See also

Family of William WILLIAMS and Queenie Rosina PYMAN

Husband: William WILLIAMS (1907-2003)
Wife: Queenie Rosina PYMAN (1908-1992)
Children: PRIVATE ( - )
Marriage 1933 Bristol, Gloucestershire, England

Husband: William WILLIAMS

Name: William WILLIAMS1
Sex: Male
Father: -
Mother: -
Birth 1907 Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
Death 2003 (age 95-96) Bristol, Gloucestershire, England

Wife: Queenie Rosina PYMAN

Name: Queenie Rosina PYMAN1
Sex: Female
Father: Frederick William PYMAN (1880-1916)
Mother: Mary Ellen FEY (1879-1953)
Birth 1908 Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
Census 2 Apr 1911 (age 2) Bristol, Gloucestershire, England2
49 Henleaze Road, Westbury on Trym, Bristol
Death 1992 (age 83-84) Bristol, Gloucestershire, England

Child 1: PRIVATE

Sex: Female
Spouse: Stanley NUTLAND ( -1982)

Child 2: PRIVATE

Sex: Male
Spouse: PRIVATE ( - )

Child 3: PRIVATE

Sex: Female
Spouse: PRIVATE ( - )

Note on Husband: William WILLIAMS

William Gordon Williams was born 25th August 1907, part of a large family of 2 girls and 6 boys, who lived in College Street, Bristol - behind where the Council House now stands. He went to St.George's Brandon Hill School, Queen's Parade, Bristol.


In 1912 Jack Williams, Bill's Dad, a docker, stood as a candidate at the local elections for the fledgling Labour Party. Bill was 5 years old at the time, and used to go with his Dad to rally support, ringing a bell to attract attention. (He still had the bell, which is inscribed, until his death when it passed into the possession of his younger brother Harold). Jack didn't succeed, of course, but it cost him his job. Workers were chosen by stevedores each day, and they had been instructed by the bosses not to pick Jack. Eventually he went on to become chief stevedore, over those who had ignored him. He also went on, with another man (from Somerset), to found the Dockers Union. He knew Ernest Bevin well and often welcomed him into his home. On the death of his wife Alice, Ernest sent a telegram of condolence.


During the 1914-18 war Bill tried to join up, but was told to "go home, sonny".


Bill made his first violin from a cigar box his Dad was given for Xmas 1920 or 21.


When Bill was 14, in 1921, he started work making hardware deliveries for Newicks, of Old Market Street. He rode a bicycle with a basket and a barrel attached. With his first wages he paid his subscription to his mother and joined the Labour Party, He was a member for the rest of his life, a total of 82 years.


On 30th May 1925 Will was admitted to the Bristol District of the National Association of Plasterers, Granolithic and Cement Workers, as a Junior Member, with an entrance fee of 2 shillings and 6 pence, aged 17 years. He became an adult member at 21 years, in 1928. This became the National Association of Operative Plasterers in 1932.


In July/Aug 1929 he went to Germany, for a touring holiday. It took 29 hours travelling from Bristol. At one point they climbed Feldberg and saw the Swiss Alps. He also saw the Triberg waterfall by coloured searchlights at night, and thought it "wonderful".


He played the violin for the Bristol Folk House Orchestra, which is where he met his wife, Queenie Pyman. Her sister Gladys used to play the piano for them, but dropped out when she got married, so Queenie took over. He was the Librarian, in charge of the scores. Several of the orchestra members tried to fix a date with her, but to no avail. So eventually they asked Bill to see her home and see if he could find out who she was going out with. They thought he was only interested in music and rugby. When he went back and told them he had found out, and it was him, and had been all along, they said "You lousy swine!".


He also played rugby, cricket and tennis. The family have a photo of him in the St. Agnes Rugby Football Club team of 1931-32. Although a known Socialist, the local Conservative Club tried to get him to join just because he was good at sports, and they needed more players. He later became a full member of Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, [we have his membership card for 1977].


Queenie worked for Harvey Barton's for several years, colouring in the black and white postcards, before getting married in 1933. She also used her skills to colour in many of her own photos.


Queenie and Bill got married at St. Peter's Hospital Registry Office, Castle Green, Bristol, on December 21st 1933. Ted Wilkes was Principal Witness. At first they lived in rented accommodation until the new house they had purchased, thanks to a loan from Bill's father, was ready. Bill chose the biggest plot on the development from the plans, and made sure it was also the best built. Being a plasterer and therefore in the trade, he would regularly visit the site and make sure the work was done well. They moved into their new home in 1936 and lived there the whole of their married life. On the birth certificate of their eldest child, the address is given as a plot number, as the house had not yet been given a number.

The house was in a suburb of Bristol built in the 1930's on what had been market gardens. He was told by older men that nearby was a place called Roe's Green, on account of how the deer used to gather there to rut. This was later corrupted to Rose Green.


