Author: Colin Bennett, 20th April 2023

In 1964 I was at boarding school at The Blue Coat School, Liverpool. I recall an occasion when I was on the London bound train, from Liverpool, going home for a school holiday to my family at RAF Upwood near Peterborough. I shared a compartment of the train with a lady and I was fascinated by the number of tourist stickers plastered all over her wheelchair. We got chatting and it turned out that she was a British Paralympian in the fencing team and had been to the 1964 Tokyo Paralympics. Her name was Shelagh Jones and she was attending a reception at 10 Downing Street for the team, hosted by Harold Wilson and his son Giles.

Shelagh Jones (centre) at the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth.
Jan Laughton (L), Marianne Edwards (R) and Ann Massom behind.

We parted company at Rugby but she gave me her home address and promised to get me an autograph book completed by as many of the team as possible.

Later Shelagh invited me and a school pal to her home on a few occasions for Sunday tea.

On my first visit she gave me the autograph book, signed by over 50 athletes as well as Harold Wilson and Giles. How thoughtful to be attending such an auspicious and exciting reception and remember me and her promise.

Regretfully we lost contact as I left The Blue Coat in 1966. However, I have kept that little book all these years and hope it will prove of value as a donation to The Paralympic Heritage Trust.