Trinity Men’s Fellowship Eccleshall - Staffordshire

 © Trinity Men's Fellowship       Webmaster David Sandham

David’s Marklin Train Set

My Father was a career soldier in the Royal Engineers and in August 1951 he was posted to Germany. We went as a family and he was stationed in Osnabrück. For that Christmas Mum and Dad bought me a Marklin Electric Train Set. I would have been eight at the time and I thought it was the most wonderful present ever! Every birthday and Christmas whilst over there I added to it until we were posted back to England.

The loco is made from solid metal, none of your plastics in those days. It has suffered a bit from use and apart from a few knocks the train experts amongst you will have noticed that the front bogey is missing.

There are four carriages, three for passengers and a goods / guards carriage. Again all tinplate.

The tracks have a central rail which supplies the power from a transformer

I have lots of track and points, two steam locos and a sprinter.  Also lots of extras , I especially liked the electric crane.

The train set must have been in store for at least 40 years from when my kids used it for a short while.

Pipping David Sandham's fabulous model railway by just one year here is my rabbit, bought new by my grandmother for the new-born me in February 1950.

Note the unisex design, pink ears and blue tail. As my parents already had a boy they had been hoping for a daughter and had already chosen a name. My Dad set off to the Registrars on the bus determined that I was to be called Brian. On the way he changed his mind.

The rabbit goes by the name of Bunny

Peter Wilshaw’s “Bunny” Rabbit


I think I can beat both Peter W and David for the age of toys.  Xmas 1947, I was nearly three years old.  Of course, the toy making industry had hardly restarted after the war.  Toys were scarce and expensive.  My Xmas present was this wooden tray of coloured bricks.  I think they had been made in someone's shed! Of course I loved them.  I could build with them and if I used my imagination I could build houses, bridges, yachts and, especially, see how high I could build a pile of them before they fell over!  I played with them for several years until the early 1950's when Meccano became freely available.

In the early 1970's, Ann and I were married, with two very young sons and living in Scotland.  When we visited my parents, to my amazement,, because I had forgotten about them, they produced the tray of bricks.  Both boys looked forward to playing with them when we visited.

As you will see from the pictures, we still have the tray and all the bricks. First our grandson played with them and now our five year old grand-daughter always likes to play with them when she visits. I find it very pleasing when so many children have so many sophisticated toys and games that they can still get pleasure from using their imagination. YIF Peter

Our Chairman’s building blocks


Trevor Harvey writes:-

I still have my Teddy Bear which was given to me on 1st.May 1935!

 (85 years ago this coming Friday)  I don't have the camera or

the ability to send you a picture but I did write a poem about him which

I presented to the Eccleshall Poetry Group last year.

                              HUMPHREY BEAR

This is Humphrey - looking old like me

but in fact he's only eighty-three

He thinks that he is really clever

and that he is going to live forever

You can see he's not a Steiff,

but I've had him nearly all my life.

With little eyes he tends to stare

and he's lost some hair - but we don't care.

I sucked his hands, and chewed his paws

I sometimes took him out of doors,

and when perambulating with my Mam

I bet I chucked him out of my pram.

He doesn't bark, he doesn't growl

but he consoled me when I used to howl.

He doesn't sneeze, he doesn't snore,

just sleeps quietly in a bedroom drawer

He's not a bear of ill repute,

looking smart in his little pink suit.

He makes me think of days of old

with his dark black nose and fur of gold

There was nothing that he could not do

better than the big bear in the zoo.

He used to comfort me and be my friend,

so I'll look after him till my journey's end.

 I also have a pre-war fireman with his ladder which he cannot climb up but comes down with great skill - sometimes head first.  This must be about 83 years old.

I transferred from the Wolf Cubs to the Boy Scouts in 1961. I inherited my older brother’s Scout shirt as he had given up. Our troop was one of several that chose to wear blue shirts and blue corduroy shorts. As you will see our neckerchief was also blue.

I wore the shirt throughout my time as a Scout and continued to wear it when I became a Senior Scout at 15. Two years later it all changed and the Seniors and Rovers merged to become Venture Scouts. We weren’t keen on the change and continued to wear the old uniform.

As can be seen the uniform still carries my Queen’s Scout badge and my Bushman’s Thong. Some may be envious (others will hate me) when I say that the shirt still fits me. I wore it (in I think 2008) for an event in the library arranged by the late John Allen to celebrate the centenary of the Scout Movement.

Youngsters should note that, in 1999 at the age of 49 when being interviewed for membership of the Parole Board for England and Wales - a Ministerial appointment, the Home Office panellist utilised all his allotted questions by asking me about my Queen’s Scout award.  He saw it as the best illustration of the qualities that were being sought.

