RODNEY and Judith Senior are committed Canadians, and have been for nearly half a century.
But their roots are in Huddersfield, something that time cannot change.
Both have happy memories of the area, and would be delighted to make contact with a number of people with whom they have lost touch.
Rodney was born in 1935 to Westerman and Edith (nee Fox) Senior and his first home was 319, Blackmoorfoot Road, Crosland Moor.
His uncle and aunt ran the Ivy House pub across the road from his childhood home.
He attended Crosland Moor council school, then the family moved to 32, Colwyn Street, Marsh, moving again to 46, Heatherfield Road. Rodney went to Oakes Council school for a few months before going to Huddersfield College on New North Road.
“I found high school tough going, and left at age 16 to go to the Huddersfield College of Art,” said Rodney.
“That didn’t work out, so I made my first entry into the automotive industry, joining Trinity Garage (Hillman, Humber, and Commer dealers) in the parts department.
“Not wanting to spend my life selling car parts, I joined John Mollett Ltd, tiled fireplace makers in Huddersfield, as a management trainee/salesman.
“The store occupied four floors on the north west corner of the Lion Building, across St George’s Square from the railway station, and near where the new Examiner office is located.”
In 1954 Rodney was conscripted into the Royal Air Force, trained as an air radio mechanic, and spent his time after training at Linton-on-Ouse, near York, working on F86E Sabres, and Meteor 14s.
On demobilisation he was back in the motor trade – and back in Crosland Moor when his parents bought a property at 16, Basil Street.
“In 1959, I met, on a blind date, the young lady, Judith, who was to become my wife. We have now been married for almost 51 years, and celebrated part of our golden wedding with Judith’s family in Leicestershire.”
Another celebration was on Prince Edward Island in Canada, visited recently by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
“Judith is from Rotherham, and how we met is a complicated story, but the couple who introduced us are Alan and Betty Tonge,” said Rodney.
“They moved from Huddersfield to Carlisle, and we still see them from time to time, in Cumbria, or in Canada.They are the only people that we keep in touch with from my time in Huddersfield. I suppose leaving to go in the forces started the process of leaving the town I am from.
“Judith and I were married in Rotherham, but settled in our own home at 27, Western Road, Cowlersley. I Googled it recently, and it still looks much the same as it did when we were newlyweds back in 1960.”
A job with Vauxhall Finance took Rodney and Judith to Luton, where their oldest son David was born in 1963.
Transferred by Vauxhall to their Manchester office, the family moved to Stalybridge, where youngest son Andrew was born in 1965.
“We were feeling the financial strain, and our neighbours had family who were doing well in Canada, so we started the emigration process and flew out of Ringway (Manchester) Airport on September 1, 1967.”
They went to Toronto where Rodney found work straight away with Vauxhall and General Finance’s associate company, GMAC of Canada Ltd.
“They transferred me to St John’s, Newfoundland in 1972, and in 1976 to Saint John, New Brunswick.
“In 1978 I changed careers, and joined Prudential Assurance Co of England, as a life insurance agent. This was a very good career change, and my success led to several convention trips to interesting places including Europe, the Bahamas, and the USA.
“I retired early in 1997, just as our first grandson Ben was born in Ottawa, Ontario to David and his French Canadian wife Laurence.
“Our other grandson Matthew was born a couple of years later to the same parents. Our other son Andrew married Sheila, a lady of Finnish descent, and they live in southern Ontario.
“At retirement I took up art again, and paint in acrylics. We both golf, garden, and sing in local choirs, and in 2003 moved to Hampton, about 25 miles from Saint John.
“We love New Brunswick. The people are the salt of the earth, the scenery is spectacular, and the weather not quite as extreme as the rest of Canada.
“We have lost touch with all our friends, and even my cousin Angela Woods, (who still lives in Huddersfield). I wish I knew what happened to special friends Tony Couch, Keith Preston, Walter (Wally) Hill, Alan Murgatroyd, Stewart Whitwam, and a host of others.
“My mother’s family owned Fox’s Academy of Dancing at 87, Trinity Street for many years. My grandparents John and Annie Fox started it in the early 1920s.
“My grandfather died in 1926, and my grandmother kept the business going through the Depression!
“I learnt to ballroom dance, and there were many friends I met there over the years. Grandma later married one of the Denhams, the leather merchants.
“My memories are of sledging in Clayton Fields, swimming at Cambridge Road Baths, Greenhead Park, and the library, the Shambles, and the indoor market.”
Rodney still follows Huddersfield Town, and has a soft spot for trolleybus memorabilia, though he’s sent all that to the Sandtofts Trolleybus Museum near Doncaster.
“I have been gone from Huddersfield for almost 50 years, but it still holds a very important place in my heart, and I enjoy reading about it on line.”
Rodney and Judith would be happy for people to contact them at 6 Alexander Court, Hampton, New Brunswick, Canada E5N2C8, or on line at firstname.lastname@example.org