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welcome The National Visitors Network brings friendship home

WE ARE NOT ALONE Is there life on other planets?

ADDICTED TO WINNING Uncovering the compers

A HOME FROM HOME How to be a house sitter


Editor’s Letter The Civil Service Retirement Fellowship Suite 2, 80A Blackheath Road, London SE10 8DA t: 020 8691 7411 e: w: A charity registered in England and Wales No 255465 and in Scotland No SC039049 and a company limited by guarantee in England and Wales No 6297479

I had occasion to be in the CSRF offices earlier this month and help answer some of the calls expressing an interest in the new National Visitors Network. It was clear from the response that this, along with the Telephone Buddy scheme, is providing an important and much needed service to members. I’m just 42 and have lived on my own for a number of years and there are times when I feel lonely. Although if someone asked I know I would come up with a few excuses to avoid admitting it! I am lucky enough to have friends and family around who I can see when I’m not working, but I recently volunteered to be a Phone Buddy. I’ve made four calls so far and very much enjoy my chats with my call recipient. We chat about all sorts of different topics and I get as much out of the calls as she does. So if you are sitting at home reading my letter and feel lonely then be brave, pick up the phone and speak to the CSRF about how you can benefit from the National Visitors Network and Phone Buddy schemes. I hope you enjoy this issue, we’ll be back in August but keep your letters, calls and emails coming!

is published by Square7 Media Ltd, 3 More London Riverside, London SE1 2RE t: 020 3283 4055 e:

Contents 4  Front Desk

Publisher: Gaynor Garton e: Advertising: t: 020 3283 4055 e: Editor: David Tickner

Golden Jubilee Appeal update, news from Fellowship Office and the Chief Executive’s report.

10  Helping to beat loneliness The National Visitors Network, the CSRF’s new befriending initiative is there for any member wanting some friendship.

Contributors: Gareth Southwell, David Porteous, Paul Dance, Mela Ragusa, Janet Tester

14  We are not alone?

Contact the Editor By mail: Use the CSRF address above Email: Tel: 020 8691 7411

18  Addicted to winning

Designer: Charlotte Morgan ©2013. avanti Magazine is published by Square7 Media Ltd on behalf of the Civil Service Retirement Fellowship (CSRF). All rights reserved. The CSRF and the publishers declare that any publication of any advertisement does not carry their endorsement or sponsorship of the advertiser or their products unless so indicated. Contributions are invited and, whether or not accepted, submissions will be returned only is accompanied by a stamped addressed envelope. No responsibility can be taken for drawings, photographs or literary contributions during transmission or while in the publisher’s hands. Proof of receipt is no guarantee of appearance. In the absence of an agreement, the copyright of all contributions, literary, photographic or artistic belongs to The CSRF. This publication (or any part thereof) may not be reproduced, transmitted or stored in print or electronic format (including, but not limited to, any online service, database or part of the internet), or in any other format in any media whatsoever, without the prior written permission of Square7 Media Ltd. The CSRF and Square7 Media accept no liability for the accuracy of the contents or any other opinions expressed herein. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the official views of The CSRF.

Gareth Southwell questions whether or not there is life on other planets.

David Porteous meets the ‘compers’ and tries to find the secrets of their success.

22  A Home from Home

36  Leisure Life The latest book, theatre, film and culture reviews.

40  Postbag Your letters and views.

45  Coffee Time Fun titbits, word search, Sudoku and our popular prize winning crossword!

50  Group Focus Group reports and news from around the country.

54-61 The Planner Find out what your local group is up to.

62  My Favourite Things Author, Virginia Ironside shares hers.

Ever thought about being a house sitter? Our useful guide tells you how you could.

26  Entente Cordiale Tracing the history of town twinning.



28  Art in the Landscape Paul Dance looks at locations across the country where you can enjoy art and a day out. SUMMER 2013


front desk

The latest news from Fellowship Office

from the chief executive Words by Jean Cooper

Dear Friends, I’m writing this issue’s letter as the team here are processing all the generous donations we’ve received following the first Golden Jubilee appeal mailshot. I want to say a massive thank you to everybody who has sent in a donation. Your kindness and generosity is humbling and shows just how much you value the importance of the CSRF. I know in these tougher economic times that every penny counts so for some of you to find any spare money to send us means even more. If you’ve not yet made a donation you still can. Have a look in the fundraising section of our news pages for more details on how to do this. All the money we raise will go towards helping us to maintain and extend the services we provide. We are always looking at new services too so if you have any ideas you’d like to share with the team then please do let us know. Our new Head of Membership & Fundraising Kate is working hard sourcing other areas to raise funds and we have plenty planned to celebrate the Golden Jubilee in 2015. I’m pleased to report that since the last issue we have received a confirmation of a grant from the CSiS Charity Fund to fund our new National Visitors Network for the first year which is great news. I’d like to extend my thanks to the trustees of the CSiS Charity Fund for their support and appreciation of our project. The reaction we’ve received so far to the Visitors Network has been very positive. If you are interested in volunteering to be a National Visitor or



Jean and Marcia Harper (her new PA) help to open some of the generous donations received for the Golden Jubilee appeal

would welcome a visit, then do contact our new volunteer manager Gonul who will be able to guide you through the process involved. I was also delighted to see so many of our groups represented at a briefing event last month that focused on the importance of tackling social isolation. Loneliness can affect any of us whatever our age, so to have two befriending initiatives running is very important. There have been a few changes here at Fellowship Office this year. So to make it easier for you to know who’s who we’ve put together a handy guide (on the page opposite) that shows the new Fellowship ‘hub’ and puts faces to names!! So you’ll now know exactly who to contact by telephone or email to handle a specific enquiry. We are a small team here so if you can’t get through immediately then do leave a message (everyone has voice mail) and we will call you back as soon as we can or just call the main number on 020 8691 7411.

Fellowship Office has had a large number of calls from beneficiaries following the annual P60 newsletter that goes out with the Civil Service pension statement and from the feedback we’ve received from the Civil Service Learning courses. It’s good that people know we are here and ready to help as all of these enquiries will help towards us achieving our overall objective of boosting member numbers. We have also been building relationships with The Charity for Civil Servants and were pleased to welcome Judith Davis, Director of Help and Advisory Services and Andy James, Director of Communications and Fundraising to Fellowship Office last month to develop ways we can work closer together. I hope you enjoy this issue, we always welcome any constructive feedback about all aspects of the Fellowship’s activities and any ideas you’d like to share.

With all good wishes,


The new fellowship Hub

Chief Executive Jean Cooper e:

Finance Manager Richard Hornsby e: t: 020 8469 9196 Head of Membership & Fundraising Kate Bishop e: t: 020 8469 9190 Contact for any information or advice on individual or group fundraising, legacy giving or member benefits, recruitment and donations

Chief Executive’s PA MARCIA HARPER e: t: 020 8469 9192

National Volunteer Manager Gonul Irfan e: t: 020 8469 9195 Contact for any volunteering enquiries including the Phone Buddy Scheme and National Visitors Network Membership & Records Yvonne Scott e: t: 020 8469 9193 Contact with any changes to your membership, branch or group record

We’re delighted to welcome some new faces to the Fellowship Office team. Kate Bishop joins us from the Laban Dance Centre where she has worked in membership recruitment and fundraising. Her task is to increase the levels of income, which we need to be able to continue our vital work, and services that we extend to our members. Gonul lrfan has extensive

Group & Branch Support Belinda Stalker e: t: 020 8469 9194 Contact with any branch or group questions or enquiries

experience of volunteering and befriending projects and as the National Volunteer manager she will be coordinating and strengthening our volunteer network and services. We wish both Kate and Gonul every success in their new roles, as they are an excellent addition to the Fellowship office team. This who’s who will help you put some of the new faces to names and point any enquiries you have in the right direction. SUMMER 2013



New look for CSRF website You may have noticed that the CSRF website has recently been refreshed to make it a bit more user friendly. Once you have logged into the members’ area you can access useful telephone numbers, all the contact details for our member helplines, read back issues of the magazine online and swap book reviews via the book club page. If you have email then you can also sign up to receive our e-newsletter, which is, emailed out regularly with news, offers and ideas that aren’t included in the magazine. If you are experiencing any difficulties with accessing the website call 020 8691 7411 to request a copy of our handy guide to logging in to the members’ area or you can call the CSRF IT & Technology helpline on 01369 706656 if the problem is with your computer

The 2013 Civil and Public Sector Artists Exhibition After a break due to last year’s Olympic Games the popular annual exhibition returns with a new venue and set of dates. The 2013 exhibition will now be taking place at the Menier Gallery, 51 Southwark Street, London SE1 from 4-9 November (with receipt of pictures on Monday 4 November). A Private view will be held on Tuesday 5th November and the exhibition will then be open until 4pm on Saturday 9th November. Entry is open to CPSA members only and written applications and payment for this year’s exhibition need to be received by 1 August 2013. For more information visit



LEFT: Civil Service Staff and exhibitors at the Employee Day at DWP Pension Centre, Leicester; ABOVE: Kate Bishop (left) with Caroline Townsend (second from right), People Engagement Champion for DWP Pension Centre, Leicester}

On the Front Line!

In the last few months we have continued our support of the pre-retirement courses offered by Civil Service Learning. These courses take place all over the UK and have been helpful to get information about the work of the CSRF and other Civil Service Organisations in front of those civil servants contemplating or approaching retirement. In addition we have also been invited to support employee events in Walsall and Leicester (pictured above) for the Department of Work & Pensions.

In July, we will be at Civil Service Live in Olympia as a charity partner for the 2013 event, providing an important opportunity to promote our Golden Jubilee Appeal, membership recruitment and volunteering initiatives. If you are attending any of these events, please do come along and say hello and find out more about us. We need to grow our membership so bring along your friends and colleagues so that they can join the CSRF and start benefiting from our services straight away.

MEMBER SERVICES Don’t forget that as a member you are able to take advantage of a range of member helplines and discount clubs that are set up for your benefit

Legal Advice Helpline Operated by W W & J McClures this service offers advice on Setting up a Legacy, Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Care Costs, Probate Costs or Funeral Plans. If they are not able to deal with your enquiry directly they will refer you to one of their partner firms. Telephone: 08451 800 939 Email: Please note: the telephone line is only operational between 9am and 5pm on weekdays only.

IT & Technology Helpline Operated by BC Technologies, this service is proving to be a great hit with our members. It provides you with help or support on any I.T. or technology problem you may encounter with your computer, email or Internet. It’s completely FREE (except for the cost of your phone call) and easily accessible via email or by telephone. Telephone: 01369 706656 Email: Please note: the telephone line is only operational between 9am and 5pm on weekdays only

Theatre Club We operate two theatre clubs for the benefit of members that offer regularly updated deals and discounts on shows, hotels and restaurants. Both theatre clubs are accessible via the Members’ area of the CSRF website. Log in using your member number and surname (upper case first letter) and then you will see the Theatre Club listed on the member home page. Click on the relevant link and you’ll be able to view all the latest offers and discounts. If you experience any difficulties logging into the website then call 020 8691 7411 for assistance SUMMER 2013


FUNDRAISING Contact: Kate Bishop


T: 020 8469 9190

e e l i b u J n e The Gold ! y a w A s i l Appea Your response to our appeal has been fantastic. We’ve challenged ourselves to raise £250,000 over the next 3 years leading up to our Golden Jubilee in 2015 and thanks to your generosity we are already well underway. We know that these days there are more demands than ever on your money, and every penny counts. That’s why we’re so grateful for the vital support you; our members so generously give us. On behalf of everyone here at The CSRF, a huge thank you. With your donations, you’re helping to ensure we’ll be here for another fifty years!

Where Your Support Goes Your money supports the most vulnerable members of our community. It’s simple really, we exist to help our community

anyway we can. Whether it’s a friendly voice on the end of the phone or a visit from one of our team of dedicated volunteers, we strive to be there for you when you need us. As our grant in aid will finish next year we are determined to do all we can to ensure The CSRF will be there for every member of our community. Members are the lifeblood of the charity and we are committed to providing the best possible services to them and to support our fantastic network of volunteers who give so much of their time to helping us achieve our charitable aims.

How to make a donation Don’t forget you can help us with a donation by cheque, direct debit or credit card online. Send your cheque (made payable to ‘The CSRF’) to Golden Appeal, The CSRF, FREEPOST SE4414, London SE10 8BP. Alternatively you can donate online at or by signing up to a direct debit or deduction from your Civil Service Pension. If you wish to set up a regular donation you can download a direct debit form online at or call Fellowship Office on 020 8691 7411 to request a copy.

A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned Pop your silver and gold coins into our new donation boxes and you can help support us. Once the box is full you can either send us a cheque for the sum you have collected or make the payment online at using a credit/ debit card. Alternatively you can complete the donation form on the back of your box and send it in. Call 0208 469 9190 or email and we’ll send you one of these fab new boxes free of charge

Small Change -Big Difference 8


Leaving a Legacy

Over the years we have been honoured to receive legacies from members who have remembered us in their Wills. The decision to leave a gift in your Will to your chosen charity is a very special one. It costs nothing during your lifetime but will make a real difference to our ability to continue our work for many years to come. Most people when preparing a Will want to make sure they look after people they care about when they are no longer around. This is usually family or friends who are of course your priority. One thing which is often overlooked however is that you can leave what is called in legal terms, a legacy. This is a very simple addition to your Will where you can leave either a fixed sum or a percentage of your overall estate value to a charity. Legacies are very important to us as they allow us to continue to fund the important work we do and enable us to build on the services available to our members. So if you have a Will already or are looking to put one in place please think about leaving a legacy to the Civil Service

Retirement Fellowship. Whatever the amount it will help us to continue the work we do. If you are considering or have already made the decision to remember us in your Will then please let us know. Telling us will not put you under any obligation, nor will we put you under any pressure. By telling us it simply means we will able to discuss with you exactly what you would like your gift to support and ensures that we honour your wishes exactly. It also gives us the opportunity to thank you for your generosity and kindness. To do this you can request a confidential pledge form from your legal adviser when you are making or amending your Will which would be passed to us (with your permission), notifying us of your intentions. If you would like to consider leaving a legacy, amending or making a will then call our legal partners, W W & J McClures who operate the later life legal helpline for members on 0845 1800 939 or email: and their expert advisers will be able to guide you through the process.

Kate Bishop, Head of Membership & Fundraising with members of the Eltham group

FUN-draising for the CSRF groups We think fundraising should be fun, so we’ve put together a pack full of ideas to help get your group going with your own fundraising activities. Fundraising shouldn’t be a chore, it should be an opportunity to get your family, friends and neighbours involved with the work we do and with our community around the country. The pack has loads of ideas to have fun fundraising with tips and tricks to help you make it as successful as possible. Don’t forget that as the CSRF is a charity everyone is able to ‘give’ irrespective of whether they are or were a civil servant. Call Kate on 020 8469 9190 or email to get your free copy

Big Lottery Fund applications Over the next few years we will be looking to help a number of groups each quarter to work with on applications to the Big Lottery Fund. The Awards for All grant programme operates in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and has helped a number of our groups already with support for their social and leisure activities. A successful community grant application can make a big difference

to a group’s ability to recruit new members and expand their activities. The team at Fellowship Office are able to work with groups to help facilitate the application process. If your group would be like to be one of those selected this year then please contact Belinda Stalker on 020 8691 7411 to register your interest or email SUMMER 2013


VOLUNTEERING Contact: Gonul Irfan


T: 020 8469 9195

I’d like a visit

The National Visitors Network The National Visitors Network is the new home visiting service provided by the CSRF to help offer friendship to any beneficiary. It has been launched with support received from The Civil Service Insurance Society Charity Fund and will be piloted in two of our regions (the South East and North West plus Dumfries & Galloway). Representatives from London, the South East, North West and Scotland (pictured here) joined Fellowship Office staff in April at a briefing event held at The Civil Service Club. The event helped to promote and raise awareness of the National Visitors Network and offer an opportunity to the issues surrounding loneliness and social isolation. To emphasis the importance of befriending and beating loneliness in a general context there were two guest speakers at this event, Christopher Robertson from Community Networks and Marianne Symons from the Campaign to End Loneliness. The overall feedback from all representatives was excellent. We also attracted some positive feedback from the introductory article in the last issue of avanti and are already in the process of completing the matching process for those who registered to participate.

But we’d like to hear from more of you. LEFT: Group representatives enjoying the National Visitors Network briefing event in April

Accepting that we are experiencing loneliness is perhaps the most difficult first step for anybody, but it is a step that once taken can be dealt with. We all feel lonely at different times in our lives, but it is becoming increasingly more common in later years as family and friends move on and we no longer have the daily interaction with colleagues that working for large organisations such as the Civil Service provided. We don’t want you to suffer in silence and we are taking the stigma out of loneliness by offering a friendly ear throughout the matching process. It’s our aim that your home visitor becomes a friend for the duration of their visit. All of our calls and enquiries are treated in strictest confidence.

I’d like to be a visitor To help ensure that all of our volunteer visitors are equipped with the skills they need before embarking on their visits we have established a partnership with the Samaritans. All national visitors will be required to attend a one day training course (run by the Samaritans) that is designed to highlight all the various scenarios a visitor might expect to encounter such as how to listen, where to signpost enquiries to and how to end a visit. With this training it is our expectation that all volunteer visitors will start their work with the National Visitors Network confident that they have the key skills to deliver home visits. These day training events will take place regularly in both pilot regions and all volunteer visitors will be expected to participate before they are approved as a National Visitor. If you are interested in becoming a visitor you must be a CSRF subscriber but if you have some time to give, why not develop your skills and help us to make a difference at the same time and sign up.

To register RIGHT: National Volunteer Manager Gonul Irfan (left) with Group & Branch Support Officer Belinda Stalker



1. Call Gonul Irfan on 020 8469 9195 2. Email 3. Register online at All enquiries are treated in strictest confidence

Telephone Buddy scheme update Our telephone buddy scheme continues to be very popular too. Over the past year the number of buddies has increased. It has also been good to receive your feedback that the scheme is working well and you are finding it has made a positive difference. 81% of buddy scheme participants were satisfied with the service and over 90% wished to continue to receive or make calls*. The Phone Buddy scheme remains an integral part of our befriending initiatives and we would love to hear from anyone who would like to either register to receive a call or be a buddy. Don’t forget, the cost of calls made by our telephone buddies is reimbursed and we will do our best to match you up with someone with similar interests or hobbies. * figures from the January 2013 satisfaction survey




Help us to beat loneliness and register to receive or make a call.

