"Do you remember King George's death?" you asked.

I most certainly do. I was a chorister at Westminster Abbey Choir School at the time. When our headmaster Mr E.W Thompson (Mingon) called us into the library and solemnly told us that the King was dead, I fixed my eyes on the wall calendar and recorded in my memory for the rest of my life: Wednesday 6th February, 1952.

Sadness among the whole Abbey choir was deep, and the mood was sombre. Even so, the event marked the start of much special activity around the Abbey. The most memorable event was the lying in State of the King, across the road in the houses of parliament. Another unforgettable moment was when we had to sing 'The Lord's my Shepherd' (Nimrod) at the ceremony. It was King George's favourite hymn.

Sadly, though (for me!) pride came before a fall. I was the senior chorister at the time of the King's death, and was looking forward to the coronation with glee. But Mother Nature moved me on to the next phase in life: My soprano voice broke before the big occasion, and I was unceremoniously dumped into the big wide world outside my cosy Abbey life. Ah well! I had at least been the youngest chorister at the Royal Wedding, in 1947. So I couldn't complain.

That was all sixty years ago. My association with the village of Dore started a mere 54 years ago, when I took some leave from the Army to visit my parents. My Dad was the Vicar of Dore then, and a better turn he never did for me than to come here. My Mother never did me a better turn than to tell me to spend less time in the Hare and Hounds, and to go up to the Youth Club to help my Dad (Raymond Heawood) who had organised it. For it was there that I met and fell completely in love with Pat Bell; a young lady born and bred in the village. It would therefore be ungentlemanly of me to mention exactly how far back my wife's Dore connections reach!

We remember many things, with great fondness, about the fifties in Dore. Besides the Youth Club, that is. We remember the unveiling at the village green of the commemorative stone that my father calculated was the spot where the Kingdom was united. We remember joining in with the resumption of bell ringing at the Church; another of Revd Heawood's initiatives. Another was his starting (or at least giving his blessing to) the Well Dressing in the village – even though perhaps it might have been a bit of historical fancy to claim that Well Dressing had been an ancient tradition in this particular village.

Ah! The fifties! What fun that was! But then, every decade offers its own fun – even if it does get harder to find.

As long as Dore remains Dore Village, and veers no further towards suburbia, we will be happy.

Julian and Pat Heawood