Lawrence had been living at 66 Scoll Street, Bury, a small terrace house with his mother, father and six siblings. At that time he received a scholarship the Sir Walter Preston Scholarship, a dedicated scholarship for the textile industry, so he trained as a textile engineer at the university. Although the job at the UN was mechanical and production engineering, a lot of it was similar as he was good at working with his hands. At the UN he trained young people to use their hands and work on the machines, because that was what was needed in developing countries.
In1955 Lawrence was in Uganda putting in cotton machinery when he met my brother Tony, rather by accident. Tony had only just gone to Uganda and hadn’t got a house, but was staying in the local hotel as Lawrence. At Mass on a Sunday, Lawrence noticed Tony and when they were back at the Imperial Hotel, Lawrence went over to Tony who was sitting at a table and said “I saw you at Mass this morning, do you mind if I join you?” And they became good friends from that point. Later Tony found a house and Lawrence would visit him. Tony had occasionally to travel as part of his job working for British Oxygen and if Lawrence was free he would join him, together they did some great trips to places like Murchison Falls.
Some time later Lawrence had leave to return to Bury, Tony asked him if he would mind picking up the camera that he had lent me as I was living not far away in St Helens in Lancashire. We had no phone, so he just pitched up at my door one day having left work in Oldham and explained he was a friend of my brothers and had come for the camera. The next day he turned up again and asked me if I would like to go to a show in Manchester! We went to see a strange play although I can’t remember what it was about. For the next few weeks in September he would come over from Bury to St Helens and take me into Manchester. He must have worn a groove in the East Lancs road!
I was 21 at the time. Six months later in March we were engaged. I don’t think Lawrence thought that he would get married he was so wrapped up in his work. Three months later were married the day after Lawrence’s birthday on the 11th June 1958. Lawrence wanted to get married on his birthday, so he wouldn’t forget it, but it wasn’t possible.