He worked as a plasterer on many sites around the area, including the old Embassy Cinema, long since demolished.


Before the Second World War Bill Williams was working as a plasterer on a building at British Aerospace, along with another man. The engineer was so pleased with the accuracy of their work that when it was finished he offered them work. The other man turned it down, but Bill accepted, and became an inspector. Thus when war broke out Bill found himself the only plasterer among several thousand engineers. One day a Spitfire came in and the pilot wanted a small job done, a working part. The drawing office said it would take them 3 days. The pilot said he couldn't wait that long, so Bill made a clay mould in his hand as he listened to them talking and asked if that was what he wanted. It was indeed, the job was done, and the Spitfire was able to leave in only one day.


The bosses must have got to hear of it because later a large bomber needed an alteration, where the wing meets the fuselage, which would deflect bullets and stop them penetrating the fuselage. The drawing office had said it would take 3 months, so the bosses came and asked Bill if he could do it, and how long it would take. Bill told them "3 weeks". He proceeded to make a clay mould, and when that had been approved he made a cast of it - the longest he had ever done, about 40feet. It was sent off to have drawings made from it but when they came back they didn't fit the cast, so Bill was asked to alter it to fit the drawings. He refused, and his immediate boss refused to pass it, so it sat there for 2 weeks until the boss came down and asked why it hadn't been completed - so Bill told him. The boss called all the inspectors in and told them that the cast was what he wanted and that was what he would have And so it was. I wonder how many lives it saved?


Of course, this did not make Bill popular with his immediate boss and after a short time he went to the office in Colston Street to join the Army. They kept him waiting whilst they rang his works and came back to say that with all their thousands of engineers they did not have one who could do what Mr Williams could do and so they

could not spare him - he was irreplaceable and too valuable to the war effort. Thus it was that he became one of the few able-bodied young men in the Home Guard.


He used to help man the anti-aircraft gun at Flowers Hill, Brislington. They would train their lights and sights on incoming aircraft, but did not dare fire as, if they succeeded in downing an aircraft, it would have come down on Bristol with a full load of bombs. He said they never seemed to leave the city by that route, so they never got to fire the gun.


Bill remembers during the Blitz, on Good Friday 1940, standing in the back garden of his house in Whitehall at night and being able to read a newspaper by the light of the fires in the city 3 miles away. That night his parents house in College Street was bombed. His father, already unwell, never recovered from the loss and died the following year.


Bill corresponded with various friends and family who were in the forces, including his brother Harold who was a L/Sgt in the Royal Engineers - building bridges etc; Jack, a family friend; and Len. Excerpt from one of Len's letters, dated 15/11/42 - "It certainly was a tonic to read your letter. I think if you hadn't signed it I should have known it was from you as it was in the proper Bill Williams style, plenty of jokes and laughs."


During the depression of the Thirties Bill was out of work, so decided to re-train as a teacher. He was accepted as a qualified teacher, on probation, with effect from 18th June 1948. He was already teaching plasterwork at the Bristol Technical College at Barton Hill, and in 1946 had fought for a salary increase due to his qualifications and experience - his salary was raised to £350 p.a.

The students knew him as "Plaster Pete". Old students have said that he had a habit of throwing a sub-standard piece of work into the hearth, where it would shatter. On one occasion when he did this they all threw their work into the hearth, one after the other, while "Plaster Pete" stood shaking with rage. He used to get them to make "death masks", by putting straws up the nostrils and then moulding the clay around the features of the face. They persuaded him to do one of himself, which he later hung up in the class-room. When he went out of the room during a lesson, they would fling pieces of clay at it, and when he came back it would be covered and surrounded by bits of clay.

In July 1947, a few months after his youngest daughter, was born, he was voted the best plasterer in the country, and has a framed certificate from the Guild of Plaisterers to prove it, (and, yes, that is how you spell it). He was accepted as a certified and registered plasterer by the National Association of Operative Plasterers, and could therefore put the initials "CRP" after his name.

In 1957, when the teaching of plasterwork went out of fashion, Bill went to Shoreditch College, near Egham, Surrey, to re-train as a craft teacher. Whilst there he made a large, black, plaster vase, which is still in the family, and of which we have a photo taken in the back garden of his home, with his wife. During his time there he also helped in their Library, and played in their orchestra. They put on a performance of "H.M.S. Pinafore". He also bought a car, a yellow Ford Anglia E-type, and joined the AA. He already had a full licence from years before when one licence covered everything, but he took driving lessons, as he'd never driven a car before. He'd had a motorbike and sidecar when he was courting. The driving instructor commented that Bill had a better licence than he did!

