My grandfather was stationed on the island "During the War"and was very friendly with a family from Arreton called Hendy. The mother's name was Lil and the father was affectionally called"Tit" (because he was quite small). After the war, my gramps and all the family visited Aunt Lil and Uncle Tit quite frequently. Tit grew his own veg in a back garden, I remember picking pea swads for him when I visited. They had a daughter called Ena (can't remember her husband's name) and a grandson called Ralph. Ralph, my mum said, worked for a garage somewhere in Sandown when he got older. The last address I have for Ena is at Arreton, near Newport, I.O.W. They were always very friendly and welcoming and were more like family than friends. Ena wrote to my gran in 1983 to say her father had passed away on March 8th, he was 91.
I am thinking of revisiting the Island sometime this year (2008) and would like to contact anyone who can remember the family, perhaps Ralph himself, maybe, who knows? My grandfather was called William Banks (Bill) his wife was Agnes and their son was called Keith. He married Veronica (Vera) and had three girls, Joanne, Stephanie and Frances. (We are all from Bolton, Lancashire).
I had fantastic holidays here and felt the place was magical.We did all the usual stuff, beach days and picnics up on the downs watching the planes, driving down the tree arched country lanes and visiting Blackgang chine, Godshill village and Carrisbrooke Castle, Alum Bay and hilly Ventnor. The evenings were balmy and star-filled with never-ending displays of fireflies swirling through the air. I've never seen them anywhere else in such abundance. I always remember the sand was so hot on the beach that you had to run from the surf's edge to your deck chair, or towel, so your feet didn't burn. My favourite place was Brown's boating lake, Sandown. On our later holidays we stayed in a guest house owned by Mr and Mrs Connolly in Sandown and Mr Connolly worked at Brown's so we had free boat use and an occasional ice cream too. My sister has visited friends on the Island in the last few years and says it is still quite unspoiled and quaint. I wonder if I have jogged anyone's memory of those war years, or of the late 60s and early 70s.
A memory shared byon Mar 4th, 2008.
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