George Ernest Bull; Part 5

The employment situation did not improve and with a growing family he found work in Windscale Cumberland at the Nuclear Power Plant (for producing Plutonium). While this provided a good income, he was away from home for a long periods of time.

The lack of housing situation in the post war years became critical and the government started a building program. Approval was given to start building the Council Housing Estate on the South side of the Village, which created lots of jobs locally. From what I remember, it took George a bit of wrangling and talking to some councilors to get a job on the site as a carpenter. (The Council were the builders and hired the workers). He was an excellent worker and once he was established, he found me a job as his apprentice on the council site. Unfortunately I was at the Wellfield Secondary School at the time and my mother would not let me leave. George and I have discussed this many times over the years and I still regret not being able to take that job.

With a growing family the motor bike had to go, he put it up for sale and a man came to see it, he took it for a test drive and did not come back. The police got involved and a month later we were both in court in Castle Eden as witnesses (first time for both of us), a guilty plea, one shilling fine and three month probation.

Eventually after years of waiting, they were allocated a council house in Tees View next to the Bus Stop. A few years later they moved to a larger house in Skerne Avenue. At this time they now had five children. Shortly after this last move, George and Hannah were asked by Social Services to foster a child (baby) that required a special diet. They needed someone that baked their own bread etc. that could meet the dietary requirements. Glen was brought up as one of family and stayed with them until he married.

Recognising that building work was cyclical and eventually he would have to find another job, George applied for and got a job at the Sedgefield General Hospital as a maintenance carpenter. He worked at this job until his retirement. Over the next few years, his daughters were all nurses in the Sedgefield hospital, his wife Hannah also trained as a nurse late in life and son George the hospital engineer. His craftsmanship, whether at work or home projects like cupboards and toys, were beautifully finished, a carryover from his jewelry box apprenticeship.

George was very community minded and saw the need to do something for the youth in the Village. He started a Youth Club on similar lines to the one he attended in London. He taught boxing and managed the football team. My mother Eveline had been active in the community for years and encouraged George to get involved. Together with Don Burton, Mick Terrance and some others, they founded the Trimdon Labour Party. This group also lobbied and fundraised to get the Village Hall built and other improvements over the years. George served on the local rural and parish councils and was a school governor.

Trimdon Village grew on George, the longer he stayed, the more he liked it. He told me that never regretted leaving London. He was always a gentleman who put his family first. His proudest moments were walking his daughters down the aisle at their weddings, and talking about his grandchildren. In the late 1980’s most of his family were living in Sedgefield, Hannah died in 1990 and shortly after that, George moved into a retirement home in Sedgefield, to be closer to his children. He himself died in April of 2006.

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