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|01 Born 1919. Father worked Lambourne racehorse. Mother housewife. 4 brothers, 4 sisters. Father tended racetrack. I worked there while waiting for engineering apprenticeship. War started. Joined RAF.|
|02 RAF training as armourer & air-gunner in various places. Stationed Harwell 1941-4. |
|03 Posted to Lincolnshire, then India. Left 1946. First time left home. Harwell near parents. Was asked to…|
|04 …work as armourer at Hampstead Norris – enjoyable. Knew wife when she was 5, I was 8. She visited her grandmother in my village, Kingston Lisle, yearly. I got to like her.|
|05 She was 17 when war started. Didn`t see her for 4 years. Met her again on leave. Married 6 months later. Married 52 years. She died nearly 9 years ago.|
|06 After war, worked at Nalder & Nalder, Challow, making machinery.|
|07 First child born 1945, Lincolnshire. Had 3 daughers. Lived in Kingston Lisle.|
|08 Diagnosed February 1968. Had felt ill & GP said dyspepsia. Collapsed in garden. Taken to Warneford – mental hospital. Came round after 3 days. Doctor said high sugar levels. Had given me electric shock, but couldn`t continue if diabetic.|
|09 They thought I`d got mental problem. Doctor asked silly questions. Allowed home for weekends, but attached to Warneford until August. Thought I`d never escape.|
|10 Warneford couldn`t understand why not diagnosed with diabetes before. Probably had it for years – had often felt ill. Shock when came round in hospital. Diagnosed with diabetes a few days later. Couldn`t understand why treated for mental problems. Waited week before put on something permanently…|
|11 …at old Racliffe Hospital. Tablets. Felt better. Didn`t know how long I`d been diabetic. Went to diabetic ward at Churchill. Still went every day to Warneford. Strict diet. Weighed everything. Wife taught how. Had week in old Radcliffe to test different diets.|
|12 Tried diet of pulses. Liked it & stayed on it until wife died. Wife froze portions. Added to casseroles. Evening Standard reported on my diet.|
|13 Used to drop blood on strip. Now have Soft Test & Glucotrend. Told I didn`t need to do it every day. |
Workmates good. After diagnosis, often felt funny – lay down in first aid room. Embarrassed.
|14 Worked 23 years in engineering. Work got too heavy. Moved to Pressed Steel in 1969 as production line inspector. Found faults…|
|15 …and steel sent back. Caused arguments. |
Workmates reacted well to diabetes - becoming more common. After me, 2 brothers & 3 sisters got it. Doctor said genetic.
|16 In car industry until 1975. Then Greenhams medical supplies until retired,1983. Made machines for hospitals. When go for physiotherapy, they`re probably using machines I made. After retirement, gardened, made anything mechanical, did wood-turning…|
|17 …joined gliding club. Can still glide if accompanied. Also flew microlights. Met man I knew from microlight club…|
|18 …& he took me up over Whitehorse Hill. |
Still drive car. Diabetes hasn`t stopped me doing anything. I`m active & careful – don`t have beans as often since wife died…
|19 …don`t leave time to cook. |
Sometimes collapse in garden, crawl in, take Mars bar & tea.
Soon to have cataract operation. I go running & walking, but leg problems since carrying memorial for friends who crashed in war.
|20 Made memorial stone for site nearby where crashed, 1942. Damaged back. |
Targets keep me going e.g. wing-walking. I`ve felt ill sometimes, but want to do things before too late.
|21 Used to be terrified of medical staff. Now they`re friendly. I bring notes of what I want to ask.|
|22 Long waiting times at hospital. |
Once they were going to give me insulin. John Radcliffe said sugars dangerously high. GP persuaded them not to…
|23 …put me on insulin. Brother on insulin doesn`t enjoy life as I do. GP has just left, but her replacement nice too – listens to you.|