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|Personal & Present Details|
PHIL GAVIN -
update 27/08/12 ..... note 'The Homestead' now has 32 Bedrooms
Cant say I know Mr Butler,but was very happy to hear that GHC is still going along.
Please give him my regards
On a personal note,Bernice and I are finaly going to retire[for the second time] at the end of November and Pennie [the youngest one[now 40 yrs old]] is taking over the HOMESTEAD [NOW 32 BEDROOMS], so we will have time on our hands
By the way. I believe it is your birthday soon [or have I missed it ?]
ARE YOU 70 OR 71?Happy birthday, but look how long it took !! [72 on 30/08/12 so 4 weeks younger than you !]
P.S Give my regards to Lindley
PHIL GAVIN -
A 5th email - from Phil
I READ YOUR "COMMENTS" COLUMN WITH GREAT INTEREST AND DECIDED TO GIVE IT A BASH.
I JOINED ISHERWOOD'S IN 1956 AS AN APPRENTICE AND WAS VERY SOON GIVEN THE NICK NAME 'HAGGIS' BY TONY STOKES DUE TO MY 'SLIGHT' AFFINITY TO ALL THINGS SCOTTISH AND A TEENY WEE BIT OF AN ACCENT BUT FOR WHAT EVER REASON THE NAME STUCK AND I DOUBT IF MORE THAN A HANDFUL KNEW MY REAL NAME.
A GROUP OF APPRENTICES FORMED A BOND - MYSELF MEL ASHTON, IAN LINDLEY, TONY ALLOTT AND AN OUTSIDER TO ISHERWOOD'S CALLED TREVOR HOPWOOD
WE COULD USUALLY BE FOUND MOST NIGHTS IN THE 'FARE HOUSE' OR THE 'RAM' PUBLIC HOUSE [AT LEAST WHILE OUR MISERABLE APPRENTICE WAGES LASTED] . I CAN RECALL GHC GIVING US A LECTURE ON WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO THOSE OF US WHO PERSISTED IN FREQUENTING "LOW TAVERNS" AND PLACES OF ILL REPUTE". I HAVE ALWAYS HAD A SOFT SPOT FOR GHC FOR THE WAY HE MANAGED US APPRENTICES AND IN MY ADULT CAREER I HAVE ALWAYS REMEMBERED THE TIME WHEN I WAS IN HOTTER WATER THAN USUAL AND GHC LISTENED INTENTLY TO MY HIGHLY EMOTIONAL OUTBURST OF INNOCENCE WHICH CONTAINED PHRASES SUCH AS
"apprentice slave labour" ETC. AND THEN CALMLY SAID "WE HAVE AN OPENING FOR A BRIGHT YOUNG MAN LIKE YOU PHILIP - SHUT IT AS YOU GO OUT".
ON COMPLETING OUR APPRENTICESHIP A GROUP OF US ENROLLED FOR NIGHT SCHOOL BASED ON THE IDEA THAT IF WE SPENT SOME TIME THERE OUR MONEY WOULD LAST LONGER DURING THE WEEK AND HENCE WE COULD BOOZE MORE OFTEN. THIS SIMPLE DECISION HAD MORE FAR REACHING EFFECTS THAN WE THOUGHT AT THE TIME. I LEFT ISHERWOOD'S WITH AN O.N.C. AND JOINED THE CENTRAL ELECTRICITY GENERATING BOARD AT HUDDERSFIELD, THEN TO EGGBOURGH, ON TO BERKELY NUCLEAR POWER STATION IN GLOSTERSHIRE AND EVENTUALLY TO MY NATIVE SCOTLAND WITH THE SOUTH OF SCOTLAND BOARD, HAVING PICKED UP A COUPLE OF B.Sc. DEGREES ON THE WAY. BY THIS TIME I HAD MARRIED THE GIRL I USED TO GO OUT WITH WHEN I WAS AT ISHERWOOD'S AND WE HAD A SON AND THREE DAUGHTERS.
WE THEN DECIDED TO MOVE TO SOUTH AFRICA AS BRITAIN AT THAT TIME SEEMED DESTINED TO BE ONE STRIKE AFTER ANOTHER.
SOUTH AFRICA WORKED OUT WELL FOR US AND I ENDED UP AS A POWER STATION MANAGER AND THE KIDS GREW UP IN A SUNNY CLIMATE. BERNICE AND I RETIRED IN 1993 AND BEGAN TO BUILD OUR RETIREMENT COTTAGE. IT IS NOW 2002 AND I AM STILL BUILDING AND THE "COTTAGE" IS NOW 19 BEDROOMS AND HAS GROWN INTO A
VERY BUSY HOTEL, SO RETIREMENT HAS ELUDED ME.
ANYONE INTERESTED CAN VISIT OUR WEB SITE AT:
www.thehomestead.co.za - just click on the link (Mel)
THE GOOD LOOKING BARMAN IN THE PHOTOGRAPH IS YOURS TRULY!!
WELL MELVIN THAT ABOUT BRINGS YOU UP TO DATE ON THE LIFE OF A HAGGIS AFTER IT IS LET OUT!!
I PRESUME YOU WILL EDIT THIS TO MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS AND HOPEFULLY CORRECT THE SPELLING WHICH YOU WILL RECALL WAS NOT MY STRONG POINT
PHIL GAVIN -
A 4th Mailing - from Phil
Bernice is going to send you a couple of photos via the Email system as soon as she has taught herself how it works. It was strange to see you say that you do not or cannot read cct diagrams anymore due to poor eyesight,I supose it was said half in jest but based in truth. I am always surprised to meet people after a few years and see how they have aged forgetting that I must really look quite decrepit myself. [It is a good job that I started off by being so good looking that the deterioration is hardly noticeable!! ]
Regarding info you asked about.
