February 2018 Speaker
Baddow & Galleywood U3A were pleased to welcome Roger Dorking to our recent afternoon meeting which was very well attended by about 80 of our members.
Roger now lives in Billericay but spent his early life in Witham, where his father was the village blackmith. His father was born in 1900, left school at the age of 14 and then worked in the local forge until he was 73 years old. As well as being the local Farrier and Smithy, he was also an accomplished singer at concerts in London, and at one of these the music accompaniment was by Benjamin Britten. Roger gave us an insight into what it was like to grow up in a very rural environment in the post war years, which reminded many of us of our early years as well; very minimalistic but happy times.
Roger’s father also became the Official Farrier to the Essex Shows and attended many ‘Point to Points’ and even helped out Harry Llewellyn in 1948 when his horse broke one of its shoes at the event.
Roger had some lovely photos on display and also showed us a Huntley and Palmer biscuit tin produced in the 1950s and more modern Royal Dalton plates which had been decorated with the original photos taken at the Farriers in Witham just after the war.
Our members were fascinated by his recollections and display of photographs.