Harry Lamin 1921-1961

Written by Catherine, Bill's daughter:
After the war Harry went back to work at the lace factory. At this point Dad draws on his own memories of Harry. He describes remembering staying with him with his sister Anita and sharing a double bed, the smell of pipe smoke and playing with his hammer shot gun (a perfect toy for a 6 year old).

Anita recalls a Sunday afternoon where her grandfather woke up screaming with nightmares from the war. His mother claimed that Ethel had burnt all of Harry's letters, but fortunately it was only her own letters that she destroyed.

Dad's memories of his grandparents are rather vague since it was 40 years ago that his grandfather died, but he recalls walking to the gasworks for coke (for the fire) and lemonade from the little corner shop, which was a special treat that wasn't allowed at home. He says that in childhood every Sunday his grandparents would visit with fruit gums, pastilles and a bar of chocolate, items that had been rationed and so were still considered a big treat (Dad just asked whatever happened to Fry's 5 Boys Milk Chocolate?). He would walk to his grandparents house after school, as it was only a little bit further then going home.

Harry often frequented the horse racing, which his wife did not approve of, he went to Southall on the other side of Nottingham. Dad says that he doesn't recall if Harry ever particularly won, and as a child he is sure that any significant losses would have been kept from him.

One of the more interesting stories describes the move to Gordon Street from Mill Street. Harry was reluctant to move house, possibly because his home was one place where he felt safe after everything he had been through, so one day Ethel moved everything to his new home while he was at work. From Gordon Street, Dad recalls watching football out of the window, which is perhaps where his love of the game came from.

Even now, while struggling with his illness, Dad has said repeatedly that his grandad is a huge inspiration to him, while in hospital he said that one thing that kept him going was thinking about all the things Harry went through and yet remained strong.

I would like to finish with a quote from the book, made more poignant by the fact that whenever Dad has felt particularly unwell he has echoed his own grandfather's words:

"Harry retired at sixty-five in 1952, and lived until 1961, when he died peacefully at home. My mother, telling me of his death, reported that he said, 'I've had a good life'"

1 comment:

Tim Walters said...

Hi Catherine. I was shocked and stunned when I heard about your Dad this morning. I found out through family who found out through friends. I used to work with your Dad for several years at Pool School in the IT Dept. Im not sure I ever met you although I know Lucy used to pop in a few times. I havent seen Bill since last year but would be grateful if you could pass my best wishes on to him and the rest of the family.