Colin's Profile Amended: 20.04.2007.  Added 4.01.2010.  Added 21.11.2014
Colin born 13th April 1941, eldest of the 10 children born in Ormskirk lived a short while at Lydiate with Mother and Grandparents and then moved to Wallasey living at 197 Seabank Road.Douglas, Marilyn and Jacqueline were born in Wallasey and we, as a family of 6 moved to a new house at Ormskirk in 1951.Memories of my younger days, often come back to me, I have lots of memories from Wallasey, living there on the corner of Seabank Rd. and Marlborough Rd, our garden being a corner was quite large, one of my favourite things in the garden was the air raid shelter that was fun to play in, around us were many bombed buildings these where also super playgrounds for the young Colin.I remember the VE day celebrations, Dad was home or on leave and we waited for the procession to go past our house, everyone was happy.I remember the ration books, the dried milk, dried eggs, and national margarine and after the war it was amazing how different real eggs tasted and butter, but I must admit I still love corned beef, either in a sandwich or as a hash with peas.One thrashing I got I remember vivid, Peashooters were a craze at the time using dried peas for ammunition, one evening I hid in the side hedge waiting for a target and who came along but a man on a motorbike, with good aim I got him on the cheek, now reflecting it must have hurt, slamming on his brakes, I thought it was time to move, running into the house and pretending to be quite calm, 2 minutes later was the knock on the door, what could I say.Another time was during a craze of darts, all the big boys at the school had them and me and my mate wanted one each, so next day buying a set with money stolen from my little mates parents shop, which he helped him self from the till, we got our darts, but, the shopkeeper near our house informed my father that we bought darts with a pound note, say no more, I got it. Dad accused me of stealing it in the night from his trousers, to this day I have never forgiven him.One time while staying at Nana’s I became ill with a chest infection, she had a remedy a tin of kaolin poultice which was cooked in boiling water and applied smeared over a rag and bandaged in place, I remember, I screamed as loud as the piglets we used to castrate at George Gittins farm.Another day Nana caught me behind the water tub with a mate of mine smoking one of Pops big cigars, that brought her into a rage which she used to call her ‘paddywack’ I haven’t heard that word anywhere else only at Nana’s. We always had a big Christmas tree with real candles; the veranda in summer was always filed with ‘Pops’ tobacco leaves hanging up to dry, which he used to process and press as he used to smoke a pipe.The earliest Christmas day I can remember was at Seabank road, waking up at 4 in the morning finding my sock and shooting my cap gun which was loaded with a ribbon of live caps, this must have been a good awakening for mum and dad who slept in the same room.The first holiday I remember was with Mum, Auntie Con, cousin Margaret. Ron must have been there also, we lived in a converted ‘charabanc’, a single Decker coach, which wasn’t fit for use on the roads probably. It was parked among the sand hills by the beach at Prestatyn in Wales.I often went with Mum to Llandudno and stayed in a small guest house for weekends, I must have been 4 or 5 at this time.Moving to Ormskirk, I became interested in nature, at 11yrs I was competent tractor driver at Gittins farm, I spent a lot of time there and was left to plough fields alone, another farmer a mate of George Gittins used to borrow me to work there as well, at 12 sometimes the 2 farmers would take me on a Friday night to the stadium in Liverpool to watch the Wrestling, other times I had to stay at the farm to watch over the young baby piglets as they were born.I spoke to George one day, and said my dad needed a job he took him on as a farm labourer; there he worked for several years.I often visited Auntie Con and remember the bungalow well, it was lit with gas lights, no electric and often I went to the garage to get the accumulator (battery) which was on charge for the radio.Auntie Con and Ron often played the piano. Uncle Bill I remember used to be a speedway rider and was in a team I think Cradly Heath in Birmingham. He often reminds me of Burt Lancaster even to this day when I see a Film I think of him.I often played with Margaret and Ron, Ron was a few years older than me, he was more educated than Margaret and me, he used to go to the grammar school, often we played in the woods opposite the bungalow. I remember one day his foot went into a hole with a wasps nest in he had on welly boots and the wasps got into them stinging him badly, I ran away as fast as I could, coward ok.Sundays us three used to go to the Sunday School, but often if Ron wasn’t with us me and Margaret used to go down the fields for a couple of hours and play together. Fathers and Mothers probably…. I don’t know what.I know I used to get frightened when I used to cycle back home in the dark going through Scarisbrick Woods, especially if an owl hooted or I heard anything.With a couple of others we made a dirt track which we used to race around on our ‘dirt track’ bikes which didn’t have any brakes, it was on mine that I had my first accident, going to the library on the 12. April 1953 with Margaret to get books changed, the library was at the school next to the Church on the Southport Road, coming out on my bike there was quite a slope and I couldn’t stop before