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Vol. 16(9), pp. 12-16The McAllen International Orchid Society JournalSeptember 2015

Orchids in My Neck of the Woods (Part I, Section I)

Fred Campbell

I sometimes wonder how and when I got hooked on native orchids. Maybe it all began back in my childhood. I was born in October, 1938 in the industrial town of Coventry (Lat 52.24N 1.31 W) in the County of Warwickshire in the very heart of England and having a population of around 300,000. I was the youngest of three boys, my oldest brother 18 months older and my twin brother 10 minutes older. We lived a comfortable life and my father was a mechanic in one of the many well known Coventry automotive companies. Then our lives all changed with the outbreak of World War II in the following September of 1939. My Father left Coventry to work in aircraft maintenance. Since Coventry, being a city with many heavy defence-related industries came under threat from the predicted heavy bombings by the German Luftwaffe, it was decided that a large share of Coventry's population including older people, mothers and children up to the age of l5 were recommended to evacuate to the safer countryside far from the industrial cities. Thus began the exodus or evacuation of thousands of Brits. We were lucky that because of our age, we were not split up from each other or our mothers. We housed in a chauffer's lodgings above the garage in a large country house in the small but quiet idyllic village of Radway (Lat 52.13N 1.46W) 27 miles south of Coventry. Here we were to stay throughout the duration of the War, mainly because our house in Coventry was completely destroyed in the fateful Coventry Blitz of November 14th 1940. Our father was also away on duty at one of the many airfields throughout the UK. We returned back to Coventry in the middle of September 1945 after the end of the War.

Fig. 1. Wild blackberries (Rubus fruticosus).

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Copyright © 2015 Fred Campbell