‘The Joker in the Pack’
Brian John Harvey, was born 14th January 1932, to Charles and Winifred Harvey. He was the second of 3 sons and one daughter, and the first family baby to begin his life at 162 Cranford Lane, Heston Hounslow.
To me he was ‘Uncle Brian’, a renowned joker in the family, with the knack of telling a good story, and also the subject of many a family tale.
Much of his childhood was spent teasing his siblings and exasperating his mother. On one occasion his mum sent him to a local shop to purchase “gun metal” coloured stockings to be worn for a funeral. The shop owner later said when asked the colour, Brian couldn’t remember what his mum had said and asked for “old iron or something like that”. Brian joined the Navy in 1946 aged 15, training at HMS Ganges. During his training he was confirmed into church. This event caused some amusement in the family when his mother remembered proudly announcing to friends at her whist drive that she was off to see her son “circumcised”.
Little sister Cynthia always looked forward to when he came home on leave with stories about the far-flung places he had visited. Also she knew he would take her to the local ice-cream parlour for a “knickerbocker glory” !!
In 1953 Brian’s cousin Doreen introduced him to her workmate, Joan Ewles – both members of a friendly team of assistants at Etam, Hounslow – a well known ladies’ outfitters at the time. In 1955, Brian married Joan at Heston Church. Philip was born 1956, and Christopher 1959.
Brian worked as a Postman after retiring from the Navy. Soon after Chris’s birth, the family moved to Lee-on-Solent, near Gosport. Unable to get a job as a postman there, he ventured into self-employment, and for many years ran a mobile grocery business. These jobs suited Brian’s outgoing friendly and humorous nature. All through his life he looked out for his customers and neighbours, and was actively involved in the local social life with Joan.
Over the years the four Harvey siblings and their families continued to keep in touch from all parts of the world.
Brian and Joan fostered two further boys, David and Jon, providing a stable, loving family life for them.
The children all grew up. Philip married Jackie, with children Tom and Emma, Chris married Karen, and had children Amy and Daniel. A true family man, Brian was a Great Grandfather several times over by 2021.
In 2020, he became ill, and underwent surgery, recovering quite well – due in part to his positive cheery nature. Unfortunately further surgery, to improve his quality of life following the previous operation, took its toll and he sadly died on June 21st, 2021.
A great loss to his family, but also a great inspiration to all those who knew him and his positivity for life. xxx
Please add your memories or photos of Brian.