I got into the main Road and a car hit me, damaging my left knee and when I looked at it, I thought I had lost my kneecap as the cut had opened up exposing flesh and bone, I remember saying to Margaret ‘look for my kneecap’ I remember the day as the next day it was my 13th. Birthday which I spent in Southport Infirmary. At practically the same place on the main road, at the bend by the church I had my second accident, this time on my Norton Dommi, trying to race a sports car, I came off going round the bend flat out and hitting the curb, the bike was a right off, but luckily I was ok only bruised.Just about half a mile away I had another accident with the lorry I was driving for J.A.Brooks crashing into the Police Station wall which was the house on the corner of Southport Road and Bescar Brow Lane, 3 accidents all in a half a mile of each other, thankfully that was a long time ago and haven’t had any since.One hobby of mine at the time was collecting bird’s eggs, I had a large collection which took several years to achieve, but one day Mum said to me as I entered the house you’re going to have a good cry today, I think it was Graham (just a toddler) had broken all the eggs.Moving to Ormskirk meant changing schools, I started in Aughton Street I’m not sure what it was called but it was there a long time, one entrance was in Moorgate cant remember much more, moved then to Greetby Hill Junior School and then at 11, to Wigan Road Secondary Modern as it then known, I used to get into enough trouble there, I was not very good at English or Maths but Technical drawing and Algebra were my best subjects, I remember the cane often enough in the winter on both hands and Charley Fogg the drawing teacher he was a sadist to say the least, Ok Finch, finger indicating me to come to the front, ‘Come here Boy’, ‘Head under my table’, and then it was the cane on the arse 6 times, the table was so you wouldn’t jerk upright as the cane came, another time it was the big Tee Square what he used for the blackboard, after the second or third wack the thing snapped, much to the amusement of the others. Is Charley Fogg still around? He was probably used in Iran or Iraq as head torturer. He was ok though, that was how it used to be then. A bit different now though.Leaving Wigan Rd. school at 14, I then went to Bootle Tech. College for two years, learning Engineering. A friend comes to mind Gary Morrison, who lived by the station and we used to travel together. At this school I was one of the best in English, that says a lot for the Liverpool education. Only joking wacker.I started my first job as an electrical apprentice for a small firm in Church St. Howe’s Electrical, but after 6 months I changed to the Heating and Plumbing trade, starting at James Mercer, a Preston firm with a branch in Ormskirk, I moved on and finished my time in Southport at J.A. Brooks. Luck was on my side I avoided the army enlistment because by the time I was 21, they only needed professionals.At 16 I had my first motorbike, shortly after that, I was one of a group of riders who called themselves the lilac gang, it was fun and to hear up to 20 bikes one after the other roaring up Church St. around the church and down into Southport Rd. was quite a racket, we used to go off for a run to Gretna Green in Scotland on a Sunday morning. I was mostly a Norton Dominator rider, I cant remember many names now one that comes to mind was ‘Buster’ Sylvester who I heard passed away, Pam Greenleys who emigrated to New Zealand with Harry Slowey, I lost contact with them and would love to make contact again. There was my mate of long standing in Whittle Dr. Colin Dodd, he rode a tiger cub I think, there was the lovely Ann Deakin, I remember in 1958 one of our meeting places was the open air baths at Southport, that was a nice time lots of friends, those that I have mentioned and, Mary Tyler and Gerry Peate, I have a copy of a photo with 14 of us on but sadly I cant give them names, I hope this profile is read by a couple of my old friends and sends me an email or a letter.1960 I started life on my own living in Southport where I was working and learning to be a Plumber and Heating Engineer, later I started working for a London company which took me around the country working on various building sites.I attended a youth club in Ormskirk, meeting a girl called Carole Johnston, we stayed together quite a long time, Friday evening we used to go to the Cavern Club in Liverpool where the Beatles used to play and often to new Brighton tower on a Saturday, where there would be at least 12 Liverpool groups playing live and a star from America, a favourite of mine was Jerry Lee Lewis. We used to go to the Judo Club together in Ormskirk; this was run by Ted Collier who had a local shoe shop. The Riverside Club between Rufford and Southport was also a favourite haunt of ours, a couple of times we were lucky not to be caught up in after time drinking raids by the police, somehow we got rid of the evidence.Eventually our romance ended, but to this day I still think of her.I was sent to Cardiff working on a new extension for the University. I found the City very pleasant and at the end of the contract decided to stay and make a home there.I met Pauline and was married in 1965, we later sold the house we were living in and moved into a pub in Newport, stayed there a couple of years and decided we were not cut out for this life and as I had kept my job on we moved to a house near Bridgend. We started sailing and were active members in the Cardiff Yacht Club, shortly after we decided