The Autobiography Of Billy Hardcastle

The Autobiography Of Billy Hardcastle

Status: Finished

Genre: War and Military

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Details

Status: Finished

Genre: War and Military

Houses:

Summary

Bletchley Park in North Buckinghamshire is the location for World War Two's ULTRA SECRET decoding centre where the German Enigma Code was broken. In the early 1970's I lived in Bletchley Park for three years and have used my time in what was then a teacher training college as background for my story's setting. Everything else is pure fiction.
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Summary

Bletchley Park in North Buckinghamshire is the location for World War Two's ULTRA SECRET decoding centre where the German Enigma Code was broken. In the early 1970's I lived in Bletchley Park for three years and have used my time in what was then a teacher training college as background for my story's setting. Everything else is pure fiction.

Chapter1 (v.1) - Enigma Granddad

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 30, 2017

Reads: 48

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Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 30, 2017

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When my grandfather died I cried. Twenty-nine years old and proud of success in my chosen career yet I cried like a little child. At such an advanced age we all knew his passing could not be that far away but while I constantly feared its coming I was not at all prepared.

I was devoted to my grandfather, my own father’s father, and while he had a wide extended family I knew that Enigma Granddad had a special place for me in his life and in his heart.  We called him Enigma Granddad as he had worked during World War Two at the decoding centre in Bletchley Park and was part of the team that broke the German Enigma Cipher.  I spoke at his funeral, fighting back the tears, calling throughout my Enigma Granddad.

How I miss him.  How I still miss him. I will never stop missing him.

Billy Hardcastle was born on the fifth of November 1920.  Professor Sir William Hardcastle died in his sleep on the night of seventeenth of December 2016.  His housekeeper found him dead on the Thursday morning but the doctor decided death had occurred before midnight so the certificate shows Enigma Granddad passed away on the seventeenth, just over a month after his ninety-sixth birthday.

What a birthday that was.  My grandfather was physically and mentally fit and certainly knew how to throw a party.  Each year his birthday celebration would be bigger than the year before.

“You wait until my hundredth,” he said.  “Just wait.”

But Enigma Granddad, Billy Hardcastle, Sir William Hardcastle would not see another birthday.  No more parties, he had danced his last dance.  To him life itself was a dance, sometimes a waltz and sometimes disco but a dance never to cease. Oh yes he did dance. His party piece at each birthday was to gyrate to the 1961 hit Let’s Twist Again.  He may have slowed down over the years but never left the twist out of a birthday party.

Enigma Granddad – what a character !  The world can never be the same without him.

Christmas did not happen that year. How could it ?  Although he did not have any time for God Granddad always celebrated Christmas as a family time.  God, Jesus, religion in any form he considered to be mumbo jumbo. Those were his words and I can hear him speaking them.  He would say, “  Man created God in his own image.  There is more truth in Father Christmas than the nativity ! Virgin Birth ?  How utterly ridiculous.”

It was never a good idea to allow my grandfather to speak on the subject of religion.  “All forms or religion are dangerous, some are evil.  Karl Marx was right Religion IS the opium of the people.  A Christian, a Moslem, a Jew each contains more danger within his beliefs than an unexploded bomb !

If there is such a being as God, which I very much doubt, I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at the time The Almighty and Enigma Granddad met face to face. What a drama that would have been.

My grandfather did not have a religious funeral.  His committal did not take place until January, The Almighty had time to prepare the ramparts of Heaven against the onslaught of Enigma Granddad. We had a gathering in The Great Hall of York University where my grandfather had once been Professor of Contemporary Art. Even though he had been retired for thirty years there were many there who still remembered him and his writings are still set text on a student’s reading list.

A smaller gathering for family members followed.  Billy Hardcastle had a large family.  One of his sisters, younger than he, is still alive – Great Aunt Dorris. As well as my own father he had three more sons and a daughter. All had children of their own and some of these children had children, Billy’s great grandchildren.

Forty- four family members together with his housekeeper attended York Crematorium. A slightly smaller number were present for the reading of his will.

By the standards of the average man Sir William Hardcastle was a wealthy man.  Not an excessively rich man but definitely a wealthy man.  He made provision for every single member of his family, even though there were many of us we all received a life-changing sum. Right at the end of the proceedings the solicitor explained there was another bequest.

Looking at me then back down to the papers in front of him he read, “To my grandson David Hardcastle I have two parcels. The solicitor will give you one now, take it home and read the contents.  Perhaps after you have done so Enigma Granddad will not be quite such an Enigma. You can then return and the solicitor will give you the second.

Granddad’s solicitor lifted two brown padded envelopes and waved them gently before us all.  David you take this one home, he offered the envelope in his left hand. This second will return to my safe until you come back having read what your grandfather has written.

Every eye in that packed solicitor’s office turned to me. What had I been given that my uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews and nieces had not ?  I felt embarrassed but the talk had been of reading so I was not being given property or money the others had not been made a part of.

“Thank you,” I said softly.

The extended family would never be together again in one place. No more Granddad parties. We were scattered across the country and without Granddad there would not be a reason for everyone to meet up as we had over the years.  I had a couple of hours drive to my home in Warwickshire.  My heart ached as I drove. Beside me on the passenger seat was Granddad’s package. Still unopened, I would wait until I was home.  What did he mean -  Enigma Granddad will not be quite such an Enigma ?

Read my diary at www.patrioticpensioner.com

For all my stories go to www.maxwellrobinson.online

 


© Copyright 2017 Max Robinson. All rights reserved.

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