It’s as easy as 1-2-3!


Call 020 8691 7411 (in confidence)




Register online at

New group volunteers We are looking for volunteers interested in working with Fellowship Office to help set up and run new groups. So if you are living in an area where we currently don’t have an operating group and have some time on your hands then why not consider getting involved. In the past six months we have worked with volunteers to establish a new group covering Whitstable, Herne Bay & Canterbury and are in the process of opening one covering Bognor Regis & Chichester. Other areas being considered are Pontefract/Wakefield and Glasgow (we’d love to hear from any members in these areas who might be interested in group volunteering). For an informal chat about group volunteering call Fellowship Office on 020 8691 7411 and speak to Belinda Stalker or email:

General volunteering Whether you’ve just retired or are already enjoying your retirement, the skills you acquired during your working life can be put to very good use in the

volunteering arena. In addition to being a National Visitor or Phone Buddy there are other areas that we would welcome the support provided by volunteers. In the past few months our volunteers have helped us with group-related mailshots to help encourage new members, helped promote the CSRF at pre-retirement courses and helped the team at Fellowship Office with data entry and research. So if you some time to donate, we’d love to hear from you. There are also lots of opportunities to volunteer at your local CSRF group who would be delighted to welcome you. For an informal chat about volunteering call 020 8691 7411, email or fill out the volunteer registration form online at Some of our wonderful volunteers SUMMER 2013


SPECIAL INTEREST Book Club: Golf Tour: Photography:

Seniors’ Golf Tour -

September 17 2013

The Book Club Over 100 members are already enjoying the benefits offered by the book club, so if you enjoy reading then why not sign up as well. It’s free to join and thanks to support from The Civil Service Insurance Society the first three books on the book list are provided too. The concept is simple – read the book at your own pace and then share your view with other club members via the book club page, located in the members’ area of the website. All club members also receive a monthly e-newsletter with news and offers of interest. To sign up to the book club, use the relevant email address at the top of the page or call Fellowship Office on 020 8691 7411



There is still plenty of time to sign up to play this year’s Seniors’ Golf Tour which will be taking place at the picturesque St Pierre, Chepstow Golf and Country Club in Chepstow. The course and hotel are close to the M4, M5 and M50 and is less than 2 hours from both Birmingham and London. For just £50 (the cost for any member) you can enjoy a day’s golf, training session with a professional golfer, buffet meal and prize giving. Tour members will also benefit from some special room rates at the adjourning Marriott Hotel. If you are interested in joining this year’s Golf Tour use the relevant email address at the top of the page or call Fellowship Office on 020 8691 7411

Photography Update The 2012/13 photography competition closes on 31st May and the results will be published after the judging in early July. So if you do want to enter (the theme is ‘Joy of Retirement’) then make sure you register as soon as possible. Starting from June, two new competitions will commence giving members plenty of scope to get out and about during the summer months. Full details will be sent to all current members of the photography group and will also be made available on the website and the next issue of avanti. If you’d like to join the photography group use the relevant email address at the top of the page or call Fellowship Office on 020 8691 7411


WE ARE Gareth Southwell questions whether or not there is life on other planets and if so what it might be like


he universe is, by scientific consensus, big. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, may contain tens or even hundreds of billions of solar systems, and it’s merely one among possibly hundreds of billions of other galaxies - maybe more. It seems likely then that somewhere exists a planet that, like ours, inhabits ‘the Goldilocks Zone’, maintaining a regular orbit neither too close (too hot) nor too far (too cold) from its sun, but ‘just right’ for life to thrive. Even if life required more - to be seeded by bacteria carried on some passing comet, for instance - the odds are still quite good. In short, whilst we cannot be certain, there are strong, scientifically respectable reasons to be optimistic that we are not alone in the universe. However, in terms of actually encountering alien life, the size of the universe also works against us. The nearest solar system is Alpha Centauri, over four lightyears away. This is four times the distance travelled by light in a year, a total of 24 trillion miles, which would take even the fastest conceivable mode of travel (such as the still-theoretical nuclear pulse propulsion) near a century to cover. And, with its one planet existing outside the habitable zone, Alpha Centauri isn’t even worth visiting. The closest known Earth-like planet thought capable of sustaining life is Gliese 581 g (if it exists - there is still debate), in the constellation of Libra, some 22 light years away. Future scientific developments may shrink these vast interstellar journeys, and any alien species older than ours would also probably be more technically advanced and thus closer to overcoming these difficulties. But given current knowledge, while it’s quite likely that life exists somewhere else, any interplanetary gettogether seems a remote possibility.



E NOT Alone! This picture may depress Star Trek fans, but the mere possibility of life on other planets does provide rich material for scientific and philosophical speculation. Biologically, we may wonder what form alien life might take. On Earth, all living organisms consist ultimately of carbon atoms and use water as a medium for life processes. However, other combinations are possible - alien life may be silicon- or sulphur-based, and use ammonia or methane in place of water. As well as different biochemistry, aliens may have evolved in different forms - in fact, must have, if Darwin is correct, for it is environmental factors that influence the development of organisms, not any inbuilt design. Where alien life has reached an equivalent stage of evolution, aliens will likely not take a humanoid form (evolved from primates), but may have developed from species similar to fish or insects, in line with the need to cope with their home environment (which may differ to ours).

However, different biology would also involve different sensory apparatus, and lead to different forms of language, culture and social organisation. Human communication is primarily auditory and visual, involving sound waves (speech) and variations in patterns of light (written words and symbols). But alien biology may allow different forms of communication, via tactile sensation or odour, or some other means that would be to us literally ‘extra-sensory’. Even if aliens were also primarily audio-visual, they might perceive a greater proportion of the electromagnetic spectrum (only a tiny percentage of which is visible to us), thus perceiving infrared, ultraviolet, or other frequencies of light; or - like dogs - detect ultrasonic sounds. If they did have similar senses, their communications might yet take different forms - utilising changes in pitch or volume of sound, or detecting different combinations of colour or light

Aliens are coming... The cinema’s love of all thing’s unexplained shows no sign of abating with a whole host of ‘out of this world’ movies in the pipeline and just released. Star Trek Into Darkness was released earlier this month and Superman Man of Steel opens on June 14. July sees the release of Pacific Rim (monsters emerging from the seas). Highly anticipated a little later in the year are Ender’s Game, an adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s 1985 sci-fi novel. Looking further ahead there’s plenty to be excited about with James Cameron’s Avatar 2 and Star Wars Episode VII both scheduled for release in 2015.

intensity. As such, they may not possess words or symbols as we think of them. However, it’s not only the form of communication that may be different, but also the concepts involved. We’d like to think that some form of translation would be possible between different species, but - as various philosophers have argued our basic concepts and ways of organising experience are tied to the form that our life takes. And since an alien would probably have a very different form of life, they would also likely have evolved very different concepts. As the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein put it, ‘If a lion could talk, we could not understand him’, because understanding a lion is about more than merely translating his ‘language’ into ours, but in sharing his values, attitudes and approach to life (which, arguably, non-lions can’t do). As for lions, so for aliens. An alien language might therefore contain concepts for which we have no equivalent - perhaps they have different ideas of property (or none), different notions of self or even time and space. Such possibilities may seem strange and inconceivable to us, but that’s exactly the point: our reality is determined by our own senses, the limits of human reason and the fundamental concepts that shape our experience. But who is to say that other forms of reasoning and experience aren’t possible? Inability to conceive of them doesn’t mean they can’t exist, merely that we cannot conceive of them. All of which makes the little messages and pictures that accompanied the Pioneer and Voyager space probes of the 1970s seem a little SUMMER 2013


Feature quaint, revealing our naive belief in the of universal brotherhood, to visits to universal nature of human reason. the mothership for invasive medical However, let’s assume that alien life is examination (and perhaps fertilisation with not so dissimilar to ours and that some alien-human hybrids). It can be wild stuff. communication is possible. What might Nevertheless, UFO-related phenomena are we say to one another? Would they share so widespread that they seem to call out similar values? Possibly, but it’s equally for some sort of explanation, in whatever conceivable they don’t. They may have form. In a National Geographic poll in 2012, evolved an aggressive, competitive society, a third of Americans surveyed believed that where dominance and power are valued some UFOs are of alien origin, while almost over compassion and peaceful cooperation half remained unsure. About 1 in 10 had (very unlike our own...). If we think of our seen a UFO, whilst 1 in 20 knew someone own social altruism as an extension of our who had. However, a staggering 79% primate ancestors’ instincts to care for their thought the government were concealing young in tight-knit pairs and small groups, evidence relating to UFOs. If this sample then a species which has evolved from more is representative - and the survey does selfish, less family-orientated ancestors echo previous findings - almost 200 million e.g. sharks - might also evolve a different Americans don’t trust their government’s morality. Conversely, if the alien official position on UFOs, while over 24 species was ultra-communally million claim to have seen one. minded, behaving and What are we to make of thinking like a ‘hive’, this? A typical scientific they might value response is provided individuality less by astronomer highly, or not at Seth Shostak, who As part of his research into his next all. Our concern interviewed for book, the author invites anyone with for individual the BBC in 2012, interesting and unexplained UFO life might cause dismissed firstexperiences to make contact. Email: them confused person UFO and we amusement. reports: if good will forward all correspondence. All Though seemingly evidence existed communications will be treated ‘natural’ and ‘moral’ for alien visitation, in strictest confidence. to these alien species, scientists would be such moralities would studying it; but since seem immoral or evil to us. scientists aren’t studying There are no certain grounds to be it, there isn’t any good evidence. so pessimistic, of course, but also no reason This seems a trifle blinkered, since fear to be blithely positive. As Stephen Hawking of ridicule and damage to their career points out, any alien race with the ability to likely provide greater disincentives for contact us would be vastly technologically respectable scientists. Also, given that superior, but such advanced knowledge first-person reports have included people needn’t entail beneficence - as our own of all backgrounds, from astronauts to shameful history reveals, encounters with farmhands, Jimmy Carter to John Lennon, technologically advanced foreign cultures there seems no good reason to dismiss tends not to go well for less-advanced them out of hand. Even should it turn out indigenous ones. Conversely, given our to have some more mundane explanation continuing genocides and wars, inequalities (undiscovered natural phenomena, optical and injustices, an enlightened alien species illusion, hallucination or hysteria), the sheer might view us with horror, a plague to be scale of such reports would seem to justify shunned - maybe that’s why the skies are so serious scientific scrutiny. quiet... Yet science, it seems, while happy But are they? Casual internet searching to concede the likelihood of alien life on reveals no shortage of people who think its own terms, is reluctant to entertain otherwise - that contact has already been possibilities that don’t fit with its schedule made. Admittedly, it’s not the landing-onfor discovery. Scientists are content to point the-White-House-lawn type of contact, their radio telescopes into deep space, but something more puzzling and elusive, awaiting that fateful signal, but don’t really ranging from brief and blurry sightings want any unannounced visitors; not even of weird lights, to telepathic messages landings on the White House lawn.



