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Charlie Hockley

Charlie started work at a garage and later went on to work at Nelco, Shalford as a trainee engineer. During that time war broke out and he was called up into 'The Queen's' at Stoughton Barracks, Guildford. After 18 months the Government decided he was more valuable to them working in the factory, with his experience, than in the army, so back to Nelco , where he met Billie. In 1947 after the war they married in S.t.Martin's, Blackheath.

Charlie worked for Nelco for 25 years and then saw an advertisement for a teacher, to teach blind adolescents engineering at the RNIB in Reigate. He got the job and during his years working there he gained quite a reputation as an 'inventor' of pieces of machinery adapted to help his blind pupils.

Charlie was a very active participant in Blackheath Village life, helping with the WI Drama Group, nativity plays and making the crib for the church. He was also involved with the Cricket Club. He helped to install the score box in the new pavilion and would always be the score man for the 1st Team whilst Billie would be making the teas. He worked hard to maintain the pavilion and also made sure the village was kept clean and tidy before the judging of the Best Kept Village Competition. 

He had heart problems, so had to take early retirement. After heart surgery he became a new man but two years later had a stroke. He fought with will power to live with his disability and had courage, patience and humour. At that time, as a hobby he took up printing, working with only one hand and so enjoyed this he designed the village street map.

Charlie was a like person, a good teacher and contributed much to village life. He died in February 1995.

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