Christmas 2002
Belief - October 2002
Belief - December 2002
The Blackbird
Christmas 2002
Funny old Day
Golden Wedding
Local Ministry
Once in Royal...
Railway Engineering




At Christmas 2002-12-16

Next year is 2003 during which in April I may attain the age of four-score. This year I sent out roughly 130 Christmas cards, all of which bring back memories of many of those years and to the senders of them, I am most grateful both for their remembering me and for many kind messages. It would be unreasonable for me to try and send a personal letter to each, recalling the places and events we have in common , much as I would like to do so – hence these ‘random thoughts’, which may be of interest, if only in places. I have written the beginnings of an autobiography, but the completion of a hundred pages or so has brought me only to 1956 or thereabouts. There is much more to be written and I hope the memory will hold out until it is.

Next year it will be sixty years since I left home in 1943 and “Stourbridge, Worcestershire” ceased to be my home address. The war-time government in its wisdom had decided that I could make a better contribution to the war effort by producing gas, petrol, explosives, road-tar and aspirin than by applying my three-years’ training as an officer cadet. A promising military career was thus aborted and I became a trouble-shooter in the gas industry - an equally valid description, perhaps, of my second career as a “Clerk in Holy Orders” This unexpected turn of events probably preserved me from being shot on D-Day!

Since then I have been fortunate in having travelled the length and breadth of Great Britain, from the Butt of Lewis and Lerwick to Land’s End, Guernsey, and Lowestoft Ness. In 1948 and 1949 I spent several months in Denmark for full measure. This wandering life has been very useful in that still, when I meet someone for the first time, it is most likely that I have lived at some time or other within an hour’s drive or less of where that person lives. This makes conversation easy.

Next year, too, it will be fifty-six years since Mavis and I were married, and six years since she died soon after we celebrated our Golden Wedding. It will be forty years since I abandoned an engineering career, fifty three years since we ‘settled’ in Scotland and forty three years since we left that delightful country for Kent where we lived for six years until 1967. That year I was ordained and we moved to Gloucestershire where we were to spend the next twenty-three years before retiring in 1990 and moving to Wiltshire.

I have now lived in Upavon, Wiltshire, for longer than I have lived anywhere since first leaving home in 1943.

© The Estate of William John Green, 2004