Mr T G Curtis


Western Telegraph:

MR Thomas Granville Curtis (Taff) of Whitehall Drive, Pembroke died suddenly but peacefully at Withybush Hospital on November 26. He was 82 years of age.

Originally from Penygraig in the Rhondda, Taff moved to Pembroke in 1953 at the age of 17. After numerous jobs, which included making roller skates at Davies Steel and building houses in Tenby, he secured a position with the company constructing the new BP oil terminal at Angle Bay.

Two years later when the terminal was complete, he was engaged by BP Oil as a fitter’s mate. He spent the next 30 years working there and progressed to Senior Operator and as the longest serving employee, had the duty of locking the gate for the final time when the terminal closed in 1988.

Shortly after Taff moved to Pembroke he met his future wife, Joan Esmond.

They were married on March 25 1961 and have two daughters, Janet and Helen.

The principal mourners were Joan Curtis (wife); Janet and Alan Griffiths (daughter and son-in-law); Helen and Richard Couling (daughter and son-in-law); Eleanor, Emily and Amy (granddaughters); Daniel and Philippa Griffiths (grandson and wife); Keith Curtis (brother) plus nieces, nephews and other family members too numerous to mention.

The service was officiated by Rev. Martyn Evans on December 7 at Gilead Church, Maidenwells followed by interment in the churchyard.

The bearers were Richard Couling, Alan Griffiths, Daniel Griffiths and Paul Cole (family friend). The moving tribute was given by Eleanor Griffiths (granddaughter) and the piano was played by Ken Randall (nephew).

The large number of cards, flowers and messages received by the family were a testament to the high regard and respect in which Granville – Taff was held.

Donations in lieu of flowers for the British Heart Foundation or Golau Cancer Foundation can be sent to John Roberts & Son, Funeral Directors, Bush Street, Pembroke Dock who carried out the funeral arrangements.

Mrs J M Watson


MRS Jean Margaret Watson of Pleasant Valley, Stepaside passed away at 86 years old on Wednesday, December 5 at Withybush Hospital, Haverfordwest.

If you ask anyone in the UK what Bourneville is famous for they would say Cadbury’s chocolate, but for Jean it was her place of birth where her father worked in Cadbury’s and was also a musician.

Jean’s early recollections of life in Bourneville with her sister Valerie were happy ones, with the special treat of mis-shaped chocolates from Cadbury’s on some occasions.

However in 1939, the Second World War broke out and Jean’s world changed.

She became an evacuee whilst her younger sister stayed at home with her parents.

She spent the war years on a farm where she enjoyed the experience of working with animals, but as with many other children her education suffered.

At the end of the war Jean returned to her parent’s home to an environment which had changed in her absence.

She passed the entrance examination for Grammar School but could not take up the placement because of a lack of sufficient finance at home.

Undaunted, Jean passed the entrance examination for Commercial College and successfully completed her training by the age of 17.

Whilst still living with her parents, Jean met and married Peter Watson at St Nicholas Church in Kings Norton, and they went on to have three sons Mark, Philip and Michael, who brought them much joy and pride.

Jean later served on the Parochial Council for the church for 12 years.

This close relationship with the church was probably responsible for developing Jean’s desire to always speak the truth, and provide support to those in need.

Jean’s first job was as a shorthand typist but her skills were soon recognised by her bosses who made her responsible for the operation of a new telephone exchange system.

Subsequently she also took on the role of shipping supervisor.

Even with the additional responsibility the work was not challenging enough for Jean and she left to work for the National Federation of Ironmongers where she became Chief Cashier.

During the 1960s her husband Peter wanted to start his own business as a chef so Jean gave up her full time work to help the new business develop, and meet the demands of three growing sons.

As the business took off Jean accepted a part-time job with Kalamazoo which was a market leader in manually operated accounts and recording systems.

After just three days her job became full-time and because there was a closed shop policy she was asked to join the National Society of Operative Printers union (NATSOPA).

Jean’s work colleagues recognised her qualities of honesty and integrity and asked if they could nominate her for the position of branch Secretary for NATSOPA.

Jean agreed and after a ballot was elected to Branch Secretary.

As well as being Branch Secretary, Jean also became Imperial Mother of the Chapel.

Those of us who lived through industrial relations in the 1960s and 70s know what a difficult time it was, with characters like Robert Maxwell and Rupert Murdoch in the printing industry.

To get to grips with Jean’s new role she attended training courses at Sheffield University, and this proved essential as they tried to integrate the male and female workforces with all the problems of inequality that we are all familiar with today.

In addition, within Kalamazoo the management were looking to computerise many of the production lines which was fiercely resisted by the workforce.

Jean headed the negotiations with management and eventually put forward an implementation plan that was accepted by the management and workforce.

With the passage of time the job broadened and resulted in Jean having meetings with government ministers such as David Waddington to gain EEC grant money for providing employment opportunities for young people.

At the same time she was involved in discussions to amalgamate NATSOPA with SOGAT which was eventually achieved in 1982.

Jean met and worked with Brenda Dean in this period and decided not to stand for Branch Secretary in the amalgamated union.

Jean’s escape from work was walking her dogs and painting.

She excelled in watercolours of flowers and landscapes but her true talent was in painting and firing pictures onto ceramic plates.

Many of these plates can still be seen on the walls in her home.

