Elm Plastics by Peter Douglas Winn

Mr Robert Michalkiewicz came to England from Poland and was a pilot during the Battle of Britain in the free Polish Airforce. His very attractive, shy wife came across at some time with their 2 daughters. Barbara and Danuta Maria. Birth dates, Warsaw about 1938 and 1940. They lived in Maidstone Road house number ??? (forgotten but you can find out in 192.com they have the number) and it can be seen on Street view. Danuta Maria went back home to Wigmore to look after her aged mother. She might be still alive and living in this house. She is still on the electoral register for 2024. 

Her Father bought this house from a Mr Frank Stephenson whose cousin was Roger Kippling. He was a lecturer at the Medway tech college. He left Wigmore to become Headmaster of Luton college which was at that time subsidised by the Vauxhall car factory. The first one of every new car that came out on the market, always went to the College. He had a hobby playing the church organ and got invites from all over Europe. Interesting thing about this mock Tudor house is the WW2 damage. The had an Anti-aircraft gun at the end of the garden and the vibration and shocks cause subsidence 15 years later. I don't expect they got any war damage money as it was too long gone. 

Barbara was the attractive of the two and spoilt by her father. She remained with her feet on the ground. She worked for her father as a secretary in his factory. She had a Messerschmidt Tiger car which had been tuned by the lads from the workshop. She loved driving fast on slippery Kent country roads. Her father was a Morgen car freak he kept on wrecking them so that the locals said he has bought a light post just for the accidents. He also had an Aston Martin DB2/4. He used to rally this car, for example he was a private entrant in the Monte Carlo Rally in the late ‘50s and at 18 Barbara was good enough to be his co-driver. Her biggest problem was, she had too much wealth and the local lads were scared to ask her out as they were living on apprenticeship money.

How does a young lad from the Dockyard ask a very attractive. well to do young girl out, when she turns up in dad’s Aston Martin. She played tennis at the Gillingham Tennis club. She was also a member of the Medway boat and ski club that used to run from the Gillingham part of the Medway. As money meets money, she met up with the son of Balls Garage (Aston Martin agents) and married him. She then moved to the crossroads on the A2 that goes to Sheppey. Last information was Mrs Barbara Ball was in care in Tunbridge Wells. She refuses to have any contact about the past.

Photo of Barbara at the entrance of a young conservative dance in Gillingham about 1958

Photo of Barbara at the entrance of a young conservative dance in Gillingham about 1958

Danuta Maria on the Medway Tech school tennis courts. About 1958/9 Danuta was an Elfin type, and she was the darling of all the male students. She was the favourite of her mother perhaps that is why she went back home to nurse her mother in old age. She loved dancing to Sid Phillips big band swing music. She studied Chemistry at the Medway tech. Got her A-Levels and was part of the Tech Bridge club. She went to work for a firm in London that made parfums for the industry. Her transport was simple, a Red Vespa. I don’t think she even had a car driving licence. She got on well with her sister. She went every Sunday to the catholic church down the road. So, I would think her father would be buried there. You might find some info there. 

Father started up the business after the war there are records of his application to run a business shortly after the war. It was said he bought a plastic injection machine and started making plastic combs. Anyway, in the late 50s he had mould makers in his firm who were craftsmen. They made the moulds for his products. He made the Plastic Muffin the mule. This was the one with a magnet carrot. He then went on to producing the Ford emblems for the steering wheels and the hubcaps. His next move was to produce the plastic parts for the Airfix Models. His firm made the moulds and sold the finished product to Airfix. He used to farm out the assembly and packaging to local housewives, who got a pittance for doing the work. From then on, I do not know anything about him. Apart from his business neighbour in Motney Hill Road in Rainham Gillingham Kent used to call him Mr Michael.



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