Where Are They Now? | Vital Football

Where Are They Now?


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I hope Mr Fear will be prepared to indulge me here. It's a bit of a flyer but maybe, just maybe, this'll get somewhere.
My Dad, Tommy Connolly, arrived in Birmingham from Belfast in February of 1956. Like tens of thousands of other out-of-work Irishmen, he came with the intention of finding employment in the city where, so the slogan went, they made everything from a needle to an anchor.
He had a relative (a cousin?) who lived, I think, in Northfield, called Billy Connolly (no, not the foul-mouthed Glaswegian!) who put him up for a while until he got a job - which he did at the Austin motorworks in Longbridge - and a place of his own to stay.
Dad spent the next 34 years in Birmingham, my Mum and sister arriving over 2 years later (which is why I have a sibling with a Brummie accent). His working life was mostly on the buses, first out of Roseberry Street and then out of Hockley.
I never did get to meet Billy Connolly and if he's still around, he'd be a very old man nowadays.
However, he's probably got children and grandchildren (and maybe even greatgrandchildren) living in and around the midlands.
As I said, it's a long shot but I'd be thrilled if this rang a bell with anyone.
Likewise, there may be people out there who had family members who worked on the buses back in the day who might have known my Dad.
I have an interest in family history and pursuing it has led me to meet some distant relations. For example, I have a fourth cousin living near Edinburgh. (Our common ancestors are our great-great-great-grandparents from St Helens.)
Of course, there are risks. There is little doubt that there are people walking the streets of Birmingham who are related to me but there is also the horrific prospect that some of them may be Blues supporters. :10:


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Brownie, are you going to be here for the Wigan game? I'm not going to it but we don't live too far from the pie capital of England and it'd be nice to meet up with you and other VVillans.


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Strange that you should call Billy Connolly a 'foul-mouthed Glaswegian' rather than 'multi-millionaire celebrity.' Just seems the sort of thing my dad would have said about him in 1981.


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Good luck BBJ. I know my family history well and I certainly have an interesting 1 that would make a wonderful biography I can tell you.

I have researched a little of it to tie up a few loose ends but the majority was handed down to me from my late Mom.

There has certainly been some colorful stories and people in my family history, for sure.

It has the lot, illegitimacy, hankie panky, children born out of wedlock, Grandma dabbling the black market in WW2, an Uncle running off to Brighton with the family business money after the war, and much more.

Yeah Brighton I know. It was a long way back then LOL


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Saurat - 5/5/2013 16:42

Strange that you should call Billy Connolly a 'foul-mouthed Glaswegian' rather than 'multi-millionaire celebrity.' Just seems the sort of thing my dad would have said about him in 1981.
Billy Connolly is both! I have been reading an article about him in today's SUNDAY INDEPENDENT and perhaps that informed my choice of words. I have to say that I am less than impressed with people who use the "c" word to describe another.



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To expand this a little, I was wondering if anyone here has any Lancastrian ancestry? I have great-great-great-grandparents called Thomas Winstanley, born in St Helens around 1814 and Margaret Sturdy, born around the same time but whose birthplace I don't have.


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BBJ try this link. You can do a 14 day trial sign up. Then you can cancel it. I have done it with a few things. Though I probably shouldn't say that. slap maybe coming up


They also as well do free weekends at times where you can search records. Worth keeping an eye on


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I'm resurrecting this thread in the hope that it may, after these years, stir some memories. I've now also unearthed not so distant relations in Akron, Ohio, so there is the chance that Villa Brownie and I could be related. (When you think of it, we have so much in common - brains to burn, wonderful personalities and stunning good looks.)


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I have just thought on BBJ: a long short however the ex had an Uncle called Bill Connolly. Others Uncle called Ben (adopted) , Tommy and 2 sisters who moved to The U.S through Ellis Island I believe.


Akron also always makes me smile when I hear the name: it is where the co-founders of A.A met and whilst they didn't know it then had initially had the 1st A.A meeting (when 1 alcoholic talks to another recovery can be begin) A bit of useless info for you BBJ I know. A place I always want to visit if possible 1 day along with N.Y where Bill W was from


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I didn't know that AA had its genesis in Akron, kefkat. I wonder if the influx of my relations from County Antrim had anything to do with it!


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BBJ - 4/4/2017 19:06

I didn't know that AA had its genesis in Akron, kefkat. I wonder if the influx of my relations from County Antrim had anything to do with it!
LOL it sure did. The short story is 6 months before Bill W (N.Y stock broker who by that stage his wife Lois was keeping him) was bought a concept of spiritual principles from his best friend from childhood-Ebby T.

These principles were surrender/giving life to God (you understand or come to understand) house clearance (whole of life itinerary) shared with a trusted person we call an AA sponsor today. Change, amends and carrying the message. They were what we called 6 steps, now called our 12 steps.

Ebby had been given these set of principles from the Oxford Christian Group which had helped keep him out of prison. Addicts/alcoholics often attended church and spiritual groups looking for the answers. Bill wanted the message (the majority are looking for recovery) Ebby and Bill spent 6 months trying to sober up all the alkies in New York. Bill complained that he had sobered no one up. His wife said a very poignant statement of ''but Bill your still sober'' something he hadn't been 6 months sober since a young man.

Bill went on a business trip to Akron: The Mayflower hotel (where the telephone box in it is now a monument in their) was were Bill was staying. The business deal went wrong. Bill was angry, upset and full of fear. He walked the hallway of the hotel, pacing up and down between the telephone box and the bar.

His stinking thinking said ''1 won't hurt. I deserve it'' The other side of his head was saying ''Bill you need to find another alcoholic to talk too''

What did he do? He picked up the telephone as that is how I am able to tell you this brief story today. He rang then a minister explained what he needed. That was how he met Dr Bob who was yes a Dr at the local hospital.

Now Dr Bob didn't want to meet him: he only went to appease his wife (Anne) as he had messed up Mother's day again. He extracted a promise out of her that they would give this guy 10 minutes. He didn't feel this guy could be of any help. He had tried many other ways.

Bill W and Dr Bob went into the lounge at the minister house (just the 2 of them) that 10 minutes, turned into 7 hours. What happened? The very principle of our fellowship is ''when one alcoholic talks to another recovery can begin'' Even if the other person doesn't want it. It strengthens our sobriety.

That date was 10th June 1935-that is the day our fellowship was born, even though they didn't realise it then.

Both Dr Bob and Anne Smith (his wife) are buried at Mount Peace Cemetery, in a grave simply marked with there names (nothing points to who they were as co-founders of A.A and Al-Anon (Al-Anon the sister of A.A was co-founded by the wives Lois Wilson (Bill's wife) and Anne Smith (Dr Bob's wife) which is a support network for the families of the alcoholic/addict who are as mentally ill as the person who is/was drinking, past, present, dead, alive etc.

Bill W and Lois W are also buried in graves just bearing their names. No accolade to who they were either.

Bill & Lois grave is in the small cemetery on the southern edge of the village of East Dorset, Vermont on the west side of US Highway 7 that passes through the village.

So now you know! who knows maybe 1 of your relatives did become 1 of the first 100 as they were known who recovered and helped give this message that progressed from 82 years ago in June to the world. I do know they did all the hard word back then BBJ to leave us what we have today :14:


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I started tracing my family tree until I realised

Most of them are still fucking swinging in it!
:2: :2: