Home About Me Links About Hersham Duhig Name Contact

Well, I was born in London in the early 1960's in St Teresa's convent which was a maternity hospital run by The Roman Catholic Church and
The Sister's of St Anne Convent. (if you have watched the 3rd series "Call the Midwife" shown between January and March 2016 covered the period of my birth).

Following the Conservative Government in 1962/3 introducing 100% mortgages I moved with my parents out of London into Feltham Middlesex.

I attended St Lawrence School in Feltham from the age of 4 until I turned 11, whilst I was at St Lawrence school I joined the scout movement as
a cub. I also became a member of PHaB (Physically Handicapped and able Bodied sports & social club) through the schools link with the
organisation, I remained a member of PHaB throughout my school life only finally leaving when I started college due to lack of time.

Whilst I was at St Lawrence's school, I developed heart & breathing problems and was first taken to West Middlesex Hospital in Brentford,
(Ashford which was nearer did not have a cardiology unit at the time it did have an Accident & Emergency unit though which is no longer
there) and I was then transferred by ambulance to Harefield Hospital which is a specialist cardiac hospital near Uxbridge (and I am pleased
to say that the hospital still exists) and I underwent major surgery. (I have been told that considering my condition at the time I am lucky
to be alive) regular annual checks were maintained until I was 16 when I was discharged with a warning that I may have heart problems in later life.

In the September following my 11 birthday I started secondary school, and attended Archbishop Myers Roman Catholic mixed Grammar School in
Hounslow. (following the Education Act 1976 brought in by Harold Wilson's Labour Government the school became a Comprehensive Secondary
Modern and the name was changed to St Marks RC School) in the December after starting at Archbishop Myers I Joined the Heston & Isleworth
Division (Cadet section) of St John Ambulance, again this was as a result of a school activity in the community and in fact almost 90% of
the cadets in the division at that time came from the school. Our School day started at 08:30hrs in the morning and finished at 16:00hrs (4pm)
Monday to Thursday and 16:30 (4:30pm) on Friday's.

Shortly after my 14th birthday my parents (and therefore me) moved again, this time to Charlton Village near Shepperton Middlesex. Whilst I stayed
at Archbishop Myers school, I did transfer to a different St John Ambulance Division (Weybridge) and whilst I was still a member of the
Feltham & Hounslow PHaB it was becoming more difficult to take part, as school work & exams started to play an important role, and along with the
longer journey from home made it a lot harder to attend events.

Whilst at school I played a lot of sport both athletics and Rugby, Football was not even considered as my school
did not play Football. In the summer term it was athletics booth boys and girls and in the Autumn & Winter terms the boys played Rugby and the girls played either Hockey or Lacrosse.

In the September following my 16th birthday I started at Brooklands College in Weybridge Surrey, because the college was in Weybridge and they were full
days, by the time I had cycled home to Charlton Village Shepperton, it was too late to continue the cycle ride to Bell Corner Hounslow, to take part in PHaB activities and so I reluctantly left.

Whilst at college I remained a member of The St John Ambulance, and I also did my Duke of Edinburgh award. I studied Human Biology, Maths, Sheet Metal & Welding at college.

In 1980 I Joined what was then called Surrey Ambulance Service (in 2006 the Surrey, Kent, East & West Sussex Ambulance services combined to form The South East Coast Ambulance Service).
As I was an active member of the St John Ambulance I started as a Level 2 PTS Ambulanceman.
Based at Chertsey Ambulance Station, in 1985 I completed my Ambulance Millar Course, along with my Emergency Driving Course.
Following the successful completion of the courses, I was moved from PTS to Emergency 999 Ambulance work.
I was still based at Chertsey, but also covered shifts at other Ambulance stations.
In 1987 I was given a permanent ROTA position at Ashford Ambulance Station.

I was unfortunately forced into leaving the Ambulance Service on Medical Grounds in the October of 1989 following an accident which resulted
in a serious injury to my spine in the March 1989. (the injury resulted in a very long in patient stay at St Peter’s Hospital Chertsey,
and is also the main cause of my current mobility problems)

Whilst I was in the Surrey Ambulance Service I was still an active member of The Weybridge Division of St John Ambulance,
in order for a slight change in type of work between my Professional and Voluntary roles, I completed my Royal Life Saving Society
Water Rescue qualification and Lifeboat training and became one of the St John Ambulance members at Weybridge who was qualified to man the Weybridge
Division Lifeboat which was used at events along the River Thames both locally and elsewhere and at various sailing competitions in London, Surrey & Middlesex.

