Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Eric Spencer Body

St Patrick’s Day is the birthday of my Uncle Eric who died a couple of years ago in his 90s. He was born at 6pm on 17th March 1912.

This is Uncle Eric as cheeky-looking schoolboy at Prescot Grammar.

After school he worked for Meccano where his picture was used in an advertising poster.

Like Dad, Uncle Eric was a motorbike enthusiast.

He then moved to Vauxhall Motors in Luton before the War interrupted his employment and sent him to N Africa and Italy.

After the War he returned to Vauxhall where he continued to work until his retirement.

He kept a diary for part of the war years and I have spent many a ‘happy’ hour translating them from his notorious scribble to English. So far I am about two thirds of the way through but as the war went on and paper got in shorter supply his writing got smaller and smaller and even more unintelligible. This sample is from the early ‘ easy’ days.

In Mum’s eyes Eric and his wife Doris were notorious for moving house though they probably didn’t move much more than many people. Mum, having only lived in two houses her whole life, could not understand their desire to find pastures new. His last few months were spent in the Hebrides where GB looked after him but prior to that he had lived on Anglesey and he is pictured above in his ninetieth year with Mum.

A number of younger folk knew Mum and Dad and will remember them after GB and I have gone but it seems a real shame to me that once GB and I have passed on there will remain no one who really knew Uncle Eric. Such is life....


  1. Hi John,

    I never met Uncle but I feel that I know him so well. His vegetable knife was used constantly by me when David and I lived with Graham for a while. His was the only sharp knife in Graham's knife drawer! His little red car (nicknamed "The Handbag") was a constant reminder of him. I used it continually for 6 months or more when we first moved to the island and many times after that. Uncle Eric - Gone but never forgotten by me.

  2. I am a Meccano enthusiast and the picture of Eric Body being pulled along by a Meccano model, is well known to the entire Meccano fraternity.

    Is there any way in which you could contact me, with a view to giving permission for Eric's life story to be printed in one of the Meccano publications?

    It would I am sure, be of interest to present day Meccano enthusiasts.

  3. Fine Stratobird, I suggest you send me your e-mail address by leaving another comment. I will then moderate and reject it so that your email address is not made public.