It is always encouraging when Pipspatch provides a way for people to re-connect, as happened for Graham and Mary Watts in 2016 and, in a way, for Catherine Conrad in February 2017.
In March 2016 Richie Watts, who lives in Devon, posted this comment on the article I wrote in 2013 about Graham and Mary : “Just shown my children Finley and Matilda a picture of their great great uncle!” He explained that Graham is the brother of his grandfather, Arthur Watts.
I obtained Graham and Mary’s permission to give their telephone number to Richie and soon afterwards he sent me a photo of their family reunion. He commented: “It was great to catch up with them after so many years.” His great uncle was also very pleased. (Above: Graham and Mary with Richie and his family)
Then, in December 2016, Alan Katanka, sent this comment concerning the same post about the Watts: “What a lovely article. Mary Watts produced a Morning Worship programme n the Leeds Belgrave Street Synagogue for Yorkshire TV (aired 1st Feb 1981) featuring my late father, Rev David Katanka, and Rabbi Dr Solomon Brown. Ever since my father’s untimely death a few years ago I have desperately been trying to find a recording of this wonderful service (I was present as a six-year-old). I was wondering if Mary would have a copy or know who would have one.”
I put him in contact with Graham and Mary and he sent them more details about that TV programme which included the name of the man who directed it – Munro Forbes. When they Googled that name they found that Munro was now in Cyprus. He is the director of the Cyprus Media School and a Sigma TV executive. The courses at the school include: stage and TV production design; media and TV; TV journalism; and shooting and editing for TV.
“When we finally got in touch with him he said ‘you and Mary were very encouraging to me’. He was delighted to hear from us. He mailed us back in no time at all to say he had access to the recording. He couldn’t vouch for the quality of it because it was an old VHS. He also had a copy of the script. He managed to doctor the VHS so that he could transmit it to us.” They sent that on to Alan.
After Christmas they were in contact with another former colleague who had just had triple bypass heart surgery. He, also, was very pleased to be put in touch with Munro Forbes again.
In March 2016 I was also able to put the Watts in contact with Sue Fox who had a 90-year-old friend, Evelyn Stevenson, who wanted to renew her connection with them. She had appeared on Farmhouse Kitchen, the Yorkshire Television programme that Graham and Mary directed and produced from 1971 to 1983.
Mothering Sunday flowers
Catherine Conrad, who lives on the southern Oregon coast in the United States, contacted me via Pipspatch in February 2017 because she wanted flowers delivered to the grave of Betty Hey (1928-1981) in Aysgarth churchyard.
I have a copy of the list of gravestones and memorials at Aysgarth which was compiled by Evelyn Abraham and the late Marian Kirby. I was, therefore, able to send details of the location to her so that she could place an order for flowers with Lamberts of Leyburn in time for Mothering Sunday.
Catherine explained: “Betty was a dear friend of my mother, who died recently. I think those days must have been the happiest of her life, from the way she went on about it during the last months. Literally, her heyday.”