Gordon E. Gandy
Gordon Edwin Gandy, Dad, or as mum affectionately called him: ‘G’, was born in Back Dallam Lane near the Three Pigeons pub on 9 July 1928.
He spent a lot of his early childhood with his granny and attended Richard Fairclough School, leaving at 15. With the earnings from his paper round he bought himself ‘a really decent bike’, and he would ride off to Wales for the weekend with his mates.
One of his first jobs was at Newton’s scrap yard where he was supposed to be training as an accountant, but they just had him delivering letters on a bike for six months so he gave that up.
At 16½ he had two trials for Wigan Athletic Football Club and they wanted to sign him up when he was 17, but his dad refused to sign the forms on religious grounds, so he went to live with his mum in London, who had separated from his dad by this time
He tried to get onto the railways but his colour-blindness let him down, as did a perforated eardrum, which also stopped him joining the forces.
He came back to Warrington when he was 20 after receiving a letter saying his dad was suffering from cancer, who died in 1950 aged just 49.
He also worked at Richmonds – The Radiation – where he got his passion for cricket. Dad was a lover of all sports and in later life played crown green bowls for England.
When he was 25 he developed a lung abscess, which resulted in a long hospital stay. It was around this time that he met mum – she was 21. Their first date was a night at the flicks – the Empire Picture House – in June 1953.
He also worked on the buses (Crosville and the Corporation, five years on each).
Mum and Dad were married in 1957 when Dad was 29, and Mum was 25.
Another one of his jobs was as a labourer. He worked for a company called Edwards who had a contract to help construct one of the runways at Speke airport, now Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
He also drove wagons for Chadwick’s paper bag company in Howley, with many trips to Yorkshire on the A62 without power steering as he once said (no M62 then).
In 1963 he began working at Greenings Wire Works, where he gave 17 years service until the firm went bust in 1980. He was one of the boilermen towards the end.
Dad was a volunteer for St John Ambulance and attended many of the Warrington rugby games at Wilderspool Stadium to assist with first aid, working alongside the doctors and other medical staff.
He was active in retirement – he loved fishing and gardening. during his other leisure time he played darts and snooker, winning many trophies along the way.
He also did a bit as a compere at Whitecross social club in his time. He had a good singing voice – I’ll show these pop stars a thing or two, he’d often say. One of his favourite gags was to ask someone to take a button round to Mrs Jones and ask her to sew a shirt on it!
Later he and mum became members of the Help the Needy Over Sixties club at Whitecross Centre, where dad was treasurer for a brief period under my tuition.
Technology was not his thing. One of the funniest stories was when he rang his sister in the Netherlands – but he could never get past the answer phone message – he always used to hang up before the bleep, saying it’s all in Dutch!
Our Mum, Joyce, always called him Second Hand Gandy – you want it, I’ll make you one. He once made us the best kite ever out of brown paper and string when the plastic one he bought us at Trearddur Bay broke. He also made a deluxe kitchen window opener made out of Greenings wire!
But despite all his illnesses he never gave up. He went with me to the rugby matches shown on Sky at the pub every week. He also watched Warrington Town football club and Bank Quay Bulls Rugby team on Dallam Park.
He fulfilled three ambitions in retirement – one was to fly (he visited his mum in the Netherlands). Another was to see the Tower of London and the Crown Jewels (I took him there in the last year of his life) and the third was to see the Edinburgh Military Tattoo (which he did as part of his and mum’s Golden Wedding celebrations in 2007).
He died on 21 January 2008 at home, aged 79. His mum outlived him, dying at the age of 101 in 2010.
Lived in Longford
Went to Richard Fairclough school
Left school aged 15
Trained as an accountant
Had trials for Wigan Athletic football club aged 16
Lived in London for a while
Drove wagons over to Yorkshire for Chadwicks paper bag manufacturer
Worked on Liverpool John Lennon airport runway construction
Worked at Richmonds (The Radiation)
Showed an interest in cricket
Worked as bus driver for 10 years
Ill health prevented him working on the railways or joining the forces
Met his future wife in 1953
Married in 1957
First of four children born in 1959
Second child born (Gordon Jnr) in 1963, with third and fourth in 1965 and 1969 respectively
Started work at Greenings wire in 1963
Was compere at Whitecross Social Club
Retired aged 65
Took up fishing for a hobby
Joined over sixties club (was treasurer for a while)
Played flat green bowls for England and won may other trophies for darts and snooker
Celebrated his Golden Wedding with mum in 2007.