Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Donald Charles Spivey
Donald Charles Spivey, known as Don, or Boompa to his grandchildren, was my grandfather. He was born on May 30, 1905. His parents were a most unlikely match, as his father was an officer in the Scot Guards, and his mother was an ex-music hall dancer, but they seem to have been a love match which lasted the whole of their lives.
Unfortunately, I don't think Don's mother was a terribly good mother, and for some reason he was sent to live with an aunt while he attended a cathedral school.
He always had a wonderful singing voice, was able to harmonise with any tune, and could pick up and play almost any musical instrument. He could play the piano wonderfully although he had not had any formal lessons.
He was a qualified chemist and told tales of his life as a dispensing chemist at a chemist's shop near to King's Cross in London, where the prostitutes would come for a spray of scent at a ha'penny a squirt - and squirt it up their skirts, according to him.
He told of the power of placebo, where a patient had a terrible affliction with eyelashes growing into her eyes, she would swear that no one made the eye drops she was prescribed as well as my grandfather, and would insist that he was the only one to make up her drops.
He was an accomplished bowler and archer, and had been an enthusiastic fisherman too.
He became manager of the Sun Printing works in Watford, which printed many magazines and periodicals, using engraved cylinders.
I have a few original documents for Boompa. I have his birth certficate, for Farnham Aldershot.
I have three certificates for the college of preceptors, in 1921, passes in various subjects.