Dad was born in 1936 in Colchester as his father Tom Dovey was stationed in army barracks there at the time. Shortly after, the family relocated to Shropshire and Dad was raised in Sutton Maddock near Madeley. When Dad left school he held several forms of employment including coffin maker before commencing his stint in National Service. During this period Dad served in the Military Police and was mainly stationed in Germany. Upon leaving the army in the late 1950’s Dad joined the Police Force where he remained until the late 1960’s before successfully securing a job in what was then Wolverhampton Borough Council Finance Department based in the old Town Hall in North Street. Dad remained with the Council up until he retired in 1995.
Simon Barnett, son of Leslie and Helga, was born in Scotland on January 4th 1966. The family soon moved to Helga’s homeland in Germany, where Simon went to Kindergarten, and he and Leslie then relocated to England when the latter’s marriage to Helga failed. Accordingly, Simon’s very early childhood was somewhat unsettled. They laid down roots in Cannock, Staffordshire, in 1974, when Leslie married Mary Oates. The new family – including Mary’s children, Philip and Carolyn – established a family home in Hatherton Road. Simon was eight years of age, just old enough to start school at Walhouse Junior School in the same year as his step-brother. The union of Leslie and Mary was a marriage that would last for almost forty years.
by Phil Barnard
David Harris, who passed away on 1 July this year, is very fondly remembered as a founder member and long-standing supporter of Wolverhampton Astronomical Society. David will be lovingly remembered by his wife Mary, son Christopher and daughter Libby. On 12 July, several members of the Society attended David’s funeral at Bushbury Crematorium and his memorial service held at Beckminster Church.
The Society was formed officially in September 1952, from a pre-existing informal group of enthusiasts, initially as the Wolverhampton Amateur Astronomy Group. David would celebrate his 19th birthday in the following month. Meetings were held in a classroom at the old Walsall Street Institute. Even in those early days I recall David giving presentations on practical astronomy, both with telescope and binoculars, which was his forte. One item remembered from that time is a planetarium, shown by David and his father, made by poking holes in the desired places in an opened black umbrella, to represent the constellations. A simple but effective way to teach the geography of the night sky, in a room under artificial light or outside in daylight.