Friday 21st August 2009 would have been Pop’s 100th birthday.
I don’t know what he would have done by way of celebration. No doubt it would have been something that no centenarian should have been doing.
For his 89th birthday my then partner and I gave him a flying lesson (the first time he had ever been off the ground). He was trying to decide whether to go again for his 90th, or maybe try wing-walking instead ! Unfortunately he never got the opportunity.
So who was he ?…
You will probably not have heard of him.
He was born in Reading, Berkshire, UK and lived there until the last couple of years of his life. His working life was spent with Reading Corporation (the Council) until he took early retirement at the age of 60 “because he couldn’t fit work into his busy schedule !”, there were too many other things taking up his time.
One of the earliest “Radio Hams”, (G2BHS), he was into gadgets in a big way. I cannot tell you how many things were “liberated” by him over the years, but if somebody was getting rid of something and he could see a use for it…..
He and Mum were married in the mid-thirties (their late twenties). He was drafted into the RAF in 1938 because his radio experience was seen to be of use, and the war then got in the way of their early years together.
They adopted me in 1955 (poor sods). For a couple who were, by then, considered by so many organisations to be too old to adopt a toddler they certainly gave me a wonderful childhood and an excellent start in life.
Not what you would call large of stature, Dad was liked by everyone. You always knew where you stood with him. If he disagreed with anything that somebody did or said then he would give it to them straight. But if you needed a friend, he was first in line.
Today, though, seems to be the end of an era.
Although sad, putting somebody’s life into perspective seems easier soon after they have gone. There are start and end lines that their life fits in between. But today it is as if… that is it; the graph has run out, the edge of the paper has been reached.
We are inclined to say that people from history lived in the “such and such” century. Well the “Century” in which he lived has come to an end, and I’m not too sure how to cope with that. I wasn’t expecting it.
Since I had my accident nearly 3 years ago I could really have done with having the chance to talk to Dad about the problems and difficulties that I face every day. He was such a good listener, and I always knew I valued his opinion and could trust his advice.
Now, as he is lying there looking up at the hill that he enjoyed seeing so much over his last few years, I hope he knows that I miss him and love him so much.
Leslie Arthur Hensford 1909 – 1999
You and Amanda would have had such fun xxxx