Further Reading/ Watching/ Listening Carl Sagan, Contact - A novel by the famous American astronomer, envisioning how contact with an alien species might take place. Colin Wilson, Alien Dawn - A comprehensive and sympathetic account of the range of UFO phenomena by the author of The Outsider. Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart, Evolving the Alien: The Science of Extraterrestrial Life - A scientifically-informed look at what possible forms alien life could take which, the authors argue, would very likely be completely unlike ours. Stephen Hawking’s comments on alien contact appear in the Discovery Channel documentary, ‘Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking’, 2008. Big Picture Science (available free on iTunes) - A podcast presented by Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute (the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence), ranging through a number of scientific subjects but concentrating especially on debunking ‘pseudoscience’ and ‘irrationality’. The Unexplained (available free on iTunes) - An open-minded and entertaining interview-based podcast presented by Howard Hughes, dedicated to all things ‘unexplained’ (including UFOs).

o t d e t c i d d a





Thousands of people in Britain are hooked on entering competitions run by retailers and manufacturers to promote their products and services. They call themselves ‘compers’ and most do it just for fun. A few claim to have turned their hobby into a business, winning enough cash and other prizes to make a living. David Porteous meets some of the nation’s competition addicts and tries to find out the secrets of their success.


i Coke won the first competition she ever entered, winning tickets to a music festival in a promotion run by her local paper. Fifteen years later and she has won a staggering £200,000 worth of prizes including cash, vouchers, a car and an incredible assortment of goods ranging from iPods and digital cameras to children’s toys and a Damien Hirst print. Her seemingly never-ending winning streak has led the national media to hail her as ‘The Queen of Competitions’. She never has to pay for a holiday either. “I’ve won over 40 holidays to destinations as far-flung as New Zealand, Japan and Brazil,” says Di who lives in Nottingham. “I even won my honeymoon after entering a competition on the packaging of a part the plumber used to fix the central heating. Comping is so exciting because you never know what you’re going to win next.” Between 80,000 and 100,000 competitions are held in the UK every year, estimates the Institute of Promotional Marketing (IPM). That equates to more than £250 million worth of prizes to be won. (Unlike in the USA, prizes in the UK are tax-free.) For most of its history the industry was dominated by postal contests. Today the vast majority of competitions are found on the internet, where social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are making them more popular than ever before. While some promotions require entrants to think up a slogan or tie-breaker, answer a question or solve a puzzle, or send in a

recipe or picture, the rest are simply run like raffles. The winner is the first name pulled out of the hat (in other words, selected at random by a computer). “It’s the luck of the draw, just like the lottery,” says HGV driver Sue Walsh, who enters online competitions when parked up in her cab during trips all over Europe. Her wins to date include a smartphone, a mini fridge, a flight in a hot air balloon and a year’s supply of bras (that’s a dozen, apparently). “Comping is great fun, relaxing and beats watching TV,” adds Sue, from Accrington. “I spend quite a lot of my free time doing it. I don’t just enter competitions for my benefit. I give away nearly all the things I win to family and friends, which I love doing.” Dave Slack, a maintenance engineer from Nuneaton, took up the hobby last year after injuring his knee in an accident. “While I was off work and immobile I was looking for something I could do sitting down,” he says. The first prize he collected, ironically, was a pair of walking boots. He continues: “I’ve won quite a few things, including a £300 handbag for my wife, and that has kept the bug going. It’s pot luck

whether you win anything. As the old saying goes, you’ve got to be in it to win it.” Serious compers systematically enter hundreds, if not thousands, of competitions every week. Laura Stewart, who lives near Kendall, Cumbria, fires off about 300 entries from her laptop in an average day. “I’m a competition addict,” admits the mother of one and part-time call centre operator. “I used to spend four hours every day entering competitions but I’ve cut that down to just two now. “My biggest win so far has been £500 worth of clothes and this week I’ve won a lingerie set and a dress. My friends get a bit jealous when I pick up something nice but I always say they could have won it if they had entered too.” Web browsers have an automated formfilling function, which makes it easy to enter online competitions quickly and easily. This should not be confused with automatic entry services where, for a fee of £100 or more, companies will enter countless competitions and prize draws on your behalf in a scattergun approach. The result is that promoters can be inundated with tens SUMMER 2013


Feature of thousands of computer-generated third- News, which has been published in various party entries, rather than entries from forms since 1913. It was before that, in the genuine consumers they are targeting with late 1800s, that companies first started their products. to use competitions to promote their This is also a controversial issue wares. Then, as now, they find games and among members of the comping contests are a cost-effective alternative community. Most of them argue that to traditional forms of marketing – giving people who use these services are not away an all-expenses-paid holiday of a true compers and are taking the fun out lifetime can still work out cheaper than of their hobby by making the odds of paying for an ad in a national newspaper. winning some competitions almost At the same time, they collect valuable astronomical. The IPM does not endorse research data on potential customers. the use of these services either, describing “I am always happy to pass on tips them as “the lazy person’s way to winning and advice because I want more people prizes”. It has also warned that subscribers to improve their lives with this amazing could be wasting their money as more pastime,” says Di, just back from enjoying promoters become aware of this practice her latest prize, a luxury holiday to and take steps to exclude automatic Sorrento in Italy. “I would say something entries. like 95 per cent of compers are women Compers live in their 20s and 30s, for the letter or but it’s a hobby for email which begins: everybody. Recently “Congratulations! You I have noticed more have won…” And the people in their 60s and fact remains that the 70s doing it for the first more competitions time. you enter the more “I can honestly say chances you have of that comping has winning. Edwin Mutton, changed my life and (which has a popular forum used the IPM’s head of I’m proud to be a by compers) compliance, says: comper. Some “There are probably people might 250,000 people think we’re in the UK who fruitcakes but regularly take part when you in competitions. think about About 25,000 of the prizes these are dedicated we keep compers who enter winning, at least 50 contests maybe a week. In an we’re not so average year, and crazy after all.” with a fair share of luck, they might win a luxury holiday, two or three weekends away, three or four bigticket items such as a television or dishwasher, and any number of smaller What’s the best prize you’ve won? A prizes likes DVDs. But I think very few holiday, some cash or something more people could say they actually make a random we’d like to hear what’s made living out of it.” you a winner! Write in and share your Di Coke’s prowess at winning prizes experiences using the Fellowship Office landed her a job as a columnist for address at the front of the magazine or, the UK’s number email: one competition listing site, and Compers

Useful websites:



How can I be a winner, too?

