Thomas Lee Manchester (1918-1995)
My father, Thomas Lee Manchester, (not to be confused with my great-grandfather, who had the same name), was born in Newcastle-u-Lyme in 1918, the only child of Albert Manchester and Drusilla Renshaw.
He was educated at Wolstanton Grammar School until he decided instead on an engineering apprenticeship. In the 1939-45 war he joined the Royal Air Force as an aircraftsman and was sent to South Africa.
He was married and divorced before returning to England and marrying my mother Gertrude Hough in 1955, living in the Bradwell district of Newcastle-u-Lyme. I was born there in 1956 and my mother died one year later. Within a few months he married again, remaining in Bradwell.
He worked for Goodwins, an engineering firm near Trentham, Staffordshire and later for Akron Engineering, until his retirement.
His hobbies were photography, electronics and motor mechanics. He also had some skill at technical drawing. An educated man of fairly simple tastes, he loved classical operatic singers such as Mario Lanza, Joseph Locke and Richard Tauber. He had a penchant for three-wheeled vehicles, first owning a Bond Bug and later a series of Reliant vehicles. Most of our family holdays were spent in caravans in Tenby, South Wales.
In middle age he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
He maintained a regular correspondence with his cousin John Renshaw Starr, to whom he bore a very close physical resemblance in his middle and later years.
He died in December 1995 some weeks after a fall down stairs at home.