Misplaced relatives

My mother was born Phyllis Hirst, daughter of Frances Hirst and sister to Doris, Kathleen, Nellie and another whose name, sadly escapes my mind.

Her father at one stage owned or managed an institution on the Calder called, I believe, “Boat Sam’s”. Phyllis married Arthur Thompson, of Ossett. They divorced in the 1960s, following which he migrated secretly to Australia and remarried. Phyllis Thompson, as she then was, subsequently married Fred Hoyle, a resident of Shaw, near Manchester. Her younger son, Paul, eventually went to the United States and is no longer in touch and I, her older son, eventually moved to my present home in Surrey.

About four years ago my wife and I managed to persuade my mother to move down here to be closer to us. Scarcely had she arrived than we discovered that she was suffering from vascular dementia and she had to be placed in a residential home where my wife, my son and I visit her regularly. She has no contact with other members of her family, except a niece, Audrey, and her husband Jeff, who I know still live in the Thornhill/Dewsbury area but whose address is lost to us, and I would really like to try to find anyone who is still out there and with whom we might enter into correspondence.

The dearest memories of my childhood are of Dewsbury, of long walks and days in Crow’s Nest Park in a world that seemed so much safer those five decades ago.

I remember my days at Carlton Road Junior and Infant school with considerable fondness, bowling at Thornhill Lees park, going to the ‘Minors’ at the ABC cinema just opposite the market and filling myself, as I watched Flash Gordon and a black and white Batman, with a 3 penny bag of ‘broken biscuits’ from the market. I remember the thrill of standing on the bridge of Dewsbury station as the steam from a loco passing beneath

I remember the toy department of ‘JMB’s’, or perhaps it was ‘J and B’s’ department store, where I bought my own first toy soldiers and endless supplies of marbles to be gambled away in Carlton Road’s playground. I would love to hear from anyone who knows or knew my mother and from any misplaced, but never forgotten, relatives.


82 York Road,



Or email: richardmthompson1@gmail.com