A CHESTER man well deserves his place on the top table at next month’s celebrations to mark the 80th anniversary of Upton Village Hall.
Frank Whaley, of Rosewood Avenue in Upton, sang at the opening of the village hall in 1928 when he was just nine years old.
“I was at the Sunday school at the time and all the lads and lasses were invited to come and sing at the opening,” said Frank, now 89.
Frank was born in Upton Park and spent one year at the Chester City School for Boys (now Queen’s Park High School) before his family moved to North Wales with his father’s railway job.
He fought in the Second World War in the Railway Engineers and after the war worked on the railways in Cheshire and North Wales and was one-time station inspector at Chester.
He married Margaret Ramsden and the couple had two sons and five grandchildren. Margaret died 13 years ago.
“My sister Nora was nursing in Liverpool,” said Frank. “She had a photograph of me on her bedside table and Margaret asked who I was but we didn’t meet for another two years.”
The couple moved to Chester in 1959 and Frank reconnected with the Upton Village Hall.
He was booking secretary for the hall and secretary of the Upton Horticultural Society as well as a member of the Village Hall Society. As a member of the horticultural society Frank regularly showed his dahlias which he still grows proudly in his garden.
He and Margaret both enjoyed building and designing dolls’ houses together.
Frank will attend a special dinner to celebrate the hall’s 80th anniversary in December.
“I’ve had a damned charmed life,” he said