To commemorate Brenda Dean becoming Baroness Dean of Thornton-Le-Fylde in the House of Lords, Jean presented Brenda with one of her plates that depicted the maltreatment of Printing Apprentices in 1798.

Baroness Dean hung the plate on the wall of her London Office and corresponded with Jean for years afterwards.

In 1988 Jean and husband Peter decided to plan for retirement and moved from the Midlands to Stepaside.

Jean enjoyed walking her dogs down to the coast but needed something more to keep her active.

As a result she became involved in a wide range of voluntary and salaried work.

Perhaps her more prominent jobs were chairman and treasurer of Mind Pembrokeshire and chairman and treasurer of RSPCA Pembrokeshire until 2018 and chairman with the Wales Valuation Tribunal Service until her passing.

Her involvement with RSPCA was initiated by the Sea Empress Disaster which resulted in large scale oil pollution on the Pembrokeshire coastline.

Jean played a significant role in the rescue and rehabilitation of oil contaminated birds and when the clean-up operation ended the RSPCA presented Jean with a commendation for her efforts.

In addition Jean joined Rotary International and made a positive contribution to the projects undertaken.

Within Rotary, Jean became president in Narberth and Whitland, and Saundersfoot clubs and district officer for youth competitions such as Young Writer.

As a result of her contribution to Rotary she was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship which is the highest accolade a Rotarian can receive.

At the same time that Jean was president in Saundersfoot her son Philip was president in Morden Club, London which is a very rare, if not unique achievement.

With all of these activities going on in her life you could be forgiven for thinking there was no time for anything else, but to Jean, who always said age was just a number, she packed more into her life.

She was very competitive and every week played Scrabble with friends.

As well as playing Scrabble, Jean was an excellent marksman.

She attended archery classes at Kalamazoo and became a proficient archer.

Last year she decided to join Kilgetty shooting club and attended every Saturday.

As a result of her marksmanship she was awarded a medal last month from the West Kent Rifle Handicap League.

Jean lived her life to the full and made a significant impact in industry at a time when equality for women was in its infancy.

She made her mark because she believed in telling the truth and standing up for what she believed was right.

Many people benefited from her work and I’m sure Jean will be sadly missed by her family and many who came into contact with her.

The family left to mourn are sons and daughter-in-laws Mark and Annette, Philip and Jeanette, and Michael, as well as grandchildren and great grandchildren

The funeral was held on Tuesday, December 18 at St. Issell’s Church, Saundersfoot followed by cremation at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Narberth.

The officiant was Rev Trish Campion.

Donations if desired will go to the Wales Air Ambulance c/o E.C. Thomas & Son, Funeral Directors.

Mrs V M J Fuller

(nee Phillips)

Llechryd (previously of Milford Haven)

Western Telegraph:

MRS Valerie May Josephine Fuller (Phillips) passed away peacefully at the Llwyndyrys care home in Llechryd on January 3 2019 aged 86.

Valerie had lived previously at Observatory Ave Hakin, moving in with her husband Raymond Phillips and son Keith in 1954. It was here at home that her daughter Jane and son Mark were born to complete the family.

Valerie was born in Neyland on May 6 1932, the ninth of 10 children, there were five boys and five girls in the family The family originally came from Lowestoft in Suffolk, from a fishing background they moved to Milford to follow the fishing fleet. Her father Stanley was an engineer on the trawlers and several of her brothers were also involved with working at sea. She was very proud of the fact that at one time all five of her brothers were serving in WW2 in one service or another and thankfully all returned home safely.

Valerie’s childhood home in Milford Haven was at Dewsland Street next door to the old Mac Bakery and after finishing school she also went to work in the fishing industry braiding and repairing fishing nets at the Grimsby Stores braiding rooms making many lifelong friendships amongst the girls there.

In 1994 after 43 years of marriage at the age of 66 husband Raymond sadly passed away.

Valerie had always enjoyed her dancing, she was also very much involved in the 70s and 80s with the Milford rugby club ladies committee. She enjoyed playing darts for the ladies team and after Raymond’s death took up bowling at St Katherine’s club in Milford with encouragement from her sister Betty making many more friendships.

She continued her dancing which she loved on Saturday nights at the British Legion in the company of her sister Betty and her husband Vicky and it was whilst dancing she met John Fuller.

In October 1997 Valerie married John, a works supervisor with Pembrokeshire County Council but tragically just 13 days later, John suddenly passed away whilst still on their honeymoon in Spain.

The following year Valerie also lost her only Daughter Jane at the young age of 43.

Following John’s death Valerie never remarried but several years later through dancing she became close friends with Clifford Moore of Hakin and together they enjoyed each other’s companionship for over 10 years on Bowling trips, coach holidays and dinning out until Cliff sadly passing away in March 2017.

The funeral service was held at Hamilton Court Funeral Home followed by cremation at Parc Gwyn Narberth. The service was conducted by the Reverend Martyn Evans. Funeral arrangements were carried out by Tom Newing and sons of Milford Haven.

Principal family mourners were, Keith and Yvonne son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Yvonne son and daughter-in-law. Grandchildren, Andrew, Samantha and husband Doug, Vicky, Chelsea and Tom. Great Grandchildren, Kayleigh, Jake, Amy-Grace, Joel, Mia, Sister Betty together with numerous Nieces and Nephews.