Peter Wilshaw

Peter Wishaw’s Scout Shirt

The 6th February 1952 should have been one of the best days of mine and my cousin’s lives. Geoff and I had been cubs together, made sixers at the same time and had joined the 3rd Cheadle Hulme scout troop together.

We had camped, hiked and knotted together. We had gained second and then the first class badges and had been patrol leaders at the same time. We had represented the troop at swimming galas and sports meetings very successfully. We were unstoppable at troop meetings in the ‘games’ of British bulldog and hopping Johnny.

Then came the fateful day! 6th February 1952. A cold but bright day, I recall. We were notified by ‘phone that we had achieved the scouts Everest, we had qualified to become Queen’s Scouts!

What? Queen’s Scouts?

What’s all this about?

Surely we’re King’s Scouts?

“No, Queen’s Scouts” replied the GSM, because the King had died that very day. Long live the Queen.

Consternation! Queen’s Scouts. The ignominy! “You’ll just have to live with it” the GSM told us in no uncertain manner! Even though there were two King’s Scouts already in the troop, Geoff and I were forever the ‘Queens’, darling!

We have always been known as the ‘Darlings’!

David Milner shares his Queen Scout documents with us

A look at some objects which TMF members received, bought, or had bought for them, when they were young

Following Peter W's exhibit and David M's article, I thought the attached might add to the Scout Memorabilia theme.

Attached are pictures of my Scout shirt. I joined the Scout troop attached to my old school and the red and black necker is in the school colours and has a rather washed out coat of arms attached to it. The shoulder flash on the shirt gives the name of the school (Sir George Monoux Grammar School, Walthamstow).

I am in admiration of Peter and David having achieved their Queen's Scout Badge. It was a sad fact about belonging to the school troop, when one left the school, one tended to leave the troop (although, of course, one never really leaves the Scouts...). I left both at 17 (for a variety of reasons) and ran a youth club and became chairman of Waltham Forest Youth Council before going off to Uni (and becoming chairman of the Students' Union).

Also pictured is my old belt, with a few brands, including Gilwell, and my old patrol flag (Panther Patrol). I still have my old stave and my old camp fire blanket as well as one gaiter (?) and my Senior Scout Beret. For some reason I also have my old Cub Cap.

The camp fire blanket is looking a little sorry for itself now but still has on it a rare London County Badge, of the old pattern. My copy of the Scouting for Boys handbook resides at Gilwell somewhere.

However I am afraid i am not still able to get into my old shirt, and haven't been for years!

Having enjoyed Scouting, but only achieved modestly, it was ironic, coming to Staffordshire to join the County Executive and to later become a trustee at Beaudesert. I was delighted to be guest of Staffordshire Scouts at the St Georges Day Parade at Windsor some 20 odd years ago and still retain contact with Scouting today.

Once a Scout, always a Scout!

Bob Marsh continues the theme of “Scouting Memorabilia”

Dame Margot Milner dances again!

This is the 3rd Cheadle Hulme’s rendition of Swan Lake in the 1947 Gang Show. Cousin Geoff and David are the middle row ballerinas!

“The day war broke out” not Rob Wilton, whom some will remember as the droll wartime comedian but we, the family, were on holiday in St. Anne’s-on-Sea. I had, some few hours before, bought with my sixpenny piece pocket money, this luminous dog. I had always wanted a dog even at the tender age of four and a half. Now ‘wartime’ was another nail in that coffin. I had always had an imaginative bent so after much ‘research’ and discussion the new arrival was named ‘Dog’.

Back in Cheadle Hulme, Dog was my nightly glowing companion during the blackout, a time when even night lights were banned. It accompanied me into the air raid shelter which had been hastily built just across the road from our house during the first Manchester blitz. Later, as the sirens howled their chilling warning, my mother and I were bundled under the stairs guarded by the shimmering presence of ‘Dog’. Under the stairs because Dog didn’t like the cold, damp, smelly and uncomfortable air raid shelter.

Over the years,  Dog’s luminosity faded but it did find a niche in a corner in the toy box of our three children, a corner of loneliness because it was battered and added nothing to ‘modern’ play things. How Dog survived is a mystery! However, he still sits on top of a bookcase in the second bedroom in sad isolation.

David M’s enlightening little dog

On the right are pictures of two cannons that I was given about sixty years ago by a friend of my father’s.

Mr Kennedy had served in the French Foreign Legion and acquired these models that had been made from scratch by a colleague to while away the hours.

The all brass model has clearly fared better than the other. They both have hollow barrels & even a small hole for firing the charge!

I also received two books from Mr Kennedy, more of which later. I can still remember Mr Kennedy marching by on his way to the shops, knapsack on his ramrod straight back, well into his eighties. He had no family & I am grateful to have received his gifts.

Bob Marsh tells us about some handmade cannons