Video Service of Harold Hilton Wellings
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Harold also known as Brian. Passed away peacefully on Tuesday 29th December 2020 at home, aged 86.
Brian was born Harold Hilton Wellings in June 1934, a first son for Polly and Harold, in time two other sons, Kenneth who sadly died in childhood and William, Bill who now lives in Torquay completed the family. They lived a simple life in Haywood, Manchester making a home in a terraced house which Brian would joke in later years became ‘detached’ as with the onset of WW2 and the intense bombing of cities from the early 1940’s, the houses both sides of the Welling’s residence were destroyed, leaving their house standing proudly, strong, resilient and very ‘detached’
Brian attended the renowned Manchester Grammar School which nurtured his talents and interests in engineering as well as his love for poetry.
By the time Brian was approaching his teens the war effort was in full swing and youngsters were encouraged to ‘do their bit’. Spurred on by a scheme set up by the Royal Voluntary Service, groups of children and young people became ‘Cogs’, a small but non the less vital role whereby they would collect all manner of salvage, wool, paper, wood, metal etc all of which could be repurposed in the spirit of ‘waste not, want not’. One day whilst out on a ‘salvaging mission’ collecting wood, allegedly for a bonfire, Brian came across what he thought was an abandoned house with a wooden back door, which Brian removed. However just as they were about to carry their spoils away they heard the dulcet tones of the ‘lady of the house’ declaring loudly to her husband inside that ‘someone had nicked the back door’! How the story ended we don’t know, but hopefully with a little community spirit and understanding!
In 1952 Brian joined the R.A.F to do his National Service and remained working as an Aircraft Technician until his demob in 1958. Whilst with the RAF he was stationed all over England and, for a time at R.A.F Khormaksar, with this base’s motto being ‘Into the Remote Places’ this must have been quite a shock for a young man who had grown up in the city.
It was during this part of his life that Brian became a keen cyclist. Whilst stationed in Yorkshire he would cycle into the Lake District, with the area’s stunning scenery it quickly become a favourite place for him to explore.
Following demob a new love would capture his heart. Brian met and married Irmgard Annalise, known as Annie and, following a move to Germany to work in his Grandfather’s Engineering Company, Brian became father to Peter and Kevin.
When Peter was 8 and Kevin nearly 3 years old however their Granny became unwell and the family moved back to England. With the Government encouraging a healthier way of life out of cities they moved away from Manchester and into a home in Macclesfield, were Granny also lived in the late 1960’s. In 1971 they made a final relocation with their sons to live on a newly built estate in West Heath, Congleton.
Brian began working in Manchester and eventually for Siemans in Congleton as a Design Engineer where he remained until retirement.
The newly built home on Chestnut Drive, Congleton gave Brian another challenge as he set about transforming an outside area full of builders rubble and clay into a garden and productive vegetable patch. It became his pride and joy and even latterly as illness restricted Brian’s mobility he enjoyed looking out onto his work whilst a gardener maintained this lovely area.
Peter and Kevin married and had sons of their own, Michael, Robert and Nick. When not involved in looking after the boys Annie and Brian enjoyed attending antique fairs around the country with Brian developing a love for the famous Torquay Pottery with the couple spending some 30 years building up quite a collection of antiquities and enjoying time buying and selling chosen pieces. Brain became a member of the Torquay Pottery Collection Society.
Brian had a love of Big Band music, born of his learning to play the horn as a teenager. With his beloved garden, pottery and stamp collecting along with his growing family Brian was kept busy. Hobbies and loves which gave him comfort and distraction following the passing of Annie some 20 years ago.
As Brian’s health deteriorated he found relaxation and diversion in watching sport on the television, supporting Manchester City and enjoying snooker and cricket.
As Brian became more confined to his home friends and neighbours rallied round, in particular his cleaner Valarie, who took on Brian’s shopping needs and became a good and very real friend. Having been hospitalised Brian’s spirit came to the fore again with his absolute determination to return to his house and so with the support of his son’s, Valarie and marvellous carers Brian was able to fulfil his wish, spending his remaining time at his treasured home looking out onto his garden.
The arrival to Michael and Angie of their son Archie clearly bringing great joy as Brian was able to meet his Great Grandson.
Brian lived a simple life, he was a quiet, gentle family man who battled his illness with determination and fortitude. His ashes will be scattered with those of Annie beneath the tree planted, in Annie’s memory, within the beautiful parklands of Dunham Massey, as the couple are reunited.
Brian passed away peacefully on Tuesday 29th December 2020 at home, aged 86.
His funeral was held privately at Birches Crematorium on Wednesday 13th January 2021. Donations were sent in lieu of flowers and were be gifted to Parkinson’s UK.
Attendees included, Kevin Wellings, Peter, Anna & Nicolas Wellings, Robert Wellings & Vicky Cotes, Tommy & Birgitt Linders, Grace Sandywell, Jessica Whithurst, Julie Staton, Chloe Large, Valerie Rafferty.