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Posted on April 8, 2016 by Milkwood Admin

Ray Veck, a very popular and likeable resident of Chatterwood.

Ray was born and grew up in Bishops Waltham where on leaving school he went to work in his father’s shoe repair business and went on to learn the trade.


On the day that war finished, Ray was called up for National Service and became an Army Corporal in the Hampshire Compulsory Service where he did two and a half years national service. Ray still often tells stories about his time in the Army.


When Ray finished his service he returned to his father’s business and expanded into credit sales, which he ran in the Southampton area. This was where he went house to house, selling shoes and clothes to people and allowing them to spread the payments over several weeks. Ray would then go and collect the weekly payments and mark up their payment books.


Ray then branched out again and opened a shoe shop in Bishops Waltham where he worked. He then later opened a wool shop in which he employed staff (he admits to still knowing nothing at all about wool!).


Ray, being a bit of an entrepreneur, then opened a furniture and carpet shop in which his brothers went to work with him. His wife Janis later went to work for him and learnt all about the trade.


Ray then moved on and went into the Antique Business and still has his business card. Ray still eyes up the decanters and glass bowls on the fireplace in Chatterwood and tells you how much they are worth.


Ray and Janis then moved to the New Forest and bought New Forest ponies which Janis broke in. Ray had always been interested in horses and thinks it was due to his dad being interested in horse racing, and with Janis being a keen rider, Ray learnt to ride. They lived in the New Forest for 16 years and have very happy memories of galloping through the New Forest and their dogs running along with them.


Ray and Janis have always had dogs which were all rescue dogs, and even Charlie the dog they have now was a rescue dog. Janis regularly brings in Charlie to see Ray which always puts a smile on Ray’s face and everyone else’s.


Ray and Janis then moved to Normandy in Southern France and lived there for 10 years. They enjoyed the life but moved back to Bishops Waltham when Ray retired. Ray wrote and had a poetry book published and today Ray is still very witty and humorous and always has a yarn to spin.


Ray is a very proud father, grandfather and great grandfather. He has a wonderful loving family who visit him regularly and there are very few days that Ray does not have a visitor. All his family write in his book about their visit to Ray, what they talked about and their news. Ray can then reminisce as often as he wants.


Photo 25-01-2016



Ray Veck & his wife

Ray Veck & his wife

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