Francis Wilfred Bloore was born and brought up in Desborough (between Market Harborough and Kettering), although his father, a Midland Railway clerk, was originally from Alvaston.  As a young man Francis moved to Nottingham to work in the coal trade.  He married Pollie Billing there in 1911 and they had two children.  Before the First World War they lived in Loughborough.

During the Great War he served as a private in the Royal Army Medical Corps before being commissioned as a 2nd Lietenant in the Rifle Brigade in 1917.  Part of this service was in Egypt.  During the German Spring Offensive in March 1918, he was captured at Northern France and seems to have ended up in a German hospital or POW camp at Rastatt, near Baden-Baden.

After the war Francis and Pollie moved to Nottingham.  After studying, he became the manager of the London branch of a Leicester-based manufacturer of cellulose (an early plastic).

Around 1939 he moved to Leicester to work at the firm’s headquarters.  He was now living with a new wife, Eva (although they may not have been actually married).  Eva Gregory Preston was from around Barrow on Soar, as was his first wife.  During WW2 Francis commanded the Birstall Home Guard.

He bought the Riverside Café in 1947 for Eva to run before his retirement, but ill health then forced him to retire early, so they ran it together, until Francis died in 1951.  Eva continued to run the cafe until 1955 when she married Alfred Tailby, who may have been a friend or relative of Francis.   She died in Desborough in 1974.

Francis and Pollie’s son Rex Bloore (1912-2005) set up as a boatbuilder in Barrow on Soar in the 1940s.  He later became the sub postmaster at Thurnby (Leicester) and kept a boat on the East Coast.  He was a founder member of the Trent Boating Association in 1953 and later became its commodore.

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