Were you a “radar family” from Malvern? Do you have memories to share – and pictures? Please help me compile a family album and a social history…
I am sure, like me, you have old photos …
They’re probably gathering dust in a box in the attic or under a bed.
You might think they’re only of interest to your immediate family.
But those who know what it was like to be part of a Malvern Radar family might love a look and share in the nostalgia. Please share them here!
Just recently, one of the studio crew at ITN where I used to present The Wright Stuff and the Jeremy Vine Show, came up to me and said she thought our dads had worked together in Malvern. And when we both looked out old photos – we found them standing close together – obviously part of the same team!
But we Diamonds lost our matriarch recently, my lovely mum Marguerite, and with her we lost the keeper of the family archive of memories and photos. If there’s anything positive that can come with the devastating loss of your mum, it’s the nostalgia such a bereavement sparks, and the way the family gather together at the dining table, late at night in front of the telly, or via Whats App, and start to look again at photographs that haven’t seen daylight in decades and which many members of your family didn’t even know existed.
It’s an odd experience, interrupted for the last year by COVID. But before social distancing and lockdown restrictions stopped me and my sisters going through the family mementoes, we did start to discover a few wonderful old pictures – like one of my ma and pa fancying themselves as a Hollywood glamour couple when they’d only just started courting back in Nineteen Forty Something. They’re lying on the grass in Priory Park in Malvern, in a summer when we were still at war.
And another shows my dad and his team, with leader Bernard Lovell who, of course, was the genius radio astronomer who went on to be knighted, and founded Jodrell Bank.
There are other photos of the radar boffins of Malvern – if your mum or dad is there, PLEASE let me know! What’s your story? What’s theirs?
They had a hard time at first – those young scientists, when they arrived in Malvern. Viewed with HUGE suspicion by the locals, they were suspected of being conscientious objectors or spies. Because obviously the young men should’ve been in uniform, and in active service.
Do you have any pictures of your parents in those early days?
Or perhaps, if yours stayed and built a life in Malvern, were you a radar kid? Living in a ministry house, like me? Any pictures or stories? I would love to see them – and so would others. Go to the tab on this site that shows you how to easily upload your pictures and narrative. Do join in…
Here are just a few interesting pictures I have come across:
My mum (Marguerite Diamond nee Manson) and dad (James “Jimmy” Diamond) courting in Priory Park in Malvern! They were often with friends who are seen in the other picture. I think they are Gwen (?) and George Hawkins and I think it was George who was the keen photographer…Who was my Mum with in Trafalgar Square? I seem to remember her name was Phyllis and she MAY have been a GI bride…?
Obviously those are old wartime pictures – and that era was defining for our families’ lives in Malvern – but let’s also share pictures and stories from later years – what it was like to grow up in Malvern post war – in the Moon Landing years (I remember my father being very excited about that and coming home with some small NASA bits and pieces that had been given to radar scientists! – like a silver laminated replica of the plaque the Apollo 11 astronauts left on the Moon)
- Who was your local doctor (in those days they used to do home visits!)
- Where did you go to school?
- Who were your neighbours?
My sisters and I are yet to go through the family albums to find more pictures of what life was like, living in those ministry houses, with the big gardens and the party telephone lines!!!
I’ll keep posting here. Please join in.