A letter from an old friend

LONG OVERDUE Geoff Camponi with the letter. (d521b440)
LONG OVERDUE Geoff Camponi with the letter. (d521b440)

A Batley man whose family housed evacuees during World War II received a surprise letter from one of the boys his family helped – after 70 years.

Geoff Camponi, of Kester Street, received the letter after Brian Hunt was able to track down his address. Evacuee Brian was aged just four when he was shipped up to Batley from Enfield, Midlesex, in 1940, and was eager to share his memories of the wonderful treatment he received from the Camponi family in Henrietta Street.

Mr Camponi, who was seven when his family received Brian and his brother John, said: “When I got the letter I read it over and over again. I couldn’t believe it.

“Brian had such a terrific memory, he remembered the cellar kitchen that was converted to a bedroom and my mother giving us money to go to the matinee pictures. But when my family read that he remembered me being a brilliant pianist they thought I had made it up. We are hoping to go down to see him in the October break.”
But Brian was still looking for another family who housed his sister, Margaret, when she was moved up to the town and hoped that Batley News readers might be able to help. Brian, 78, was the youngest of 10 and is the last surviving sibling.

Geoff, 81, and Brian were almost reunited in 1967 when Brian visited Geoff’s old house when he was a delivery man, but never left his address.