A Heysham teenager who was among an air crash which killed 18 people in 1957 has been in many Visitor reader’s thoughts since the paper looked back on the disaster.
William Henry Gorst, a former police cadet, was among the 18 people who died when an RAF Blackburn Beverley aircraft crashed at a farm in Sutton Wick, Oxfordshire on March 5 1957.
Gloria Dunstan got in touch after reading the original article in the Visitor. Gloria’s father, Jimmy Dunne used to play with William (known as Billy) for Trumacar Football Team.
Billy was a centre forward for the team and left the field the day the picture (far right, middle) was taken with badly bruised ribs. Returning with his chest strapped up, he headed in Trumacar’s second goal ten minutes from the end. The team consisted of Hodges, Cockshott, Thompson, Newton, Morris, Garner, Dixon, Rudkin, Gorst, Challenger, Dunne.
Mrs Dunstan said: “I can remember Billy Gorst from when we lived at Peel Avenue. He used to play football with my dad for Trumacar Football team and they would have meetings each week at our house. On a Friday night we would make rosettes for the supporters and on Saturday me and my brother had to go and watch the games as mum was at work and dad would be playing.
“I can also remember Billy was a police cadet and I would never understand why he was allowed to swear (only minor swears in those days) and I swore and my mum used to say the bobby would come to get us and lock us up.
“Swear words were nothing like they are now. I think I met his sister Pearl once but I would only have been about ten-years-old when he got killed and eight-years-old when he was in the football team. I do know where his grave is as I never go to Heysham without going to see it, I have taken my family there on many occasions but never take flowers. He was a very popular gentleman.”
Marjorie Martin’s late husband, John Martin, was stationed at RAF. Abingdon doing his National Service when the aircraft crashed. John (known as “Shawn” because he was born in Belfast) lived in Dale Street, Lancaster.
Marjorie said: “I remember John telling me about the plane crash and how he was one of the men chosen to carry William Gorst’s coffin at his funeral in Heysham because he was from the same area. I remember him telling me what a very emotional experience that had been.”
Pearl Butler, Billy’s sister, sent in a few more pictures of her brother during his football days. Thank you to those who have got in touch to share their memories.