Jack Allen

December 2020

Jack Allen

My father, Jack Allen (John Alfred Allen), was born 26 August 1923 in Bingley, West Yorkshire. He was married to my mother Audrey (Doris Audrey Hird). Jack Allen died on the 11th November 2012, aged 89. Before he died we made a number of recordings of Jack talking about his life.

Jack and Audrey had 3 sons - Michael Leslie Allen (born 26/1/48), John Christopher Allen (born 21/1/53) and Kenneth Warren Allen (born 27/10/58).

Jack lived in Bingley for the first 40 years of his life before moving with his family to Middlesbrough. The family stayed in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire for approximately 5 years before moving to Morecambe, Lancashire. After about 10 years in Morecambe he and Audrey moved to Bolton le Sands, near Carnforth, where he lived for the last 30 years of his life.

Jack and Audrey

Jack and Audrey

Audrey Hird marries Jack Allen

Wedding Day

Jack and colleague 1945

Jack 1945


Recordings of Jack Allen

The Final Tape:

Jack Allen died on the 11th November 2012 at the age of 89. In going through his things I found a sealed envelope with the following writing on it:

'John - To be opened when I'm gone. As requested, a brief resume of my life before you were at Acklam. Dictated into m/c up to 1/11/06.'

There was a cassette inside the envelope.

Other Recordings:

Jack Allen 01
Recorded:7 April 2011 || 9min0s || 4.18MB
Where he was born and some of his relatives
Living with Hilda, Agnes and Chris in Fox Street (and Grandma Allen)
The death of his mother
Myrtle Park School and bullying.

Jack Allen 02
Recorded:25 December 2005 || 5min40s || 2.6 MB
Life when he was young - wash day, baking day etc.
Death of his father
His father's allotment and working on his allotment
His father's job
Earwigs and Chrysanthemums

Jack Allen 03
Recorded:25 December 2005 || 6min24s || 2.93MB
His early life - approx 1928
Grandmother and her daughter
Living with Grandma Allen etc. on Fox Street
White's Tanners Clyde Street Tannery
Woollen mills in Bingley
Description of the house on Fox Street

Jack Allen 04 Recorded:25 December 2005 || 3min 57s || 1.80MB
A well ordered childhood
What parents were like
Getting the cane on the day he left school
Reducing the music teacher to tears

Jack Allen 05
Recorded:25 December 2005 || 3min 35s || 1.63MB
Living on sick pay after his father's heart attack
Making bread
Jobs - Hilda, Agnes etc.
Garsdale roots
Hilda marrying Tom

Jack Allen 06
Recorded:25 December 2005 || 7min25s || 3.39MB
Death of Aunt Agnes
Living on Myrtle Avenue (he says 44, but may have been 40)
Father re-marrying
Death and marriage of Irene (Jack's sister)
Relation of Peter Sutcliffe (The Yorkshire Ripper) to the family
Description of Irene
Irene going out secretly

Jack Allen 07
Recorded:25 December 2005 || 5min0s || 2.29MB
Death of Irene
Looking after Alan Coonan (Irene's son)
The Zephyr 6, Humber Hawks, Ford Consul
Vacuum operated windscreen wipers

Jack Allen 08
Recorded:25 December 2005 || 6min0s || 2.77MB
Relationship of Audrey with Jack's stepmother
Living with his stepmother
Class B Demob due to being skilled
Working immediately after the war
Nora's father being killed in an industrial accident
Lancashire Boiler maintenance

Jack Allen 09
Recorded:25 December 2005 || 7min0s || 3.33MB
Getting the awkward jobs due to being small
Jack's dad as a gymnast/athlete
Jack being fat
Using a generator for electricity at Broadstones
Harry Haddock
Using submarine batteries for power

Jack Allen 10
Recorded:25 December 2005 || 5min36s || 2.56MB
Renting a television (about 1953) from Radio Rentals
Powering the TV with submarine batteries (d.c.)
Explaining how batteries were charged

Jack Allen 11
Recorded:25 December 2005 || 4min42s || 2.16MB
Michael & John as choristers
Putting the electric blanket on
John and Michele's problem night with an electric blanket

Jack Allen 12 Recorded:25 December 2005 || 9min12s || 4.21MB
Wartime in the airforce
Pilot training and being grounded
Aircrew training - the Grand Hotel and the Metropole in Brighton
Firing at incoming German planes


Here's a list of Jack's jobs - dates are approximate:

Jack Allen's Career
Date Details
1937 Honore's Ltd, Clyde Street Bingley Weaving apprentice for about 6 months
1937 Apprentice plumber in Bingley Approximately 6 months
1938 Norris Jowett Ltd., Bradford Apprentice chemical plumber and heating engineer
1939 R.A.F. Pilot training initially
1946 Norris Jowett Ltd., Bradford Chemical plumber and heating engineer
1948 Westbrook Lanolin Company, Bradford Maintenance Engineer
1952 Baird Television, Bradford Works Engineer
1958 Anderton Springs, Bingley Works Engineer and then Chief Engineer Oversaw the building of No5 works near Bingley Parish Church
1965 Richard Hill/Firth Cleveland, Middlesbrough Chief Engineer and Works Manager Oversaw building of a rod mill in Scotland and a wire mill in Middlesbrough
1970 Magnatex, Blyth Works Manager Oversaw the opening of this factory manufacturing car parts
1974 Plastics Company, Stevenage, Plastics Manager
1976 TPT, Milnrow Project Manager developing plastic milk bottles
1978 Various jobs until retirement in about 1988. These included: Maintenance Engineer, Lancaster Bus Station Maintenance Engineer, Creban Bandage Manufacturers, Morecambe Team Leader Community Programme, Lancaster

Family Tree

A few years ago Kenneth did some Ancestry research and produced a family tree for our parents. The image below is a poor photo (which I took) of Jack's family tree. Click on the image for a much clearer picture.

Jack Allen Family Tree

Click on the image to enlarge