A talk - Life of a “Water Rat” in 1950/60s
The first meeting of Wythall History Society in 2013 took place on the 22nd February, the January meeting having been cancelled due to bad weather. The Guest speaker of the evening was Mr Brian Draper MBE the well known former rivers engineer from Martley in Worcestershire. Brian is well known for his talks on rivers and river wildlife and has produced a number of books and DVD’s on the subject however his presentation on this occasion was very different; it was the story of his early life from leaving school, trying various jobs, being “the tea boy” and being “sacked” when not needed. He then went on to recount how he eventually got into the “Rivers Business”. The title of his presentation was “Water over My Wellies, the life of a water rat in the 1950’s/60’s” and involved him just sitting and talking to a packed meeting in his own inimitable style and Worcestershire accent. Brian is a natural entertainer with a tremendous sense of humour. He held the audience spellbound and they spent the whole evening smiling, chuckling and sometimes laughing out loud. Finally he recounted his award of an MBE and the hilarious and incident filled trip to The Palace to receive it.
Brian took many of us back to our own early youth in the same period, which we now look back on with nostalgia.