2/23/12 09:00 pm - pondering how to get to my uncle reg's funeral: tuesday morning in nottingham
he is - was - the last-surviving of my mother's brothers, the one who took on running the wharfe transport cafe in newark - the family business - from "nana", our grandmother, when she retired (initially to a life of globe-trotting the nearer parts of the empire - which had begun variously to evaporate/turn itself into the commonwealth - :-)), after having taken on much of the work she'd done, and many of the hours she'd worked 'til then, in addition to his own, and tried to do what he could to help his sister and her children, my sisters & brothers and myself, that my mother would permit him to do; whatever the original reasons for the poor (or worse) feelings between my mother and the rest of the family in newark, uncle reg (together with aunt joan, his wife, and nana) was always happy to have any of my brothers & sisters and myself visit, whether for a week-end, a week or a fortnight's summer holiday, or just for a cup of tea en passant up or down the A1, the great north road.
in the fifties and sixties, he used to race the trains in his jaguar, and had a few stories to tell of using his at least slightly silver tongue to convince motor-cycle police patrolmen to refrain from "ticketing" him for speeding; later, after the inter-city 125s were introduced, the habit had to be abjured as it was no longer a sport - and no longer safe.
he'd loved the spitfire and, i think, hurricane, though i'm not certain whether he flew them - either of them - during his national service; i think he learned to fly after the second world war, and after his n.s, on light aircraft. (bicbw)
uncle reg wasn't much of a reader, save for biographies and murder mysteries, maybe; but he didn't have very much time away from the cafe after newark-on-trent was bypassed by the improved A1, and trade dropped to mostly local truckers - and anglers, in season; eventually, the cafe and the land were bought by the council, and the building knocked down as part of "improving" the town; by then, uncle reg was glad to retire - and aunt joan was glad for him to, also.
he had a temper on him that could be provoked - but i never knew him do a mean thing.
and he went on trying to help us, in his way, and to the extent that his sister, my mother would let him, much longer than experience must've told him very clearly she welcomed.
uncle reg wasn't particularly musically-inclined, but encouraged his children to the extent that they evinced an interest; he was happy to replace the old upright piano with a baby upright, and practised relatively easy pieces, and scales - though not arpeggios! - and was immensely pleased to have learned to play the beautiful piano piecc i've therefore chosen to accompany this.