Improve your chances of winning competitions by following these top tips:  Be selective – there are not enough hours in the day to enter everything, so only try for prizes that you really want.  Set up a separate email address just for entering competitions, otherwise your inbox will get swamped with junk mail.  Sign up for Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest – they may seem daunting at first but can be lots of fun, and are a great way to make friends with fellow compers.  Try text competitions and instant wins – keep a list of current on-pack promotions with you to check when you’re at the supermarket.  It’s best to enter comps that require a bit of effort – tie-breaker competitions don’t get many entries, so writing a poem or rhyming couplet is still your best chance of winning.  Recipe and photo competitions are also easier to win than prize draws – and you can get the whole family involved with your entries.  Write a wish list of what you’d like to win (or create a Pinterest board of photos) and search regularly for those competition prizes on Google.  Read the rules – many entrants get themselves disqualified for simple mistakes, so it’s always worth double checking before you seal the envelope or hit the ‘Enter’ button.  Stay positive and be patient – it can take a while for the prizes to start arriving (if they ever do!) Prepared by Di Coke,


a home from


Have you ever thought about being a house-sitter or petsitter? In return for looking after somebody’s home and animals while they are away, you could be enjoying a dream holiday of your own in a different part of the country, or even on the other side of the world. Two house-sitters tell David Porteous about their experiences and why they can’t wait until their next assignment.


f you love animals or visiting new places and want to stay for free in luxurious properties in fantastic locations that would cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds a week to rent, join the growing number of people who are taking up house-sitting. You might end up having the holiday of a lifetime at a farmhouse in the English countryside, a chateau in the south of France, or a beach house in Hawaii. House-sitting is nothing new, but it is becoming more popular with Britain’s retirees as a lifestyle choice. They are happy to work unpaid taking care of somebody’s home and cherished pets because it makes travelling more affordable: they can visit new destinations at home and abroad without having to worry about paying for accommodation. Owners get peace of mind from knowing their house will be occupied, maintaining the insurance cover if they are away for more than 30 days, and avoid having to put their pets into kennels, which can be stressful for the animals and expensive. Rita and Phil Palmer, who live near Stockport, Cheshire, have been housesitters since 2010 and have looked after houses in places as far apart as Devon and Yorkshire. “Last year we were away eleven times on assignments,” says Rita. “We’ve just come back from a two-week stay at a beautiful four-bedroom house in



a village near Oxford. In September we will be flying out to the Gold Coast of Australia to look after a lovely house and two dogs while the owners are away for five weeks. Opportunities come up all the time and we simply don’t know where else we might be going in the months ahead. It’s very exciting.” The couple are part of a growing network of owners and sitters who find each other through dedicated websites. For a small fee, owners can list their properties and the dates they will be away and email alerts are then sent out to sitters, who also pay to register, inviting them to apply. Owners can also search through the profiles of sitters to learn about their previous experience and references. Sitters will also use these websites to find people to stay in their own homes when they are away on assignments. “House-sitting gave us the incentive to take the plunge into early retirement,” explains Rita. “We don’t charge owners anything, so it’s not a source of income, but it does mean we are still able to have nice holidays. You don’t literally have to stay indoors all the time minding the house and pets, you do get time in the day to go out and discover new places. “We have friends all over the country so house-sitting is also a good way for us to catch up with them. When we go to

Australia we’ll be able to visit our nephew who lives out there. And we will be able stay out there for longer because we won’t have to worry about costly hotel bills. “Many owners keep asking us back. We’ve gone to one house in Yorkshire eight times and the owners plan their holidays around us now. But when we accept an assignment, we are not just thinking about having a good time. The most important thing is the security of the house and looking after the animals. We love pets but never had any of our own and this is another reason why we enjoy being house-sitters so much. If you like pets and travelling, it’s a fantastic way to spend your retirement.” Traditional house-sitting agencies charge owners a daily fee, a proportion of

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Villa in Spain; Cap Ferrat; Home in Yorkshire SUMMER 2013



Frequently asked questions about house-sitting: Do I need house-sitting experience? No, it is not essential. You may not have been a house-sitter before, but maybe you looked after a pet, or had a pet, or looked after a friend’s home when they went away, or just have experience that lends itself to the assignment. ABOVE: French mansion home in Midi Pyrenees; RIGHT: Home in Switzerland

which goes to the sitter they assign to the property. With websites like UK-based, which has 3,000 registered sitters, no money changes hand and owners can select their own sitter. Founder Andy Peck says: “Using a sitter who is being paid to look after their house is less attractive to many owners. They prefer to choose their own sitter, somebody with whom they can build a personal relationship. It makes no difference to them where in the world they live. “The majority of sitters don’t want to be paid either because they also want to develop a relationship based on trust. People are doing each other a favour – if you look after my labrador, you can stay in my house in the Algarve for two weeks. House-sitting is more flexible than houseswapping and perfect for retirees. About 70 per cent of our sitters are aged over 50 and we get a lot of emails from people saying we have enabled them to have the kind of retirement they always hoped for.” The latest assignment for Angela and John Laws finds them living in a sumptuous seventh-floor apartment in New York for six weeks with two dogs and a cat for company. “We’re on Fifth Avenue opposite Central Park, it’s an amazing location,” says Angela. She and her husband, originally from England but now based in Vancouver, Canada, have been house-sitting all over the world for five years. “We fell into it quite by accident,” explains Angela. “We had a springer spaniel called Holly who was the centre of our world after our children had grown up. When she passed away, the pet-sitter we had hired to look after her when we went away asked us to help her with her growing



What if I don’t have any house-sitting references? You can ask a current or former employer for a reference or get character references from other people who know you well. Everyone starts somewhere and you can add to your references as you gain more experience. Can I house-sit anywhere? Yes, but before accepting an assignment abroad, think about the practicalities regarding visas, the cost of flights, etc. Can I house sit if I have my own pets? Generally, most homeowners will have their own pets, so bringing a pet may not be appropriate. On some assignments this may be possible, but client list. I didn’t want another dog of my own but this way I can still fulfil my passion for animals by looking after other people’s pets. “John’s career in the oil industry took us all over the world so we are used to making homes in other people’s houses. I think living overseas as expats for so long has actually turned us into nomads. We both love to travel and house-sitting enables us to still do that now that we’re retired and have a fixed income. “House-sitting works in so many ways. Most owners will let you have guests and my son arrives tomorrow to stay with us for a few days while we’re here in New York. None of our family and friends in the UK has a house big enough for us to stay in, so whenever we go back there we always look for a house-sit. It certainly saves on hotel bills. If you plan your assignments well in advance, you can get good breaks on airline tickets, too.

you need to confirm this with the owner in advance. Who pays the bills when I am house-sitting? There is no fixed answer to this, it depends on the assignment. For any stay of a few weeks or less, the homeowner usually pays; for longer stays, for example, a few months, there is often an arrangement whereby the house-sitter would pay the utility bills. Can single people and families become house-sitters? Many house-sitters are single. And lots of homeowners are happy for families to come and take care of their home and pets – in fact some specify that they would prefer a family. “In a way this has given me a second career. I approach it in a very business-like manner. I treat homeowners like clients even though I don’t get paid for the services I provide. Many of them are now very good friends and we often get invited back. It’s a brilliant lifestyle and it suits us perfectly.”

FURTHER INFORMATION: Leading ‘match-making’ website for sitters and owners Long-established traditional agency Short-term house-sitting company




Post war Europe saw a rise in the popularity of town twinning with friendships being established from Coventry to Volgograd. But how exactly did ‘twinning’ become so popular? avanti goes on a journey around post-war Europe to find out...


t the height of the Second World War, without even the prospect of a peace treaty in sight to end the devastation being wrought both sides of the conflict one British city decided that enough was enough. Coventry had fared particularly badly during the Luftwaffe’s blitzkrieg over the skies of Britain. As a highly industrialised city with a number of munitions factories, it had been high on Hitler’s hit-list. But despite much of the city being destroyed,



Coventry extended an olive branch across the channel to mainland Europe and established what would become the first international twinning link with the city of Stalingrad, now Volgograd. At the time twinning links between international cities were virtually unheard of. But when war came to an end in Europe in 1945, not only were the nation’s cities in a state of desolation; international relations with mainland Europe were in tatters, and something needed to be done.

Cautiously, other towns and cities began to follow Coventry’s lead and forge their own relationships across the channel in an attempt to build burnt bridges, both politically and economically. “Town Twinning projects and networks of twinned towns have proven to be highly effective means of bringing together European citizens from different countries, enhancing tolerance and mutual understanding,” explains Mina Andreeva, European Commission Spokesperson for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship. “Whether it is a festival, a conference on the topic of democracy or a study on the well-being of elderly citizens in European rural areas, each project offers opportunities for intercultural dialogue and experience sharing.” In order to be effective, town twinnings rely on the voluntary commitment of the town’s residents and the collaboration with their local authorities and local associations, not only to establish a twinning link with a chosen partner town, but to maintain it. Once up and running, twinning organisations provide unique opportunities and invaluable insights into the daily lives of people living in other countries, the chance to talk to them and - more often than not - develop lasting friendships. The pioneering approach shown by Coventry City Council during those dark war years remains a huge source of pride to the city to this day, as Lord Mayor, Councillor Tim Sawdon, explains: “Coventry has had close links with cities since 1944 when Stalingrad (now Volgograd) became our first twin city. In fact Coventry was the founder of the twin cities movement. Since then, we have gained a reputation for being a city of peace and reconciliation and have forged links with 26 cities which had suffered a similar fate to Coventry during the war.” Cities such as Dresden in Germany and Arnhem in the Netherlands, which both suffered catastrophic damage during the war, count themselves amongst Coventry’s worldwide community of twin cities. The Lord Mayor and his Mayoress recently visited Volgograd, as he explains: “We attended a ceremony to

ABOVE: Mamayev barrow Memorial in Volgograd; RIGHT: St Michael Cathedral church, Coventry

commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the battle of Stalingrad which helped us remember the loss that people there, and also in our city, must have felt during those war years.” Today, Coventry’s boundary signs bare no mention of the city’s twin towns. Such a sign would have to be incredibly large. Instead, the sign welcomes visitors to the “City of Peace and Reconciliation. Coventry inspires communities.” Building community spirit is the foundation of a lasting twinning organisation, as Dennis Knowles of the Devon Twinning Circle explains: “It’s not just the continental exchange where you get to meet new people and build friendships; it’s the people you get coming together to organise events at home, the lunches and dinners and all sorts of things like that. You make quite a lot of friends, and that is why it works.” Devon is somewhat unique on the twinning front. After Devon County Council signed a Twinning Charter with the Conseil

