13 October, 1933 – 30 June, 2020
Mumufied 2021

John Francis Dunn

Memorial by Tracey Dunn

Memories of my dad

A lot of my memories are of my dad driving vehicles… he had motorbikes and cars.

When I was about five I remember going out in his motorbike side car with my mum. My brother would ride pillion with my dad on what was possibly a Triumph motorbike.

We had a red Triumph Herald… number plate 2XWC… a bronze Ford Cortina LKW 719L (I think), a dark green Rover 3 and a half litre, a blue Montego and a light blue Volvo.

I remember the Volvo looking and driving like a Rolls Royce!

We usually drove out at weekends. Often up to Stoke Newington or Islington to visit family.

Sunday mornings it was often to Hackney Marshes where my dad played football. My dad also played football quite a few times in Ostend, Belgium and he usually drove the car there with us going too.

We often drove on Sunday afternoons to South Weald, the beautiful country park with a huge lake.

My dad would get us kids racing backwards and forwards to the Lightning tree… he told us years later it was to tire us out!!

Other Sundays he would drive us to Bedfords Park. We always loved looking out to the London skyline on the horizon! The Weald and Bedfords Park both had deer which I still love to this day.

We often drove to Doddinghurst to visit Lesley, who is our funeral director, and family. I remember one Christmas Eve we opened the door to leave and it had been snowing heavily and the ground was under a blanket of snow… It was really magical driving home!

My dad would ask us children where we wanted to go on holiday…England or abroad? When young we always chose England as we loved Butlins and off we would drive to Clacton, Skegness or Minehead. I have a great memory of driving to the Cheddar Gorge. I had never seen anything like these hills before.

We saw some bigger hills… Actual mountains… When we my dad drove us to South West France.

We visited a Cognac distillery and spent hours on the most beautiful beach ever.

We also broke down in the Pyrenees Mountains… We all spent the night on the edge of a cliff while lightning storms lit up the sky around us and lorries swerved round us!! I hitch-hiked back to our hotel the next morning on my own and left them all to wait for the breakdown truck! I’d had enough!!

We were very lucky to get to travel so much with him. My dad helped instil in me a love of seeing the world.

I was lucky enough to work in the South of France in St. Tropez Bay when I was young. I managed to get my mum, dad, sister and her friend a half price caravan to stay in where I was based. My dad drove them all the way down!

I was a coach courier taking holiday makers along the Riviera. There were usually seats spare so they were all able to spend time with me in some beautiful places like Monaco, Monte Carlo, Nice and Cannes. Memories I will cherish forever.

Ironically I have chosen not to drive… I much prefer being driven… I think that’s due to my great adventures as a child being driven around by my dad.