Sutton revisited - memory lane mission to recreate photos 60 years on

An investigative trip down memory lane is enabling a retired man to recreate photos taken in Sutton about 60 years ago.

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 2:35 pm
Former Sutton man Steve Waring, who is enjoying a trip down memory lane.
Former Sutton man Steve Waring, who is enjoying a trip down memory lane.

Steve Waring, 68, posted on Facebook, via the Sutton Living Memory Group page, several photos from his younger days when he lived at Brierley Cottages in the town.

"They sparked considerable comment and discussion and even loads of family reunions,” said Steve, a retired civil servant.

"People re-acquainted themselves with old friends and started conversing again.

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The first photo Steve is trying to recreate. Pictured in 1961 at Brierley Cottages in Sutton are (from left) Tony Varley, Billy Varnham, Steve himself and David Godson.

"So I thought it would be a good lockdown project to trace lads I knew who are on two of the photos.

“Then I could get us together again and recreate the pictures. Miraculously, we’re all still alive!”

Taken outside Brierley Cottages, the images show Steve himself as a nine-year-old in 1961 with friends Tony Varley, Billy Varnham and David Godson, and then David with Donald Day and Johnny Gaunt in 1965.

Through various sources, Steve has tracked down all except Johnny, so he has asked Chad readers to help out.

The second photo Steve is trying to recreate. Pictured at Brierley Cottages in Sutton in 1965 are (from left) David Godson, Donald Day and Johnny Gaunt.

"It is thought he lives in Forest Town, but my investigations have not yielded any results yet,” he said.

"I understand he was a youth football coach at Notts County in the 1990s, and I am waiting to hear back from the club.”

Steve has discovered that Tony lives in Kirkby and is still working at the age of 70, while Billy is based in Alvaston, Derby and is heavily involved in theatre productions.

"Apparently, he does a lot of co-writing with Paul Bagley, from Mansfield,” said Steve. “He told me that in one of his shows, a character was based on me!”

Steve has yet to speak to David, who lives in Huthwaite, or Donald, but he has made contact with relatives or friends who say they would be delighted to meet up.

Steve was born in 1952 at Brierley Cottages, known in those days as ‘the pit cottages’, and lived there with mum Eunice and dad Ernest until moving to Priestsic Road in 1966.

He went to Priestsic School and then Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Mansfield. He left Sutton as a 22-year-old and now lives in Hasland, Chesterfield with wife Jackie.

His dad was a miner at Sutton Colliery, also known as Brierley Pit, for more than 30 years before working at a butcher’s shop in Sutton run by his wife’s brother, Geoff Dove.

Eunice died in 1998 and Ernest two years later, but the Waring name lives on in Sutton, and Steve is in the process of compiling a family tree.

He said: "My dad had seven brothers and two sisters, and there is a famous photo of him with five brothers all in uniform because they were in the armed forces.”

In fact, Ernest Waring was a hero of the Second World War, fighting the Japanese in Burma.

He sustained bullet wounds in his leg and arm, and was a lucky survivor of the infamous British Military Hospital massacre at Singapore in 1942 when more than 150 staff and patients were killed.

He spent the rest of the war as a prisoner, helping to build the notorious Burma Railway.

Steve also used the popular Sutton Living Memory Group’s Facebook page last August to post details of his dad’s exploits to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day.