Twins: Coventry & Volgograd

General of Calvados in Normandy in 1971 it became the first – and to this day, the only – county to forge a twinning link with another region on the continent. By twinning the two regions, towns within their boundaries then began pairing off. There are now 84 different twinning associations within the county and the twinning circle operates as a community to support these organisations and pool together resources and information. “It’s an association of associations,” laughed Dennis. And the circle is set to get bigger this year, after a number of twinning associations across the county border in Somerset expressed an interest in bringing their ideas to the table of the quarterly meetings of the Devon Twinning Circle. In some instances it can be hard to understand why some towns have been twinned with others, but the pairing SUMMER 2013



Twinning projects bring together public sector expertise from EU member states and beneficiary countries to enhance cooperation. LEFT: Carnoustie local amateur weaver with her version of ‘Red Ramsay’ tartan which she presented to the Chairmen Roger Jeffery (Carnoustie) Michel Contet (CJMVM) and Mayor of Ma; RIGHT: Lady and Lord Mayor of Coventry (on left), visit Volgograd 2013

of a region in south west England with a region in the north west of France was well thought through. Dennis said: “I think the geographical position of Devon and Brittany must have come into it when it was being decided. Living on this coast you don’t even have to take a coach to get to your twin town in Brittany, you can go as foot passengers on the ferry from Plymouth and be picked up by your twinned families on the other side.” But that is not the case for members of the Carnoustie and Maule Twinning Association who live a good 800 miles apart. So what lead to these seemingly dissimilar towns forging a lasting friendship? The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 ushered in a new wave of change in Europe, and a whole new headache of international relations and continental commerce. But it wasn’t just former Soviet states that were seeking to improve their chances in the modern economic market. The now defunct Tayside Regional Council in Scotland began looking at developing commercial twinning links with Europe as a means of boosting the local economy. At the same time, historians in Maule had been doing some digging and discovered that a certain Pierre de Maule had been part of the 1066 invasion of Britain. Through his services to the king he was given lands in Perthshire which became home to the Panmure Estate situated immediately to the north of Carnoustie. With an almost tangible bond between the



two towns, a twinning charter was drawn up and signed in 1992. In the 21 years of its existence, the Carnoustie Twinning Association has gone from strength to strength, and its members have been recognised as ‘Angus Ambassadors’ for all of their work to nurture the relationship between the two towns. They marked their tenth anniversary in 2002 with the adoption of a tartan for the association – the Red Ramsay. The annual Burns Supper has become one of the highlights of the year, with the association alternating annually between France and Scotland to host the dinner and dance at the end of January. The European Commission was quick to notice the benefits that a large number of established twinning organisations were reaping and so launched its own twinning programme in 1998 to encourage discussion between EU member states and those countries looking to become part of the European Union. Peter Stano, Spokesperson to Stefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy said: “One of the great challenges for the countries aspiring to join the EU is to reform, strengthen and adapt their public institutions to EU standards, so that they can provide a better service to their citizens, apply correctly EU rules and benefit fully from EU membership.” To meet this need, the EU provides focused assistance through its twinning programme. Launched in May 1998, twinning is now one of the principal tools of ‘institution building’ in enlargement countries. Twinning projects bring together public sector expertise from EU member states and beneficiary countries to enhance cooperation. Experts from both sides

develop and implement a targeted project aimed at supporting the transposition, enforcement and implementation of a specific part of EU law. A conference in the city of Trogir in Croatia in May 2011 welcomed delegates from partner towns in Hungary, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic and Poland. The four-day event looked at the value of voluntary organisations and understanding of the contribution they make to society. Several workshops, lectures and presentations provided the participants with the opportunity to discuss critical issues of volunteering initiatives. The conference paved the way for the creation of new projects such as language camps for students, environmental projects, art exhibitions, common online forums, sport, music and art camps showing that the importance of maintaining the spirit of friendship remains alive and well.

How many places is your town twinned with? Write in and share your list with others and let’s see if we can find the town that has the most twins. If you live in a twinned town has it made a difference to you? Do you think twinning is still relevant and important in modern times? Send your information through to the Fellowship Office address at the front of the magazine or email:


IN THE landscape Spending a day enjoying art in the open can be a great day out. There are many places across the country that are welcoming, informative and usually with gorgeous countryside around them to enjoy at the same time. Paul Dance casts his eye over a few of the more interesting‌ SUMMER 2013




alleries, National Trust properties and stately homes all have one thing in common; they are visited by thousands of people every year who want to spend an enjoyable, stimulating time considering art, history and beautiful surroundings. However, there are some less well known places that for the art lovers amongst you may well be worthy of a day trip to explore or even create an opportunity for a long weekend away. These are the sculpture parks and gardens that are scattered around the U.K. Many of them are free entry and they vary in size from a medium-sized garden to hundreds of acres that need a committed day’s walking. Some of them are devoted to local sculptors and raise money for worthy causes, some contain sculptures by the greatest names in the world of sculpture over the past century. There are industrial, traditional, architectural and modern sculptures and they are located from Cornwall to Cumbria, up to Scotland and from Lincolnshire to Wales.

South West

One of the most famous is Barbara Hepworth’s garden and museum in St Ives, Cornwall opened in 1976, a year after her death. The garden contains many sculptures and a museum devoted to the memory of Hepworth who lived here for just over twenty-five years, until her death in 1975. It’s only a 10-minute walk from Tate St Ives so for the culture vultures amongst you there is plenty for a day out from one of the numerous B&Bs or hotels nearby.

Further Information

BARBARA HEPWORTH GARDEN & MUSEUM Tel: 01736 796226 Admission: £6.60/£4.40 concessions


Heading East from here is the far less well-known Tout Quarry Sculpture Park in Dorset fashioned from an old quarry and containing sculptures made exclusively from the local Portland stone. There are sculptures by very famous sculptors such as Anthony Gormley and it is a very organic, naturally regenerated park with rare butterflies and orchids. It also has new



sculptures created frequently, often in the carving classes that are held by a variety of experienced sculptors and help to finance the charity that runs Tout Quarry. Just south of London, The Pride of the Valley Sculpture Park lies near Farnham in Surrey. There is an enormous and eclectic mix of over 600 sculptures, all for sale, in ten acres of arboretum & water gardens. There are several routes, which can take up to two hours to complete but the extent of the collection makes repeat visits a must. This park is opposite a very nice pub, also called the Pride of the Valley, which means you can easily include lunch in your visit.

Further Information

The Pride of the Valley Sculpture Park Tel: 01428 605453 Admission: £6/£3 concessions Tout Quarry Sculpture Park Tel: 01305 826736 Admission: Free


Across London and up the M11 at Much Hadham, Hertfordshire is The Henry

Further Information

The Henry Moore Foundation Tel: 01279 844104 Admission:£15/£12 concessions Burghley House Tel: 01780 752451 Admission: £12.70/£11.50 concessions


PREVIOUS PAGE: The Pride of the Valley Sculpture Park; THIS PAGE CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Portland Lizard; Kielder Forest; Jupiter Artland; Kielder Skyspace; Portland Head; The Pride of the Valley Sculpture Park

Moore Foundation, a beautiful garden containing many sculptures by one of our best-known sculptors, buildings dedicated to explaining how he created many of his sculptures, and the house where he lived for many years. The entrance fee can seem a bit steep when compared to most of the other parks and gardens but the Foundation does a huge amount of work at many locations to promote sculpture generally. The helpful staff are happy to show you around and afterwards there is a large pub across the road which serves food. Carry on up the M11 and then on the A1 to Stamford and, at Burghley

House, site of the famous horse trials, part of the grounds is devoted to a sculpture trail beside the lake with a variety of sculptures and a fabulous ‘Garden of Surprises’ featuring beautiful, interactive water features. Once again there is an admission charge but you can easily spend a whole day here, admiring the sculptures and enjoying the free picnicking area, or pay a bit extra and include the stunning house in your trip. This is on the edge of the lovely town of Stamford and, although there is a small cafe on-site there are also numerous places in the town for refreshments.

Further north, near Wakefield is the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 500 acres of parkland containing sculptures by such artists as Anthony Caro, Andy Goldsworthy and James Turrell. Sheep wander amongst the works and you can walk around, between and through the sculptures. It’s easy to spend a whole day here, admission is free, parking charges apply but, at £7.50 for the whole day, and with an excellent cafe on-site where you can look out over the rolling landscape and enjoy the sculptures from a different perspective, it probably won’t break the bank. There are also two excellent galleries, one in the main building and the other a 20-minute walk across the grounds, both of which hold changing exhibitions throughout the year. Meanwhile, Kielder Water and Forest Park in Northumberland has over 20 pieces currently available to visit. The park is set across an area of 250 square miles, making the Park the largest working forest in Europe. It houses a number of architectural scale installations including a stunning observatory and Kielder Skyspace by James Turrell, one of my personal favourites. Obviously, because of the size of the park and the spread of the sculptures, it can take a couple of days to get round it all but allow yourself a long weekend, or even a week away in this beautiful part of England and you’ll be well rewarded. Their website has a detailed map showing the location of all the sculptures and other points of interest. Across the Pennines, in the Lake District, between Windermere and Coniston, Grizedale Forest Park lays claim to being the earliest ‘art in the landscape’ project in Britain. It contains around fifty sculptures, spread across some miles of trails created over the last thirty-six years by international artists, from Richard Harris’s Quarry Structure in 1977 and Kerry Morrison’s beautiful Some Fern in the same year to the most SUMMER 2013


Feature recent pieces, both by Royal College of Art graduates, being installed in the summer of this year. Because of the length of the trails and the number of sculptures, it’s a good idea to allow yourself a couple of days if you want to see them all but it is perfectly feasible to spend a day in Grizedale and see a good number of the sculptures.

