Former RAF mechanic Jack Jones, who founded taxi firm, dies at 91
A FORMER RAF mechanic who set up Abbey Taxis in Derby in 1947 has died at the age of 91.
Jack Jones, of Shelton Lock, was 18 years old when joined the RAF in 1940.
After the Second World War ended, he stayed with the RAF and helped put up radar stations in Egypt.
He left the RAF in September the following year and set up Abbey Taxis, running the business until he retired 29 years ago.
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His daughter, Marilyn Calvey, 62, of Jubilee Road, Shelton Lock, said: "He loved it. He was one of the first taxi businesses to have radios in the cars.
"At one time, it was the largest taxi firm in Derby. He had 40 cars and he did all of the repairs himself as well."
Mr Jones was born in Darleston, in Staffordshire, in August 1921. When he was four, his father died of TB.
Mrs Calvey said: "His mum had to go to work to help provide for the family so he had to go to school with his three sisters even though he wasn't old enough."
The Jones family moved to London Road, Derby, when Jack was six after his mother remarried.
"My dad had to sleep in the attic because there was so many of them," said Mrs Calvey. "There was a leaky roof tile and his bed was underneath it.
"They put a ground sheet over him and, in the morning, they would lift it off."
After leaving school at the age of 14, he worked as a bakery delivery boy before becoming an apprentice pipe fitter at Brassy Smith's Foundry in Derby.
At the age of 17, he met wife-to-be Marjorie at a dance in Derby. They married in May, 1945 at St Osmund's Church, London Road, and they had three children, Marilyn, Janet and Chris, who died in 1985, aged 38.
Mrs Calvey said her father was proud of his wartime efforts after volunteering for the RAF in 1940. She said: "He wanted to choose what he did in the war. He didn't want to be told where he was being conscripted – that's why he joined the RAF."
He trained as a mechanic at RAF Cosford before being posted to Scampton with 49 Squadron of Bomber Command and then Wickenby with 626 Squadron, where he stayed until 1945.
Mrs Calvey said: "He was a gentleman and he was very patriotic.
"He was strict and disciplined but he was optimistic, humorous and generous."
In his retirement he enjoyed holidays with his Marjorie before she passed away in October.
Mrs Calvey said her father, who died on February 20, would be sadly missed by all of the family.