Neville John William Day 7 March 1922 - 26 November 1990
Help from Neville’s Father. John William Day: 25 December 1896 - 5 December 1986.
At the time John Day was trying to help with his son Neville's problems, my own Father, a former WWII RAF elite Pathfinder Squadron 7 Lancaster bomber pilot was killed in a tragic accident. On 16 April 1950 in Switzerland in a high mountain air crash attributed, though disputed by some conspiracy theorists, to navigator error, along with inclement weather. My late Father piloting a Handley Page Halton, four engine, freighter aircraft fuselage number G-AHDX. Leaving my Mother and me, as only child, bereft of husband and Father but also of breadwinner. Difficult in those days for a young widow of twenty five with a nine month old child in tow.
One such peer was my maternal Grandfather, Harry Hopkins 1897-1962, appointed one of, if not probably the country's first County Council Planning Officer, following the recent implimentation of the Town and Country Planning Act 1947.
Harry Hopkins and John Day also always drove the same model Vauxhall motor cars. This probably aided in cementing their lifelong friendship, despite actually having quite different, albeit amiable personalities. That and the whisky. Fortunately large Vauxhall motor cars of those days knew their own way home.
Thus a marriage (eventually) was spawned in the lounge bar of the Bell Hotel, Norwich. With the help of renowned distillers Matthew Gloag & Son.
The first rendezvous for Neville, Barbara and me, her son, was thus arranged for some date in late 1952, on the platform of Wisbech Railway Station.
Click image to enlarge
Understandably the, at the time, largely God-fearing villagers of Neville Day's home village of Marshland St James would have been in shock following this auspicious, not to say somewhat scandalous event but eventually it seems overcame their horror. Neville Day's copious affability undoubtedly providing the antidote.
Chris Latham-Smith 2022.
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