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Stephen Fletcher Filbin - 10th March 2000 - Aged 49 (but only just).  Born in Halifax, Yorkshire, United Kingdom on 24th May 1950 (they used to put flags out on my birthday because it was Empire Day!?! --- then it became Commonwealth Day  -- and now it is just my birthday).  Married with two sons.  Wife – Susan Angela (nee Latter) - part Armenian Turk with relatives in Athens – very beautiful and preparing something for the 24th (panic); James Edward Charles (12) – into computer strategy games and Rugby Union ; and William Joseph Fletcher (7)  - into Robot Wars (UK TV programme) and a bundle of …. 

 

I have a PhD in Operational Research and work for Cap Gemini as the “Head of the Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing Practice” here in the UK.

 

My parents were Maud Anne Fletcher (born 19th October 1913 in or around Calver, Derbyshire or Burton-on-Trent) and Edward (St)John Filbin (born 24th April 1919 in Blackburn, Lancashire).  Family homes were all around Halifax – Haley Hill, Boothtown (with maternal grandfather) until 1ish; Booth Terrace (off Queens Road, Pellon) until 5 (first experience of electricity when I unscrewed the hanging light switch – and first experience of levitation (it does not work) when I fell down the stairs (long flight in a two up and two down) and watched my mother collapse with laughter!  She had always been very concerned about myself or my sister falling downstairs – I did it on the last day in the house.  Next stop was Mount Tabor village until 11; Alloefield View, Illingworth, until 13; back to Mount Tabor, until 18. 

 

My father was at first a coalminer, he was also a steeple-jack and then went to war in World War 2 as a Royal Engineer and Mine detector.  He damaged his back, in Italy, by being crushed by truck on a bridge but still went on to fight in Burma. He became a policeman and eventually a typical village bobbie.  My mother, born of a prosperous family, became a Post Office assistant in Boothtown (where she met my father) and then a housewife.  Later she became a seamstress (and a very good one).

 

My grandparents were: paternal: Edward Filbin and Lucinda.  They lived in Riley Street, Blackburn (now demolished) and it was a classic extended family.  My father’s sister, Molly, with her husband Bill and daughter Linda, lived next door. I recall that there were several aunties and uncles up the street.  My grandfather gave me a cap badge of the Seaforth Highlanders so I assume that he was with them in the First World War (but he was Irish?!? – must check this).  He worked in Blackburn as a miner.  My paternal grandmother worked in the cotton mills. I did not learn very much about Lucy except that her maiden name was McDonald.

 

Maternal grandparents:  Their surname was Fletcher.  I did not know my maternal grandmother since she died when I was around one.  I think her name was Millicent.  My maternal grandfather was Archibald Archer Fletcher.  He is buried, with my parents, in the graveyard in Cragg Vale near Mytholmroyd in Calderdale (near Halifax), West Yorkshire.  His father must have been quite a wit!

 

My maternal grandparents had 13 children!.  My paternal grandfather was a tenant farmer for Bass Breweries

 

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