It is a while since I added to this page and quite a bit has happened over the last 12 months. Our eldest son is now a married man living in America. Our Navy doesn't have an aircraft carrier or any planes for him to fly so he has been posted to the USA to fly their jets. It has all been very exciting as they planned for the wedding in April then prepared for their move in August.
Our youngest son has also moved. He was working for Warwick University Students' Union but he moved back to Chester to be with his girlfriend. He now works for Chester University and is much happier as he has his social life back!
He has recently started a car website, Motorsport Review, where he reviews all the motor shows he enjoys visiting in his free time.
The lady in pink is my 92 year old mother.
Our eldest was 14 when he decided he wanted to
He is now a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy training to be a fast jet pilot.
He never met his Great Grandfather but his career move would have made Thomas Hynes a happy man. Here is a photo of Thomas taken during the First World War when he was a member of the Royal Flying Corps:
Our younger son took the university route and graduated with a 2:1. He was elected Vice President of the Students' Union for a year but enjoyed it so much he stood again and was elected for a second term. He then moved to Warwick Students' Union as the Campaigns and Policy Co-odinator.
While his brother adores planes this son loves cars. He spends pounds and hours rebuilding, painting and polishing whatever model he owns at the moment. I have lost count of the number of vehicles he has owned. The 'best' one was an orange VW Beetle that he had for less than fifteen minutes as it broke down on the way home so he took it back for a refund!
I know we are very lucky to have two such happy, intelligent lads.
William had served under Captain Edward John Smith before on the RMS Olympic, again as a First Class Steward. When the Titanic sailed William was 47 years old. The crew had to sign on in Belfast and again in Southampton. Interestingly he stated he was born in Liverpool and signed his name as Gwann in Belfast; he gave the correct details in Southampton. Was he ensuring no-one recognised him in Ireland or was he just careless?
Only a handful of stewards survived that night. William Swan was not one of them. He left a wife and son in Southampton.
Some years ago I posted on the Titanic website and a lady in America contacted me to say she was related to William through his wife's side of the family. More recently we have been contacted by Andrew's family from the Midlands.
My Great Grandparents - Robert and Francis Annie Swan (Robert and William were brothers).
Here is an addendum from Andrew's great grandson:
The Hollywood Connection
Meet Thomas (sometimes Tam or Jock) Hynes ... my Grandfather.
In his younger days he worked as a projectionist in a cinema. This was during the Twenties when the Talkies were just being introduced and cinemas were the place to go. Being a projectionist was regarded as a good job; it paid quite well, you got to see the latest films and you could chat up the young usherettes. Tam was married with four children. My Grandmother apparently sent the kids to spy on him at the end of the shows to check he came straight home. He was a sharp dresser and drove a Morgan .... I have the impression he would have been a bit of a lad in his day! The marriage didn't last.
He had six older sisters who all worshipped him and our family's first Hollywood connection is one of them.
She was known in Hollywood as Sally Shepherd. although her real name was Sally Tweer. The International Movie Database (IMDb) lists her as appearing in twelve films between 1944 and 1949. Her biggest parts were in two Sherlock Holmes films with Basil Rathbone. The others were probably non-speaking parts as her name wasn't listed on the credits.
As a child I was aware we had a rich aunt in America. Parcels would arrive every so often with outlandish clothes (a purple satin blouse sticks in my mind) and the dressing-up box was replenished each time. She married a film producer (Gus Tweer), made lots of money and lived in a mansion just off Sunset Boulevard. I imagined a really beautiful, stylish actress so it came as a bit of a shock when I first saw her in 'The Woman in Green'. There she was a middle-aged, dour Scottish woman. It didn't fit my childish imaginings!
In 1949 she appeared in The Snake Pit with Olivia de Havilland. Aunt Sally played the part of a nurse. The film was nominated for six Oscars (won one for the sound recording) and it is one of the 1001 Films to See Before You Die.
She plays the part of Crandon, a lady's maid, in 'The Woman in Green'.
We found a reference to Sally's husband, Gustav Tweer, showing he was an understudy in Gielgud's Hamlet on Broadway in the 1930s.
The Hollywood Connection you might actually have heard of is my husband's Uncle Bill, better known as William Hootkins .... WHO? I can hear you cry! But you probably have seen him without noticing ... even though he was a large chap! Here he is appearing as Porkins, Red Six, in Star Wars.
He was in Flash Gordon; Raiders of the Lost Ark; The Pink Panther; Black Adder; Superman IV; Batman; A River Runs Through it and The West Wing to name but a few. He was described as "a superbly talented, versatile and exuberant character actor". He died in 2005.
ANOTHER AVIATION LINK?
In searching for Gustav Tweer on the internet I came across a road by that name in Germany! Obviously I was puzzled and dug further.
When the First World War broke out he volunteered and was sent to the Western Front for a time. His flying talent was recognised though and he was sent to work as a test pilot for the new planes being developed. He was engaged to be married by 1916 when one of the new planes developed technical problems and caught fire. He had to jump before it landed and exploded. He didn't survive the fall. He was only 23.
I know our Gustav Tweer cannot possibly be the same man BUT both men were German so perhaps he is some sort of relative!
On the other hand another Gustav W Tweer was prosecuted in America in 1928 for passing a dude cheque .... do I want to claim a connection to him as well??