to part our marriage and went our separate ways. I stayed with my main hobby in sailing and later became Commodore of the Yacht club after being on the committee for several super years. I still think of the old friends from Cardiff as I still think that is the best City in the world.On one of my skiing holidays I met Friederike an Austrian, from Klagenfurt a city in the south of Austria and in 1984 we married.At this time the company that I was working for, W.S.Atkins sent me to Oman for a contract, Friederike came as well and soon learnt English with so many ex-patriots. I at the time still could not speak German. After this contract we went to Bahrain and then later I was working from the Dubai office. At the end of these pleasant years the company wanted me to work on the London Docks project but I declined and decided to make a life in Austria.Still not able to speak German we thought it would be difficult to find work so we decided to open a Café House more like a pub in Klagenfurt. After a couple of years and after I had learnt German, although English words still come in the middle of sentences I started to work in an office in Klagenfurt, planning pipelines for chemical, pharmaceutical installations and paper mills.1994 I was divorced for the second time, but we still keep contact and still on friendly terms,at this time I moved from Klagenfurt to Maria Rain, south of Klagenfurt and lived there for a couple of years, the company I was working for then had no new contracts so I took on a job in Germany also planning pipelines in chemical and pharmaceutical installations. So that I was not travelling from Germany to the south of Austria I moved to Maria Alm, a small village in the middle of a super skiing region, I then bought a house in Saalfelden and as I was staying in a guest house and was only there at weekends sometimes every other weekend, I rented the house out.I was working most of the time in the old East German parts Leipzig, Chemnitz, Leuna, Berlin and other places. My last project was on the border near Austria in Burghausen and I decided when this project was finished I would also hang my mouse up and make the rest of my life easy and relaxing.I had already bought a house in Saalfelden in 1998, only 5 km. from Maria Alm in the county of Salzburg. In winter it is ideal for skiing with lifts only 15 minutes away from home also there are 200km of cross country skiing and super weather summer and winter. Douglas, Paul, Dorothy hubby Bob and Robert jnr. Have often been to Austria skiing, Eric and Jill also tried but Eric decided the summer was better. Eric, Jacqueline, Dorothy and Graham have been a few times these past couple of years rambling in the mountains. In summer it is a paradise for mountain rambling and lots more. I have met some nice people whilst skiing and Mountain Rambling.My hobbies have always included gardening but my interest in old timer motor bikes is escalating, I now have 6, 1951 BSA A10, 1978 Honda, 1972 Triumph Bonneville, 1932 Terrot, 1951 Velocette Venom, a 1952 Puch.That seems to be my life in a nutshell and I still think of the many friend that I have met during my travels and often wonder what are they doing now and wish I could have a chat and a beer with them.What is in the future? I just don’t know, I am not happy living alone but that’s life.The future is always coming, tomorrow never comes, but life can always throw in a couple of surprises, nice ones I hope.In 2005 my life has changed again, I have sold the house in Saalfelden and bought another in a small village called Suetschach part of Feistritz im Rosental, this is again in the south of Austria sitting under the Karawanken mountains which border Austria with Slovenia.It is an old house in the country and I am in the middle of refurbishing it. As I said one doesn’t know what the future holds, love could just be around the corner who knows……Now after a year and the house is practically finished a new love came into my life from the other side of the garden fence…her name is Helga.After a short whirlwind romance we married on Friday the 13th April 2007, my birthday, which to me has always been a lucky number.To make it even luckier, the day of our wedding, the chimney sweep came. We married at the local registry office in Feistritz im Rosental. The ceremony was carried out by the lady mayor, attended by a few guests including Helga’s Father, Stepmother, Daughters, Barbara, Valerie and Daniel. On my side I had two Finches, Eric and Graham and a few friends from Klagenfurt.We had a nice garden party with superb Austrian sunshine; even our dog was in on the act and had a colourful collar.I have added some photos to our web album and hope you find them nice and interesting.A couple of the motorbikes have gone but last year I bought a very dilapidated 3 wheeler, it is a Moto Guzzi ‘Hercules’ this has taken a lot of time but now it is restored.We have started going to Spain twice a year in the spring and in the Autumn, this apartment was eventually finished in 2000, some 10 years after the proposed completion date. This delay was stressful and when it was completed I purchased furniture, lighting and made it habitable. But deep in my mind I was not really interested any more init until Helga came along. We decided to go for a couple of weeks in 2006 taking the dog with us and driving the 2100km. We enjoyed it and then have been going twice a year since mid February till mid April and again mid September till November. We have found new friends there. Karen and Janne from Sweden. Rob and Jane from