In June 1984 I was married in St Ignatius Roman Catholic Church in Sunbury, and we lived at Fieldcommon Walton on Thames Surrey.

In the July 1985 my first son Alexander was born at St Peters Hospital Chertsey.

Later that same year I became involved in Local Politics and Joined The Walton Society, and canvassed for and supported the Walton Society Candidate
for Walton North in the Local Elections in each of the following years.

In the July of 1987 my second son Liam was born again at St Peters Hospital Chertsey.

In the March of 1990 my first daughter Amy was born at St Peters Hospital Chertsey, when Amy was six weeks old we moved from Fieldcommon to Hersham
where we still are.

Prior to moving I spoke to Councillor Roy Green (Hersham Village Society) whom I already knew though my connections with the Walton Society and Joined the Hersham Village Society.

Following the injury to my back in the Ambulance service, and the prolonged length of stay at St Peters Hospital, I was medically retired from the
Ambulance Service and so I had to find another form of employment and so joined what was at the time London & County Buses, and obtained a Passenger
Service Vehicle (or more commonly called a PSV) licence in the September 1990.

As a result of my back injury I also had to take a break from St John Ambulance, however I returned to St John Ambulance late 1990 but I
transferred to a quieter division Hersham, and covered duties such as school fetes etc.

On the 28th September 1992 I lost my sister Sharon in the Kathmandu Air Disaster PIA Flight 268.

At the end of August 1993 my second daughter Rosie was born at St Peters Hospital.

As a member of the Hersham Village society with knowledge of local transport issues, I became a member of the Executive Committee with the Transport
Portfolio a post I held for 25 years until I stood down from that roll in 2015. During that time Elmbridge Borough Council had a Airport Expansion working
party made up of Councillors and Co-Opted members of the public, as someone who worked in public transport at the time I was Co-Opted on to the working party.
I also stood for election to the council to represent what was then called Hersham South Ward on 3 occasions.

Around 1995 I was promoted from a bus driver to a Route & Revenue Inspector, and then a year later I was promoted to Acting Garage Inspector (Addlestone Bus
Garage) my role was to liaise with local media, London Regional Transport (a couple of their contracted routes came out of Addlestone) and other garages
where the routes would be going to as Stagecoach who had bought that part of London & Country buses was closing the garage down. (there was a compulsory
purchase order in place for Addlestone prior to Stagecoach purchasing the company).

In the November 1996 following the complete closure of Addlestone Bus Garage I transferred across to Leatherhead as a Garage Inspector, Leatherhead was
already earmarked for closure by Stagecoach as the garage was losing money (it was costing more to run the routes and pay Surrey County Council the
rental for the land than the routes could bring in) all the routes out of Leatherhead prior to the closure of Addlestone were commercial and it was hoped
that by moving the London Regional Transport contract routes across would save the garage, but within 6 months it was clear that Leatherhead Garage could not
be saved. As I already had the experience in liaising with the various different bodies involved in the closing a bus garage I was given that role again. Whilst
I was involved in the early & middle part of the closure of Leatherhead Bus Garage, I was not there at the end.

In March 1999 I was offered a post with Stagecoach South West Trains, Revenue Protection & Fraud Investigation Team, based at Waterloo in London. In 2002/3 I
transferred to the Wimbledon & Woking Division of Stagecoach South West Trains. In 2003 Liam (who has Special Needs) who at the time was attending St Mary's
College in Bexhill, started in the sport of Judo with Westerleigh Judokwai in Hastings. Westerleigh Judokwai is a club with a difference, whilst being a
mainstream club the club also specialises in Special Needs (learning disabled) and physically disabled Judo.


In the first newsletter that came home from the club it said that they were looking for volunteers to help with the running of the club, things like collating the weekly
register onto a spreadsheet and submitting the monthly returns, ensuring license records were up to date. So I put my name forward, pointing out my experience from earlier life
with PHaB.

