Born in Liverpool in 1930, Noel Bradley was the youngest of six children. Three of his siblings died before he was born and his mother died when he was just five years old, such was the harshness of life in Liverpool during the Great Depression. Liverpool was a prime Luftwaffe target in World War 2 and Noel, along with many other children, was evacuated in 1939.
In 1946, Noel joined the RAF as an apprentice engineer and married his sweetheart, Jean in 1952 after meeting her only twice! Overseas for months at a time and separated from his wife and daughter, he bought himself out of the RAF in 1954 and moved to the Bristol Aircraft Company where he worked on the new cutting edge innovation of the era; the jet engine.
1955 saw a move into farming in Jean’s native Scotland, but in 1956 Noel, craving a return to engineering, became a mining engineer in the Midlothian coalfields. In 1968, mining took the family to the coalfields of Nottinghamshire, where Noel worked at Bevercotes and Harworth pits, followed by Bold colliery in Lancashire. He also spent some time as a mining engineer in West Bengal, India.
When he retired from mining in 1987 Jean and Noel moved back to Scotland and bought a property near Hawick, which they converted into a successful guest house. Jean sadly passed away in 2000, and Noel sadly passed away in May 2019.