British Pathe

Still from British Pathe film about Stanley TurnerIt was with great surprise and delight that we were alerted to a film clip by British Pathe. They’ve been releasing loads of archive films and who should turn up as the subject of one but my Granddad! The picture here is a still from the clip. You can view the whole thing here.

The family story goes that my Granddad moved to New York where he was working as a florist and market gardener when he managed to blind himself with a penknife. To this day my mum has a terrible fear of anyone poking themselves in the eye. In fact, to the point that she gave Little Owl one of those magnetic fishing games and almost immediately took it back off her because she thought the fishing rod held just such a danger!

Anyway, Granddad was treated at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, where although unable to see her, he fell in love with one of his nurses (my nan). Later they moved to Salisbury where Nan worked as a nurse in the Infirmary and Granddad was a patient, later getting a job operating the hospital telephone switchboard. Apparently he was a real character. He used to run the hospital sweepstake and once forgot to put it on, except that this time the horse won! Nan had to go all over town quietly selling things to pay everyone their winnings.

My Granddad died before I was born. I have a few sheets of braille that had been used to line drawers and a pack of braille playing cards but just remnants of a shadow really. In the film you can see Granddad, now with a bit of sight, with my Dad and my Uncle Mike. In the film Dad is aged just 3 but this year he will be celebrating a significant birthday (you can work it out from the date on the film but I’m not telling!). So, happy birthday Dad and thanks British Pathe for letting me meet my Granddad.

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