Before we ‘say Goodbye’ to Joe there is one more aspect of his life that I’d like to share with you. Throughout his adult life, Joe was an ardent fan of Gracie Fields and both collected and promoted all her records.
Among the wartime artefacts that Joe stored in his wallet was this brief press cutting about her fund-raising tour of Canada.
This photograph of them together was probably taken in the 1960s.
Also from that time are letters from Gracie, sent in reply to Joe’s, between February and October 1963 while she was enjoying the sunshine at her island home in Capri.
Joe loved animals and supported many animal charities as well as caring for many dogs during his lifetime. In this letter Gracie responds by telling him about her pets.
Finally, this photograph of Joe in his later years was taken by a photographer for The Shields Gazette to accompany their feature about him and his enduring admiration for Dame Gracie Fields.