They wait-and they hope

They wait-and they hope

Evening Post Wed April 11th 1973

Congresbury villagers were numb with shock today as they waited for more news of the survivors. About 20 villagers were on the plane organised in a by Mrs. party Beryl Batt, captain of the women’s skittles team. Other team members were in the group, along with women from the village social club, husbands, children and friends. Mrs. Batt, of Stonewell Drive, went with her husband Ray on the trip. She worked at Bristol Airport and had previously arranged visits to and Spain. Paris, Holland, Mrs. Molly Hawkins, also of Stonewell Drive, is one member of the skittles team who stayed at home. “T intended to go, but changed my mind a couple 0 of months ago. I had a S feeling about it and did not e want to go,” she said. Like the rest of the village, Mrs. Hawkins is waiting for news of her friends. 

Mr. Denis Gill was still not sure how many of his relatives had been killed and whether his wife and daughter were alive. For the survivor list named Miss 01 Mrs. Gill. But there was no mention of whether it was his daughter Hazel (9) or wife Aileen. Or his sister-in-law Marie, who had gone with her husband Ivor and son John (21) on the flight. Today Mr. Gill and his two older daughters waited for a telephone message. Mr. Gill live and his family at Walnut Brinsea Cottage, Road, and his brother Ivor next door at the Horts. Equally badly hit was the Roynon family from Venus Street. 

Mr. Colin Roynon had seen his wife Jean and daughters Ellen and Linda (21) and Linda’s mother-in-law, Mrs. Maude Davis, off yesterday. None was mentioned in the survivors list. 

Villagers were calling at the home of Mrs. June Jar- man, in Park Road, only to find she had not gone on the flight. “I’m terrified of flying. Although at least 16 from Congresbury who went were friends of mine, I decided some time ago that I could not go,”-she said today. Parish council chairman, Mr. Mike Phippin, and vice- chairman Mrs. Esther Birkett were calling on all relatives today to see whether they wanted to fly to Basle tonight. “The village is still deeply shocked, but once again villagers have shown a fine community spirit in the way they have rallied round to assist relatives of victims,” said Mr. Phippin. The parish council are meeting tonight to consider steps that can be taken to help. Mr. William Price (62), the village undertaker and his wife Dot (60), of Stonewell Drive, Congresbury, were among the listed victims. 

Today, their friend Mrs. Jean Mann, of 2, Street, Congresbury, High said that Mrs. Price had had misgivings about the trip. She said: ‘They were planning to retire in two years and this was the first time they had shared a holiday for many years, possibly 30.” Mrs. Mann added: “The evening before she left, she said to me think somehow I ought not to go. She said she had a kind of intuition, said Mrs. Mann. 

Another of the Congresbury victims Mrs. Myrtle Reakes, of Southlands, Congresbury, celebrated her 50th birthday two days ago. Her husband, Mr. Robert Edward Reakes, will probably be flying to Switzerland tonight. Mrs. Reakes leaves two sons, Julian and Bryan (26) who is married, and a daughter, Pat. 

Mr. Jack Atwell (55), licensee of the Plough Inn summed up the spirit of the village with the words: “We must keep the flag flying.” His sister, Miss Atwell (66), was killed. Miss May Atwell went on the trip with Mrs. Grace Searle of Yew Tree Park, Congresbury. Mrs. Searle and her husband Leslie ran the Post Office at Totterdown, 

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