Further Information

Grizedale Forest Park Tel: 01229 860010 Admission: Free Kielder Water and Forest Park Admission: Free Yorkshire Sculpture Park Tel: 01924 832631 Admission: Free CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Wilfred Pritchard, Giant Tarantula, Mild Steel, 680cms wide by 640cms deep by 420cms; Jupiter Artland; Jon Loxley, Portal, Copper and Aluminium, Unique, 345cm. high; Barbara Hepworth Garden


On the borders of England and South Wales, there is the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail, a four and a half mile trail through the forest, containing over twenty sculptures made almost exclusively from natural materials found in the forest. The artists include such illustrious names as Cornelia Parker, Peter Randall-Page and coupled with the natural beauty of the area, the trail makes a delightful day out.

Further Information

Admission: Free


Jupiter Artland is one of Britain’s most recent additions but possibly one of the most impressive. Sited in the grounds of a private Jacobean home, Simon Groom, the director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, said about it: “I can’t think of anything that parallels this” It contains sculptures by Andy Goldsworthy, Anish Kapoor, Cornelia Parker and many more, across a garden of 80 acres but is only open Friday – Sunday.

Further information

Jupiter Artland Tel: 01568 89900 Admission: £8.50/£6 concessions




Wales is not well-served with sculpture parks but the Llanwddyn Sculpture Trail in the valley below the dam on Lake Vyrnwy could possibly claim to make up for this. The idea of two local men, Andy Hancock and Andy Hall, it has, since 1995, become a mecca for sculptors from Britain and countries around the world and features over fifty wooden sculptures.

most socially inclusive sculpture parks in the UK, if not the world.

Further information

Lough MacNean Sculpture Trail Tel: 0128 6632 3110 Admission: Free Lough-MacNean-Sculpture-Trail

Further information

Llanwddyn Sculpture Trail

Northern Ireland

Lough MacNean Sculpture Trail in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh is set on the borders of N. Ireland and the Republic and was begun in 1992. Eleven Irish artists, from both sides of the border, worked with local people to select sites and help in the creation of the trail and sculptures using mostly local materials and sited them on both sides of the Lough. Surely one of the

Have you visited somewhere around the UK that you particularly enjoyed and that you’d like to share with other members? Or perhaps you have one of your sculptures on display? Tell us about it and write and write in to the Editor using the Fellowship Office contact details shown on page 3 or email:


leisure life

books New releases reviewed by Janet Tester

Our regular mix of books, culture and entertainment

A Leap into the Unknown

Confronting the Classics By Mary Beard (Profile Books) ISBN 978 1 78125 048 8

By Marie Sumner (Book Guild Publishing)

The Good Suicides By Antonio Hill (Doubleday) Antonio Hill studied psychology and lives in Barcelona where he works as a professional translator of English language fiction into Spanish. The Summer of Dead Toys was the first in a detective series set in Barcelona and introduced Inspector Salgado. It was a major best seller in Spain. This is the second novel featuring the volatile inspector. He is personally involved in the investigation of his ex-wife Ruth’s disappearance and she is now officially a missing person. His pregnant colleague, against doctor’s orders, works day and night to find her. At the same time Salgado is investigating a series of bizarre deaths, apparently suicides, but all from the same pharmaceutical company and in the course of his struggles, unearths dark truths and long-buried secrets. Very well written, this intricate story will delight fans of European crime writing.



Marie Sumner had just retired from teaching and was living in Kent with her husband Colin, surrounded by close friends. All seemed perfect but three years later her world was turned upside down by the death of her beloved husband. Both daughters had previously emigrated to New Zealand and Marie took the courageous decision to sell up and move halfway across the world to join them. These memoirs tell of her new life, the difficulties and struggles of starting again and the joys that her situation has brought her. It’s an inspirational book, very much her own story of surviving and breaking new ground.

No! I Don’t Need Reading Glasses! By Virginia Ironside (Quercus) HB ISBN 978 1 78087 858 4 The continuing fictional story of Marie Sharp, encountered previously in the bestseller No! I Don’t Want to Join a Bookclub! this is definitely a ‘laugh out loud’ book. Marie has now stopped teaching art and has taken up painting again. She has many friends, a beloved grandson, a cat named Pouncer and a friend, Archie to share her bed. But nothing stays the same. This very funny, sometimes sad and often moving tale tells of a year of love and death, laughter and tears and Marie’s unique way of facing each situation as it comes. It’s an inspirational tale of how old age doesn’t always mean slowing down, being dull or even being grown-up!

Mary Beard takes us on a guided tour of the classical world, from the prehistoric palace at Knossos in Crete to that fictional village in Gaul where Astérix and his friends are still holding out against the Romans. This is a serious and scholarly book, not for the faint-hearted, but while encountering some of the most famous characters in ancient history we are also allowed a glimpse of how the ordinary people of the times lived. The author takes us fearlessly inside some of the most controversial debates in modern scholarship – from how important Cleopatra really was in the history of Rome to how far Roman Britain was ever ‘Romanised’. Mary Beard is Professor of Classics at Cambridge and one of the best-known classicists working today. This book is beautifully presented by Profile Books and is an elegant and informative reference book.

How Puzzles Improve Your Brain

Brothers Fury By Giles Kristian (Bantam Press) Giles Kristian’s The Bleeding Land was the first in a trilogy of novels set in the complex times of the English Civil War and featuring the Rivers family. Rebel Tom Rivers has been cast out from his home and rejected by his family and has returned to his regiment where he receives a less than enthusiastic welcome from his commander. Renegade Edmund Rivers rejects the peace talks between Parliament and the King and leads a hardened band of marauders seeking out rebel columns. Sister Bess Rivers leaves her newborn son looking for her brother Tom to secure his Royal Pardon and struggles to reconcile her fighting brothers. This unhappy family plays out their lives in the background of brutal conflict in this well written historical novel.

By Richard Restak and Scott Kim (Souvenir Press) ISBN 9780285641754 Richard Restak is one of the world’s leading neurologists and in this book he explores how solving puzzles, crosswords or Sudoku can change, reshape and strengthen the brain. There are three different skills explored – memory, perception and cognition – all of which will inevitably decline unless deliberate efforts are made to enhance them. Scott Kim has developed the puzzles needed to stimulate the area of the brain responsible for enhancing these functions. The two authors have combined their expertise to produce a fascinating study of how to ‘stop the rot’ and have a lot of fun doing it. The puzzles have a wide range of difficulty but it is quite comforting that the answers are supplied!

Star Trek Into Darkness Paramount Pictures, On general release Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Simon Pegg The crew of the Enterprise discover a terrifying force at work inside their organisation. Captain Kirk and his crew find themselves on a mission to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction resulting in a complex life and death chess game that will test them all to the limits.

The Great Gatsby Warner Brothers, On general release Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire This much anticipated release by Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge) has only recently been released and promises a lavish take on F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel. DiCaprio plays the title role, which follows the story of a Midwestern war veteran’s fascination with his millionaire neighbour Jay Gatsby.

Man of Steel Warner Brothers, Released on June 14 Stars: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe Superman returns in this new reboot by director Zach Synder. ‘Superman’ is sent to earth as a boy from Krypton and finds himself adopted by a Kansas couple. Discovering he has superpowers he dedicates his new found skills to help save Earth when it comes under attack. Henry Cavill (The Immortals) dons the famous suit and Amy Adams (Enchanted) is Lois Lane.

Despicable Me 2 Universal, Released June 28 Stars: (voices of) Steve Carell, Al Pacino, Kristen Wiig, Steve Coogan, Russell Brand Perfect for the big kid in you (and the grandchildren), this sequel to the very popular 2010 original sees Gru (voiced by Carell) being recruited by the anti-villain league to help beat another master criminal. Many of the national cinema chains offer special discounts for afternoon screenings for older people – check your local press for further information SUMMER 2013


culture Exhibitions around the UK

Man Ray Portraits Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Queen St, Edinburgh 22 June to 22 September This is the first major museum retrospective of the highly influential artist’s photographic portraits and features over 100 works from his career in America and Paris, dating from 1916 to 1968.The exhibition will demonstrate Man Ray’s central position among the leading artists of the Dada and Surrealist movements and will feature portraits of lovers, friends and contemporaries, ranging from two of his most significant muses, Lee Miller and Kiki de Montparnasse, to fellow artists, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali, and American author, Ernest Hemingway. Tickets priced £7 (£5 concs) – for more information call 0131 624 6200 or visit

Solarised Portrait of Lee Miller c.1929 © Man Ray Trust/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2012, courtesy The Penrose Collection. Image courtesy the Lee Miller Archives



