John Evelyn Shores
We are all here today to pay our respects & remember the life of my father, John Evelyn Shores.
Dad was the devoted husband of Kathleen, proud father of three children (myself, Sally & Simon), grandfather to Alex, James, Emma, Sophia, Ellie, Felix, Abigail, Becki & Matthew and great grandfather to Tyler, Samuel & another on the way!
Dad was born 90 years ago in 1923 in Hull the only son of Charles and Hilda. He had 2 older sisters Auntie Daisy & Auntie Beryl, who sadly are no longer with us, and a younger sister dear Auntie Dorothy who is with us here today. They were a very close knit, loving family & he had a very happy childhood.
That didn’t prevent him however occasionally getting into trouble with authority, when much to his mother’s surprise he appeared one day alongside a policemen at the front door of 48 the Link, “arrested” for firing his air pistol at ladies’ feet sat using the public conveniences, near where they lived in Anlaby Park!
His first, but not last encounter with Germany came in 1934 when the Graf Zeppelin airship flew over Hull’s docks taking peacetime photographs and he told me recently he remembered seeing its swastika.
Leaving school he joined Hull University’s School of Architecture where after a structural steel lecture, and without telling his parents, he visited the Jameson Street recruiting office and volunteered for the Royal Navy. Two weeks later he passed his medical board & was sent to HMS Drake, Plymouth for his uniform and square bashing. Later he joined HMS Caballa near Warrington for 6 months training as a coder & communications specialist.
I have a rich store of “war stories” that he told me repeatedly over the years (I loved them all) but my favourite was when he was picked up hitch hiking by a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce owned by a very well to do lady who insisted on taking him back to his ship. On arrival at Plymouth docks, the officer on watch saw what he thought was a VIP and duly piped on board Ordinary Seaman Shores. The whistles all faded away as they saw who it was!
On a more serious note, dad served on HMS Largs for nearly 4 years. This was a HQ landing ship staffed by Combined Operations of army, navy & air force personnel responsible for landings at Salerno in September 1943, Normandy in June 1944 and Rangoon in May 1945. He was awarded the Atlantic, Africa, Burma & Italy star medals. His best friend on board was another coder called Eric George Knight but who was always referred to as “Bogey”.
In 1946 he was demobbed and returned to his studies in Hull passing his exams in 1952. Aged 29, he met shorthand typist Kathleen Riches (aged nearly 18) for the first time and they got engaged Christmas Eve 1955 & married in September 1956. They left for honeymoon in Scarborough in dad’s BSA sports car before returning home to their new home in North Ferriby. A succession of house moves to Bridlington in 1968 and Hornsea in 1974 followed.
What fond memories I have of him. Apart from the war stories oft repeated to me, there’d be fish, chips & extra scraps suppers from “Nobby’s” in Brid – eaten while watching Match of the Day. Endless repeats of Bilko, Dad’s Army, Morecombe & Wise & of course Last of the Summer Wine.
Frequent visits to both grandparents, various aunts & uncles on holiday, often towing various caravans (with me sleeping in the awning). Not to forget a succession of dearly loved Cavalier King Charles spaniels called Emma, Sam, Lady, Lucy, Penny & culminating with Lucy the 2nd, who even visited him at Lindum House Beverley a few short weeks ago.
In 1978 dad decided to retire from his job of Chief Borough Architect of Holderness and take on some private work. In time he went into a very enjoyable partnership with one of his oldest friends Roy Binnington, or “Binge” as he was known to us, why is for another day!
Various designs followed, such as a gentleman’s club in Hull, an amusement arcade in Hornsea, an ice cream factory in Beverley & innumerable structural surveys which kept him busy until around 1985 when he decided to retire fully.
Dad loved my mum very much and he was a real family man. He was kind, gentle, born with a fantastic dry sense of humour & is really missed by us all.
In the immortal words of his favourites’ Eric Morecombe & Ernie Wise – “he brought us sunshine in his smile & brought us laughter all the while”. As we celebrate his life today that is how we should all remember him.
Thank you & God bless.
Peter John Shores