Looking To The Past

Looking To The Past

Last week, my dad finally managed to read my Father’s Day post. I say finally, although this is no fault of his own. My dad is not the most technological of people. He is often heard saying “how do I do a google” and staring at the computer perplexed when an email comes through.

My dad rang me to say he read it (my Mum looked it up for him!) and apart from saying thank you for the kind words (I gush) he said something that has stuck with me. He said “You take after our dad for your writing skills. He had a way with words too.” I was taken aback. Not only at the fact that someone complimented me on my writing skills, but that I possibly had a trait to someone from, in my view, so long ago.

You see, I’ve never met my Granddad. Even typing the word Granddad is kinda alien to me. I had another Granddad, but we called him Gabin. For the longest time, we thought this was his name. Imagine my befuddlement when Gabin received some post one day addressed to Bill. WHO IS THIS MAN AND WHY IS HE LIVING IN THIS HOUSE?! I should explain that we called him Gabin as my brother couldn’t say Granddad, so this came out instead and it just stuck.

Anyhoo, back to Granddad Reynolds.

I never got to meet him. Unfortunately he died way before my time. I’ve always wondered who was this man that I am related to, but never got to meet? Am I like him in anyway?

Whenever my Dad speaks about him, he has a slight tear in his eye. You can tell he is looking back with love and fond memories.

He was a man with 8 children. He was hardworking and the very most important thing to him was his children. I’ve seen a video shot way back in the 60’s shot with some sort of Cine camera of the time. In it, my Nan and Granddad are at Woolacombe Beach with the whole family. Plus boyfriends and girlfriends of the older siblings. So basically, a gang of Reynolds’s descended upon the beach for a small takeover.

There is a bit where my auntie’s boyfriend (now Husband) jumps up behind Granddad, makes him jump and a small tussle ensues between young man and future Father In Law. The play fight is ever so blurred due to the quality of the camera, but you can see the smiles from everyone watching, and from those taking part in this mild wrestling match.

You could tell that the relationship between my future Uncle and Granddad was one of fun and laughter. Not the stiffness and boredom you might expect from a time where YOU MUST RESPECT YOUR ELDERS and only speak to say “please” and “thank you”.

My dad dug out an article about a letter my Granddad wrote to the Swindon Advertiser in the 60’s.  I was overwhelmed at the language and kindness it exudes. Excerpt below:

Blunsdon Interlude

I would like to express my gratitude, through your columns, to the children of Blunsdon Junior School.

One morning recently they were, albeit quite unknowingly, the source of an extremely pleasant and nostalgic interlude.

I was striding along the road near the school, hurrying to keep an appointment, with my head beset with the problems of the moment. Very few circumstances would have made me stop so willingly , so urgent was my mission, but I was halted at the sound of a carol carrying softly across the misty morning air. I stood there, and from the grey old building of yesteryear came the sweet cadence of children’s voices singing Hark The Herald’s Angels Sing, and my mission was forgotten in the tranquility of the moment.

For those moments of deep content, I would like to say “Thank You” to those children of Blunsdon School.

D Reynolds

64 Lydiard Park, Swindon

The school wrote a lovely letter back to say thank you, which again is equally as sweet and well written. The head mistress says the school children were unaware they had an audience.

As I typed this out, I felt emotional as I was typing the exact same words he wrote, all those years ago. I was repeating history, two generations later. Is it possible that we were thinking the same thoughts as we both wrote it?

He didn’t write this to gain likes, or followers, or a sponsorship deal. He wrote this to purely say thank you for a lovely experience. A simple joy of hearing a carol choir sing changed his tone for the day, and he felt compelled to write and say thank you. Isn’t that just a lovely thing?

I wonder if he would have liked my blog? I picture him reading my blog in quiet appreciation and chuckling along at the funny bits. Which, oddly enough, is exactly what my dad did.

Me and my dad got chatting about my Granddad some more, and it turns out I am very much like him in other ways. Both in my mannerisms and my skill set. So if, as it turns out, that I get my writing skills from this lovely man, then I am very blessed indeed.

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1 Comment

  1. 5th July 2017 / 8:59 pm

    Great post, I recently lost my dad and can so relate to tgis post. I recall all the many fun times we had together.

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