We came to S.A. in Jan 1975.
Philip Andrew Gavin was born 9\9\1966 He is now technician with Escom doing the protection on the 700K.V lines in Natal. He has a B.Com Degree and is now studying to be a lawyer[ I tried to keep him honest but I FAILED!!!] He has been married for five years and has a 20 month old daughter .
Pamela Anne Gavin was born 17\7\1968.She is a technician on one of Eskoms power stations[3600M.watts] she works on the instumentation and controls so she is light current qualified. She married a guy who was widowed at 27 years old and was left with three young girls. She has been married for 7 years and decided no more kids for them. They are planning very early retirement and will probably take over THE HOMESTEAD when Bernice and I hang up our boots.
Paula Alexandra Gavin was born 22\12\1969[she is a real shit stirrer and never misses a chance to shock, come to think of it we had a milkman like that at the time!!!] She is HOD [electrical] at one of Eskoms power stations [also 3600Mwatts], she has a B.Sc [elec] a B.Com and is now studying for her Masters degree in Business Leadership. [She has her mothers brains-I HAVE STILL GOT MINE!!] Paula has been married six years no kids but starting to go broody. But too busy with her career at the moment to do anything about it[I think she will order her familly through a mail order catalogue!!]
Pennie Anna Gavin was born10\6\72.From an early age she was a "people person" and could talk to people from 9 to 90.She has a diploma in Hotel Management and is the manager of a big hotel in Tzaaneen [northern SA] She has been married for 4 years and has a 22 month old boy and a 3 month old girl-she says that’s the lot! She has been a great source of information to Bernice and me in making the Homestead a success, but is not interested in running the place-wise girl !
By the time Pennie was born I found out what was causing it and decided to stop!!
Well that about covers all the topics. I have tried to email "Dad" but had no reply so I do not know if he got it or if he is also to blind to be able to read it or even too busy having his "convivial" pint to answer it!! I still have not located GHC Email address as I would really like to hear from him.
PHIL GAVIN -
A 3rd Mailing - from Phil
hope that this email finds you in good health and a lot quicker than
it takes me to type it.
Bernice and I retired in 1993 she used to run a big Eskom store and I was a power station manager, so we had done quite well for ourselves and reckoned there was no point in working till you die..
bought a few acres of ground and decided to build a two bedroom
the kids are married, Philip has a daughter of 18 months, Pennie has a
son 20 months and a daughter 2 months. Paula is a DINKY -
[Double Income No Kids Yet]. She is head of the electrical
department at Eskom's newest power station. She thinks she will
never get pregnant as she says "I just can't seem to swallow the
stuff". [she is the comedian of the family and never misses a
chance to shock].
My finger is now numb and I am going to try to send this.
PHIL GAVIN -
A 2nd Mailing - from Bernice
last we know how to reach you. What a thrill to hear from
someone that in a sense belongs in the past. Last night I logged
onto your web-site it is a wonderful idea of yours. We paged
through your photos and to see even myself looking back at me was
we said, we are now running our own guest house, never thinking 15
years ago that we would do this, but we enjoy it and meet quite a lot
of people which I think keeps one young. Phil has not been in
good health. He had cancer in 1987 in his back, then in 1998 he
had a angio-stent which is where they put a tube in the artery of your
heart and now for the last year he has had sugar diabetes.
How do you the web site I designed ? Of course I do not have the technical know how to to put it into practice but I hired two young fundies. The graphics expert was very in tune with what I wanted and simply put things where I wanted them but I think that it is effective.
I wanted to ask you was "what happened to Eli".
Phil did quite well in his career but was eager to retire. 3 of our kids followed in his footsteps in the engineering field and work for Eskom.
Please seriously take our offer up to come and stay with us.
One funny thing happened last night when we were looking at your web-site and Phil saw someone called "Dad" and then said that surely he was still not alive as he thought he was old when he was at Isherwoods. The funny part was that he must have only been 20 years older than Phil in those days. Phil also loved to see the photos of George Crossland. He often tells the story about the time when Phil was "doing his nut" as normal in George's office, so the story goes and when he had finished, apparently George then said, "Phil - we have a great opening for a bright young chap like yourself, Close it as you go out". Phil never forgot it and I am sure has used it on some of his own "bright sparks on the power stations".
Please keep in contact now and tell me about the others.
Cheerio for now and Godbless.
PHIL GAVIN -
the first email from Phil
Email eventually found its way to me via my son Philip who works for the
S.A. Electricity Co ESKOM.
retired in 1993 as did Bernice and we have been doing our thing since
kids are all married and Philip has a 20 month old daughter and Pennie
has a 22 month old son and a two month old daughter so we are
am typing this with one finger so I will keep it short and let Bernice
send all the news later as her typing is much faster than mine.
own a wee guest which I built myself to keep Bernice out of trouble (it
started of as a two bedroom retirement cottage but you remember how I
used to make sure everything was big and strong)
Phil GavinThe Homestead
PO Box 672
Tel/Fax: 036 448 1328
Poem. (Copied from Phil's Website
|Click Here if you wish to view recent & past pictures.|
|Please let me have some present and past information -
particularly the Isherwood's period - which I can include in the 'Isherwood's
section' of this 'Ashton' website..
I would prefer you to use email or mail form, but if you wish, you can telephone me: (01924) 834 464 home (07740) 282 567 mobile.
Or use 'snail mail' to my home address (obtainable by email or telephone).
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