maybe it will never happen in reality but in the virtuality of the Feltwell Website I think it stands a good chance of appearing....eventually.
Emails of interest from June include this request from Jacob Smith, "Have you got any photos or maps of poppylot farm area from the 1950s? or info as to where to find such info?" Let me know if anyone can help Jacob. Gaynor Emerson asks, "I noticed on the list that Richard Yeldon lived at 51 Birdview Square prior to me. I've tried to E-mail him but without any joy. Have you a more resent address for him please? I think he may remember Patrick Gatt & Philip Markillie also from Birdview Sq." Again, can anyone help, Gaynor?
New members include Joe L.Gonzales, another USAF member who lived in the flats in the former Rectory and who wrote, "When we lived in the Old Rectory the flats were nice and clean. We used to have to burn the trash out in front, in a wooded area. It was obvious that it had been a elegant building in the past. So glad it is restored to its original form. My wife reminded me that she used to take sewing lessons in the village and how friendly the people were. She was a young bride and away from home for the first time. I also remember a nurse coming to our flat to check on our son and me telling her that it was not necessary. She reminded us that he was a British citizen! I also remember getting coal delivered to our flat. The first time I went to the butcher and buying thick pork chops, I had never seen chops that thick. I stopped at the pub on the way home and some of the people asked about the United States and San Antonio,Texas in particular. Not many people had heard about San Antonio in 1965." Other additions to the family include John and Diane Feltner (USAF), Mark Read, whose parents still live in Feltwell and Lynn Jones, a USAF air-force child.
I have often in the past talked about why I run this site and newsletter. This next piece illustrates perfectly the fascinating and potentially rewarding nature of the work. On Wednesday night (25/6/03) the phone rang and a voice said, "You don't know me but my father lived in Feltwell in 1954 and could you help me trace a copy of a record he made?" The voice belonged to Andrew Hunt. His father, Frederick William Hunt, had won a competition to record a single at the Cambridge Palladium. Only 2 copies were made, one was lodged in the jukebox at The West End were Fred was a regular and the other was kept at The Oak. Andrew is trying to see if either copy still exists. Why? Because Fred died when Andrew was 3-weeks old and Andrew has never heard his father's voice. I really hope that there is a happy ending to this story. And that's why I run this website.