Roy Eastwood – Roy brings a long and eventful contribution to this village interspersed with a varied military career in the RAF with postings to many parts of Europe and North Africa during the war along with later demanding posts in the mental health disciplines at Oulton Asylum and Stanley Royd.
Roy belies his nonagenarian status, still observing, and taking part in many aspects of Methley. I look forward to changing the description of the title to Centenarian at a later time.
An incomplete apprenticeship in the clothing industry was brought about with his entry into the RAF following the outbreak of war. After initial training and that beloved square bashing enjoyed by all recruits his first posting was to the Isle of Man as an armourer – attaching bombs, cannon and bullets to wartime aircraft. He also assisted in arming Lysander aircraft with armaments and then observe the accuracy of shooting practise at drogues (targets) being towed in the air.
Further postings included N Ireland for 12 months, then on to Liverpool for embarkation to the Mediterranean. Here his outfit, part of a huge convoy were split when his RAF flotilla was deployed to Algeria, then Malta. It was in Valletta that he was to come across Bernard Russell of this village returning from operations in the Far East. A second posting back to Algeria (this was after the Eighth Army Campaign and success at El Alamein) saw Roy in line for a move out to the Far East which did not materialise and therefore did not interfere with his return home and demobilisation.
So there he was, plus two new demob suits but no vacancies in the tailoring industry! It was then when he sought out employment training as a male nurse at the Oulton Hall Asylum, then on to working with the mentally disabled at Stanley Royd and was to end his career in the health industry after a stint supplying materials to hospitals
His post war interests included re-joining the church choir at St Oswald’s where he boasts of singing alongside some of the best choristers of the time including his old mate Alan Tomlinson, the Beilby brothers and Will Illingworth to name a few.
Also not to be left out was a restart with the cricket club along with his old pre-war chums, perhaps an outstanding memory was scoring 120 runs against a successful Whitwood XI. His affection for the club continued involving himself and members of his family in the running of the club.
After retirement he took up part time employment with one of the Leeds bullion offices putting cash into pay packets of workers, including many pit pay packets – he admits to being astounded at the amounts of the earnings some of those workmen.
Roy has in later years, following the loss of Phyllis taken up the civilised sport of crown green bowling much appreciating the church-side setting of the club. A sport he can enjoy watching and contributing and which he is still keen to engage in veterans competitions. It was in these roles he was to be awarded the Tommy Allen Shield for services to the game.
Always independent and smartly turned out in his late nineties, it can only be the result of his former training and experience with the RAF and great interest in the village and its people. He does not forget his great affection for the younger members of his family who are a great support to him.