David Merriot

<< Other people’s memories

My school friend David Merriot sent me an email that contained the following.

 I am, of course, very interested in your blog, your visit to Ljubljana and your details of the crash. I have probably told you the story, but in early September 1966 I had gone to South Wales with the my next door neighbour in Welwyn Garden City to spend a week in a caravan. We got off  at the wrong bus stop, and had to walk 3 or 4 miles across fields to find the caravan park, buoyed only by a battery operated radio and tales from the Oval where John Snow and Ken Higgs were rescuing England with a last wicket stand of over 100. My holiday planning, incidentally, has improved since then.

On the Sunday morning I bought a newspaper from the site (I am fairly sure it was the Sunday Express, my only option) and read about the air crash. I was absolutely stunned to see the name Gatford mentioned, and a story about your mother insisting that you were still alive when you had officially been declared dead. I may even still have the cutting, if you would like me to head for the loft and a battered old suitcase not opened for 40 years. Your mother’s courage is beyond doubt.

So well done for raising awareness of the crash, and visiting the site. I really do hope it helps.

I remember you, your parents and your sisters as being a particularly lovely family. And I have always had a soft spot for you, save only that you kept loyal to Hatfield Hyde rather than bring your tremendous cricket ability to Beech Bottom. I had much more luck with Phil, but since he was at my college he couldn’t get away from me!!

Hatfield Hyde was the cricket club that I had played for in Welwyn Garden City since I was about 13. I attended St. Albans Abbey School from 1959 to 1966. Beech Bottom was the then ground of the Old Albanians club.

Memories of another survivor >>