the Wiltshire. Gill and Allen from Derbyshire. We find the weather super at these times and not too hot.We had a nice Mediterranean Cruise in 2008, we were so impressed that we had told a few friends and since then 3 couples have also enjoyed the same cruise that we were on. On our cruise we met another couple from Wolfsberg, some 30km away from us Melita and Reinhard. We have stayed friends and meet occasionally.We have booked another cruise for June this time taking the east Mediterranean and Agean seas, visiting Italy, Turkey and Greece. Melita and Reinhard are also coming along with Bunty an old friend of ours.We have been spending Christmas in Innsbruck have the traditional Austrian Dinner on the 24th and then a traditional English Christmas Dinner on the 25th.2009 was very special, especially for Helga, her eldest daughter had a baby boy named Gabrial, so now I am married to a Grandmother. I cannot really be a grandfather in that sense as I haven’t had any children but they are calling me ‘pop’, that is what I used to call my grandfather on my mothers side, so I can still bring back memories I had with him.The baby is really nice and Helga is over the moon, she gets so excited just thinking of it and wants to be with him all the time. Everything she sees in the shops she thinks of Gabrial.It must be 10 years since I started this Homepage and this Profile. What has happened this last 12 months has made it really worth while for me. Firstly last Christmas Eve 2008, I received an email from Pam and Harry Slowey whom I mentioned early on in this profile. Well Pam’s sister, whilst ‘Googling’ found the reference above and contacted Pam and she did the rest.The second pleasant surprise for me was that I also had an email from a Carole Codd, who when I knew her was Carole Johnston my first real girlfriend. You can’t believe how happy that makes one when you receive a bolt out of the blue especially when I have mentioned these people in my profile so long ago.A third email came recently from Alec Fletcher, who is he? I asked, he told me he couldn’t believe I was the same Colin Finch he knew from 1963. I couldn’t place him so I wrote back and he told me we used to work for the same firm in Southport, J A Brooks, which is also written in this profile. It turned out that he was my apprentice and was in the lorry that I crashed into the Police Station wall by the Morris Dancers Hotel in Scarisbrick.Another email came from a Graham Johnston, he informed me about the teachers we had at Wigan Rd. Charlie (Mansion Polish) Fogg, bless him. Richard (Dicky) Thomas. Mr Fletcher English, Hender for Science and Roberts for Biology. Cant remember doing Biology though. (Capt. Roberts in the Chindits) Mr Ellison was the head until 60/61.Updated 4.01.2010.So what have I been doing in the last 4 years?Helga has now 3 grandchildren, Valerie and Daniel had another son so Gabriel has now a brother, Noah. Barbara Helga’s youngest daughter now married to Ached now have a daughter Selin, she is now 15 months old and obviously Helga is delighted.They have been visiting us each summer for a holiday, Gabriel and Noah always want to help me in the garage but as little boys are they want to pick everything up so I can’t really do what I want to. Selin gets all the attention that is obvious. I am quite happy after 2 or 3 weeks when they go back home. I can carry on with my work in peace.I have sold the apartment in Spain and now live in a nice bungalow, I spent a lot of time working on it in the Spring, Eric came over and helped to get it shipshape before Helga came over. I really like living here as I was never happy in the apartment with all the trouble with the building which was 10 years late before completion.I or we have a big circle of friends in Spain and I know one day I will be living here permanently. I have now joined a yacht club and go sailing most weekends, most of the members are Brits so that makes it much easier. Our next door neighbour Ernie from N.Ireland introduced me there and invited me to come for a sail. Ernie’s wife is called Valerie and we get on fine together, Ernie also renovated old timer cars so we have that in common as well.We also have an English couple next door, Christine and Robert and across the road in a large villa lives’ Stewart. We also have German neighbours Maria and Otto and Rose and Herbert.In Austria, I have lots to do. I enjoy working in the garden and on the house but my real love is renovating cars. All my motor bikes have been sold. My Triumph GT6 also sold after I have finished the Auto Union DKW. I still have plenty to do on that but it is on the road and have been in a few rallies with it.At the moment I am enjoying the quiet and solitude as I am alone, Helga went home last week as she wanted to go to Innsbruck and then she is going to Turkey with her friend for a week as she has done for the last 3 years. Normally at this time I would have gone back to the UK to see my family and friends but I had a few problems this year and stayed on here instead.When I get home I am going to have a busy time, arriving home on the 6th Dec. I want to get some skiing in before Christmas; I need to rebuild an engine. We go to Helga’s father for a couple of days then on the Innsbruck on 22nd Dec. Back home on the 26th and then on the 31st I am going to a spa/therapy hotel for 3 weeks which doesn’t leave much time in January to finish my DKW and hopefully Paul and Samantha come over in February for a week or so Skiing. Then near the end of February I will be coming back to Spain.Added 21 November