An interesting photograph has just come into my possession. It show one of our regular contributors meeting Her Majesty the Queen at Cologne in 1992, during the opening of the joint venture Project for European Wind Tunnel between Great Britain, France, Holland and Germany. The Project was in connection with the development of the Airbus. Gran as we all know him is the gentleman far right shaking the Queens hand. Gran was the Project Site Manager. This was one of many Major Projects that Gran was associated with Managing as many as 5000 men one particular Project.Not bad for an ex Head Wrightson Apprentice Templatemaker at Stockton Forge Works. Gran was educated at the old Stockton Secondary Grammar School in Nelson Terrace.
Gran played football for South Bank, Whitby Town, Billingham Synthonia, The RAF while on National Service in Singapore where he won the player of the year award. Recognised as the old type bustling centre forward Anon my remember him in the local leagues before he moved up in the standard of play he finally achieved.
Photograph and details courtesy of Ben Brown.
Bob Wilson and John Wilson, Five Lamps, Thornaby, meet the Queen.
June 1977. We both had a day off work and visited Ascot Races, London, for Ascot Gold Cup Day (a/as Ladies Day) it was a very hot day and whilst walking around we decided to walk over to the stables to have a glance at the horses being prepared for racing, for security reasons you are not allowed inside the stable area but you can stand at the riders exit gate in order to view the proceedings, because it was a bright sunny day I suggested to brother John that we walked over to a large tree nearby too stand under it for some shade. We had only been there a minute or so when John said to me words to the effect of: “Look, there’s the Queen”. Looking over I saw a small group of people leaving the stable yard and who were walking towards us with H.M.Queen leading the way, John was a bit of a comedian and he whispered to me “For gods sake, don’t put your hand in you’re pocket in case the Royal Bodyguards think your reaching for a gun and shoot us both.” I found this comical and began to smile when lo and behold the Queen and her Lady in Waiting walked under-the same-trees branches and joined us there. I was well aware of Royal Protocol, rules and expectations and nudged John, we both bowed to HMQ, a few words were exchanged and both John and I, smilingly and whilst bowing slightly and walking backwards left the shade of this beautiful tree, so HMQ could gain some quiet privacy and shade. A never to be forgotten moment in both our lives. A French horse named Sagaro won the Gold Cup for the 3rd time, which is a record I think still stands.
Gran started playing junior football for Oxbridge Juniors, Stockton West End & Head Wrightsons before going into the Northern League, as you say Ben he was an old type bustling centre forward on the pitch, but a gentleman off it.