The first picture I have of him was taken when he was 15 months old, my grandmother mother had written on the back of it "Willie Cox 15 months old". Why didn't all our ancestors write the info on the back of photos. (I must admit though that I am guilty of omitting this too.) I don't know what happened to the blond hair as he was quite dark as an adult.
The next picture I have of dad was a school photo which I have copied (with consent) from a book published in 1999 written and published by Frank Beard (a local man and ex-pupil) about Romiley Primary school, where dad and I were both pupils. The photo was taken in 1933 when Bill was 13 years old. Pupils stayed at school until they were 14 at that time. There was no secondary school in the village.
William (known to all as Bill) is the second boy from the left on the back row. Also in the photo are two of Bill's cousins, Harold Mycock is third from the left on the row in front of Bill and Emily Mycock is second from the left on the front row. Which of my grandma's brothers they belonged to I don't know but they all lived in the village. The photograph is labelled wrongly as it says William is first left next to Mr Slater but he is second from him.
The photo below is of Bill and his friend Les Howard and it was taken at Blackpool Pleasure Beach when they were about 17 years old. Not a real motorbike just a photographer's prop. Bill is on the back of the bike.
Bill and Les, together with two other school friends formed a band called the Savoy Melody Makers. Bill played the piano, Les was the drummer, Frank Ernell was guitarist and Frank Higginbottom played the saxophone. They regularly played for dances at Romiley public Hall and also played for afternoon tea dances at the Savoy cinema in the village.
Frank Higginbottom later found fame and appeared on television with a group called the Keynotes and on the Billy Cotton Band Show. He also had success on tv adverts (The Esso Blue Dealer and Milky Bar Kid). He went on to join the Adam singers backing starts like Perry Como and Max Bygraves.
No such fame for Bill but he was always very popular playing in the local pubs for sing-alongs and never had to buy his own beer.
Bill is first from the left at the back here standing next to his friend Les. This photo was given to me by mum but all she wrote on it was Savoy Melody Makers. I didn't know there were so many of them or who the others are. I knew Les and always called him uncle Les. He used to come to our house to practice for the band with dad. I think the man top right might be Frank Higginbottom.