Following this he was employed at Connaught Road Secondary Modern School, Knowle West. During his time there he had to deal with some pupils who were classed at that time as ESNs (educationally sub-normal). The Head told him that he was not to let these pupils on the machines, but Bill replied that they were all God's children, as we were, each with different abilities, and that he was a master of his craft. He put them on a machine that they could not possibly come to any harm on and gave them the task of cutting off 3 thou at a time, (the normal amount would have been 30 thou). He says the look on their faces was ample reward. The Head got his revenge, however, when at the next round of pay rises Bill was the only teacher not to get a pay-rise.

One of these ESN boys asked if Bill played chess, and then asked if he could give him a game. Bill found that he could not beat the boy and so entered him into the Bristol Schools Chess League, where he beat all comers, including the grammar school boys. Bill then entered him into the Somerset Chess League, as the boy lived just across the Somerset boundary, where he also became reigning champion.


Other incidents from those days were when he was asking a class of 14 year olds what was half of a quarter. There was silence, until one boy at the back put up his hand and said (in broad Bristol), "Ah, ye can't fool me sir. There ain't no 'aaves in a quar'er !"

Another time Bill had drawn various geometric shapes on the board with the measurements alongside. An inspector came in and commented adversely on the fact that the drawings on the board were far from to scale. Bill said that was deliberately done so that the boys would have to use the measurements alone to figure out the correct shapes. If the inspector had not commented at the time, he may well have written in his report that Mr Williams was not a good teacher.


Bill would take homework home to mark, and would often have to read it out loud as that was the only way to understand the phonetic misspellings.


Another incident happened when a boy brought in a bullet. The boy said that he had shown it to another teacher who had said that it was a dud. Before Bill could say anything the boy had thrown it on the furnace where it exploded, showering the room with red-hot pieces of coke. Fortunately no-one was injured.


When Connaught Road was merged with Merrywood School to become a comprehensive he ordered all the equipment to stock the new machine shops, but he was not offered the position of teacher in charge. So he took early retirement. The ESN boys bought him an umbrella as a leaving gift, and when Bill asked them why they had chosen that they replied that they knew he was planning to stand for the council and that it would come in handy for all that canvassing.


After Bill took early retirement he very soon became a councillor on Bristol City Council, representing Eastville Ward, a position he held for 11 years, until he lost an election in May 1983, (and during which time he had served on the N.E.C.L.P. (National Executive Committee of the Labour Party) and served on the Public Works Committee). He also served as a Governor of Soundwell Technical College; and on the West Country Tourist Board.


Soon after losing that election he was made into an honorary Alderman of the City of Bristol, and when he died he was one of the last cohort of Aldermen, as the position had in the meantime been abolished.


He died peacefully in his sleep in Frenchay hospital at about 4.30 a.m. on Monday 28th July 2003, less than a month before his 96th birthday, following a fall.. A post-mortem showed that his heart had given out.


His funeral service at Canford Crematorium on Friday August 1st 2003 was attended by 40-50 people including about a dozen from the Bristol City Council, mainly Aldermen, but including the Lord Mayor and at least 2 ex-Lord Mayors, and with representatives from all the parties. Also present was his brother Harold, and one of his former teaching colleagues from the Technical School


He left his three children, 7 grand-children and 8 great grand-children. His beloved wife, Queenie, had pre-deceased him in April 1992, ten years after suffering a series of mini-strokes that left her reliant on him.


Narrative supplied by Helen Bevan3

Note on Wife: Queenie Rosina PYMAN

A Queenie R. Fey is married to a Flynn, Q3 1930 in St Thomas (5b 146) is she related to this Queenie Rosina?


1"Nick Heard". This GEDCOM is predominantly the work of Nick Heard, but it incorporates the collaborated work of many other family historians. You are welcome to use the information herein but please acknowledge the source. Every effort has been made to ensure the data is accurate, but any use you make of it is entirely at your own risk. (c) Nick Heard 2009
2"Census 1911 Bristol, Gloucestershire, England RG14/15095 RG78/909 RD319 SD9 ED3 SN179 (Frederick Pyman)".
Text From Source: Name Related Cond Age Occupation Birth Place
Frederic William Pyman Head Mar 30 Boot repairer and tobacconists Ipswich, Suffolk, England
Mary Ellen Pyman Wife Mar 32 Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
Gladys Ellen Pyman Dau Unm 10 Scholar Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
Frederick Gilmore Pyman Son Unm 6 Scholar Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
Queenie Rosina Pyman Dau Unm 2 Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
George Bigwood Father-in-law relative 60 Waiter Bridgwater,Somerset, England
Sarah Bigwood Mother-in-law relative 62 Crediton , Devon, England
RG14/15095 RG78/909 RD319 SD9 ED3 SN179. Cit. Date: 2 April 1911. Assessment: Secondary evidence.
3John Slee, "John Slee's Slee/Booth Family Tree" (