Needless to say as is the case with the vast majority of clubs & organisations when someone volunteers you tend to grab with both hands, and so started my
journey with the sport of Judo. Because I was also a member of the St John Ambulance, I was asked if I would be willing to drive down to the club and
whilst watching my son train be on hand to deal with any injuries, and subject to my shifts I did do so. (I should point out that ALL coaches are trained in
first-aid but if you have an additional person who is not on the Judo mat who is also qualified in first-aid it means that the coaches can continue to coach)
Westerleigh Judokwai is also one of the clubs registered with Special Olympics and as a volunteer with the club I also had to register as a volunteer with
Special Olympics. It was in fact the Head Coach Mr Paul Everest who persuaded The International Olympic Committee to allow Judo to be one of the sports in Special Olympics.

In 2004 following a collapse at work which is suspected to be heart related I was medically redeployed in to the Occupational Health Department into a new
role where my previous employment history in the Ambulance Service along with my voluntary work with St John Ambulance would play a part.

In 2007 I went with The Special Olympics Team GB (Judo Squad) to China for the Special Olympics World Summer Games in a support capacity covering both first-aid and some administration duties.

Following the financial crash of 2008 Stagecoach South West Trains made some cuts in staff and posts. The post I had within Occupational Health was one of the posts
cut, and because my own health had deteriorated there was not another suitable post within the company for me and so in March 2009 I was informed that as of 1 July
2009 I would be made Medically Redundant and as my post had already been cut and all necessary work to close the post and protect the information had been completed
there was no requirement for me to attend work and that unless my manager required me before hand I was to go down to the HR department during the first week of July and return all staff passes.

Following numerous interviews, employment medicals etc I was unable to secure employment and so in the middle of 2014 a decision was made and I took Medical

In January 2014 a new Judo Club was started up with the aim of teaching Special Needs (learning disabled) and physically disabled Judo. The club was called
Hollywater Judo and is based in Yateley Hampshire. I along with my son Liam was invited to go along to the club and we are both still there. Hollywater Judo Club
is the latest club in the UK to become part of The Special Olympics movement. Since January 2015 when the owners of Hollywater Judo Club asked me, I have been the
British Judo Association Club Welfare Officer for the club, this is a voluntary role. I have also become one of the Child & Vulnerable Adult protection officers for The
Special Olympics Organisation this too is a voluntary role.
In 2009 in order to keep my mind active and my computer skills going, I started work on my family history starting with some of the basics such as asking my parents
question about their parents and grandparents, which then with the aid off census records and electoral roles (the very basic information is possible to obtain free, via FreeBMD however
if you go into your local library you can access all the Find my Past information that covers Britain for free) I have been able to take my name back to 1781 (so far) to a place in Ireland called Agheda which is on the South-East Coast of Ireland.

One branch of the family "Worms" I have so far been able to trace back to 1650 and Frankfurt in Germany.
I have found studying my Family History to be very enjoyable and sometime exciting
despite the various brick walls you come up against.
The makeup of your DNA comes from lots of different families joining together, and sometimes
that same DNA makeup has produced someone famous in History. My full tree can show via the Worms line
a direct link to Charles Dickens. Aaron Worms (1776 - 1845) who is my 5 x Great Grand Uncle and Charles Dickens Uncle.

In the December of 2014 after over 40 years service (including cadet years) I left St John Ambulance on medical grounds, since 2010 whilst I kept up my training it was
becoming more and more difficult to do and certainly impractical to man a first-aid post due to my mobility problems, and I was therefore doing more on the paperwork side
of things, and following changes to the way things had to be done (in part due to new legislation) it meant that local St John Ambulance Divisions had less and less paperwork to do.

I am still involved with the Ambulance Service, through the Surrey Ambulance Service Retirement Association (S.A.R.A.). Part of that involvement over and above the social side is we take the
history of the Ambulance Service to various 999 Emergency Service Days and other
events where the organisers invite the Surrey Ambulance Service Retirement Association to come along.

In 2017 the Surrey Ambulance Service Retirement Association will be taking the display to the following
events:- The big South East Emergency Services Weekend in Eastbourne Sussex on
Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th July, Guildford High Street Surrey on Saturday 22nd July, the Elmbridge Shout
event in Molesey Surrey on Wednesday 2nd August and the Egham Surrey Royal Show on
Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th August.