Collecting Gauguin: Samuel Courtauld in the ‘20s The Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, London 20 June to 8 September The Courtauld Gallery holds the most important collection of works in the country by Paul Gauguin. This special summer display presents the complete collection together with the loan of two important works by Gauguin formerly in the Courtauld’s private collection: Martinique Landscape (Scottish National Gallery) and Bathers in Tahiti (Barber Institute of Fine Arts). Gauguin is widely celebrated as one of the most important artists of the 19th century and this exhibition offers an opportunity to enjoy this wonderful collection. Tickets priced £6 (£5 concs) – for more information call 020 7848 2526 (24 hr recorded info) or visit

FROM TOP: Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), Bathers at Tahiti, 1897, Oil on sacking, 73.3 x 91.8 cm, © The Trustees of the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham; Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), Martinique Landscape, 1887, Oil on canvas, 115 x 88.50 cm, © Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh

theatre Private Lives Gielgud Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London

Architecture, Design and Art in Italy Estorick Collection, 39a Canonbury Square, London Until 8 September For over thirty years, Giorgio Casali (1913-1995) photographed the work of the greatest post-war Italian architects and designers. This exhibition presents a selection of Casali’s work taken from the vast collection in the Archivio Progetti housed in Venice. They span forty years of creativity in both architecture and design and emphasis the importance of the photographic image in chronicling the historical evolution of design. Tickets priced £5 (£3.50 concs) – for more information call 020 7704 9522 or visit TOP: View of the grand staircase at La Rinascente in Rome, designed by Franco Albini and Franca Helg, 1962; digital print on aluminium; LEFTLibro Chair / Poltrona Libro, design Gianni Pareschi and Umberto Orsini, 1970. Manufactured by Busnelli; digital print on aluminium

Propaganda: Power and Persuasion The British Library, London Until 17 September Misinformation, disinformation, public service announcements, call propaganda what you like - the battle for your hearts and minds is fought with posters, films, cartoons, textbooks, tweets and sounds. From safe sex to dictatorships, from the iconic to the everyday, from the spectacular to the sinister, from the informing to the surprising, this exhibition covers the world and two centuries. It shows you the myriad ways that states attempt to influence you. Tickets priced £9 (£7 concs) – for more information call 01937 546546 or visit LEFT: Propaganda: Power and Persuasion Russo-Japanese war © British Library Board

Starring: Toby Stephens, Anna Chancellor Previews from 22 June, opening night 3 July Noel Coward’s masterpiece returns to the West End in this much anticipated transfer. Elyot and Amanda are glamorous, rich, reckless and divorced. Five years later, their love is unexpectedly rekindled when they take adjoining suites of a Riviera hotel while honeymooning with their new spouses. This chance encounter instantly reignites their passion, and they fling themselves headlong into a whirlwind of love and lust once more, without a thought for partners present or turbulences past. Booking until 21 September – for box office call 0844 482 5138

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London

Starring: Douglas Hodge, Nigel Planer Previews from 18 May, opening night 11 June Academy Award-winning film and theatre director Sam Mendes brings Roald Dahl’s much-loved classic to the stage. Charlie Bucket finds his life transformed when he is one of the lucky winners of a ‘golden ticket’ that books his place on a special tour of the reclusive Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Booking until 30 November – for box office call 0844 871 8810

The Cripple of Inishmaan Noel Coward Theatre, St Martins Lane, London

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe Previews from 8 June, opening night 18 June Set on the remote island of Inishmaan off the west coast of Ireland, word arrives that a Hollywood film is being made on the neighbouring island of Inishmore. The one person who wants to be in the film more than anybody is young Cripple Billy, if only to break away from the bitter tedium of his daily life. Booking until 31 August – for box office call 0844 482 5141

Don’t Forget!

Edinburgh International Festival 2013 Various venues 9 August – 1 September The programme for this year’s festival is now available and tickets can be booked for a number of the main events. You can download a PDF of the programme via the Festival website or call to request a copy. For more information visit or call 0131 473 2000 (box office) SUMMER 2013



POSTbag CIVIL SERVICE HOSTELS Ed’s Note – it’s been fascinating to read all of your letters about your memories of life in the Civil Service Hostels, do keep them coming! Dear Postbag, I was interested to read the letter regarding Civil Service Hostels. I too, sat the Open Clerical Officer exam over 60 years ago, in fact in 1947. In the August of that year I left home a couple of months before my seventeenth birthday, and started employment at the Home Office Statistical Branch in Lytham St.Annes. This small unit was still at that time based on the Fylde coast, having been evacuated from London during the early war years. I was offered, and accepted, a place in the Blackpool South

Shore Hostel, which comprised of five small hotels forming part of a crescent of such establishments. The five hotels had been requisitioned by the Civil Service, and opened up internally to form ground floor accommodation for dining and lounge areas, with all the bedrooms on two floors above them. The residents were of varying age groups and worked in several Departments in the area. From memory, the charge in 1947 was twentythree shillings per week for bed, breakfast and evening meal. This may seem a paltry amount now, but as my starting salary at the time as a Clerical Officer was £143.00 p.a. it did not leave much for daily bus travel to Lytham St.Annes, lunches, clothing, and occasional week-end trips home to Southport. In 1948 the hostel, and its sister establishment in Blackpool North Shore, were closed due to many Departments returning to the South of England,

Dear Postbag, Ray Colmer’s letter in the spring avanti brought back many happy memories for me. Leaving Glasgow at 17 I started work at the Central Office of Information in 1950. Now at 80 years old I still recall many happy memories of my 3 years of hostel life in 70 Onslow Gardens, South Kensington. My first bed was in a top floor room shared

Your letters and STORIES

mainly to London. The remaining residents at South Shore were offered accommodation on the Airport at Squires Gate. I have vivid memories of trying to sleep in dormitory huts, whilst converted Lancaster bombers were landing and taking off during the night, ferrying in milk supplies from Ireland. That Hostel then closed in late 1948 or early 1949, and I was able to find suitable lodgings with an elderly lady in a large luxury flat overlooking Blackpool promenade. In June 1949 I was called up for National Service in the Royal Air Force, and on demobilisation in June 1951 I rejoined Home Office Statistical Branch, which by then was situated in Hinchley Wood in Surrey. Unfortunately there were no such hostels available from then on one had to find suitable lodgings locally. Peter Walker, Penwortham, Preston, Lancs.

with three other lads, ex forces and therefore older than me. They looked after me like big brothers! I’ve included some other pictures of friends from my hostel days and if there are any readers who recognise themselves then I’d love to hear from them. Happy Days! Jim Crawford, Tonbridge, Kent

LEFT: With friends at the hostel; FAR LEFT: Me on the right with a pal who was very proud of his first Austin 7; ABOVE RIGHT: Me in bed at the hostel



Dear Postbag, The letter from Ray Colmer brought back lots of memories for me as I too was posted to H M Inspector of Taxes, Mayfair in 1956 and stayed in a Civil Service Hostel, Robart House in Kensington, sharing a room with four other girls. Our room was at the front and overlooked Kensington Gardens, where the enclosed photo was taken; I’m the one at the front of the photo (shown here), marked with a cross. We were so lucky to be able to stay in such an up-market area and taking the

Dear Postbag, Following the letter in the last issue I have enclosed some memories of my time at Ensleigh House Hostel in Bath. I began my Civil Service career in July 1949, aged 17, after passing the Open Clerical Competition and was posted to the Admiralty in Bath. I was allocated a bed in the Admiralty Hostel at Ensleigh House on the very top of Lansdown. Ensleigh House was a large Victorian building in extensive grounds under the care of a Warden, the very formidable Mrs. Du Sautoy and an excellent cook, Mrs Gairns. There were 4 or 5 dormitories each with 5 or 6 beds. There was a mixture of residents, some of whom, like me, were very young, together with a number of older men, mainly professionals, up from the Dockyards to work at HQ. This worked very well as the older men acted as mentors to the younger element. I shared a room on the ground floor with 4 others and as I slept next to the window, it was not unknown for someone who was very late back and had forgotten his key to climb through the window and over my bed on the way to his room. The meals in the hostel only cost about £3 per week and that included a cooked breakfast and evening meal and our social life revolved around social evenings and dances at the Girls hostel in Lansdown Crescent and at the Teachers Training College at Brougham Hayes, also in the City. All of this was very exciting to a country boy who at home would have been expected to be tucked up in bed by 10pm. I shall always remember my time

No 73 bus to work in Mayfair I had the added delights of shopping in Oxford St and Regents St and just window shopping in Bond Street. I made some good friends and I am still in touch with two of them. I met my late husband at the Hammersmith Palais and we were married the following year. So, although I wasn’t there for long, it really did change my life. Mavis Forest (nee Holden) then Hoskings, Daventry, Northants

at Ensleigh House with a great deal of affection. Roy Carne, Wincanton, Somerset Dear Postbag, Like Ray Colmer I came to London as a 17 year old to live in a London Hostels Association hostel. It was August 1958 and I was starting my first job as a Clerical Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The hostel had a grand address: Robart House, Hyde Park Gate, SW1. Sir Winston Churchill was a neighbour. It was a fantastic position bang opposite Kensington Gardens and close to the South Kensington Museums and Harrods (not that I could afford to shop there!). There were slightly more affordable shops like Barkers and Derry and Toms (with roof garden) but C & A Modes was more my style. On summer mornings I started my journey to work by walking into Kensington Gardens, along a magnificent flower border up to the next bus stop by the Albert Memorial. The Royal Albert Hall was right opposite and as a keen “promenader” I enjoyed many marvellous concerts there with a 5-minute walk home afterwards. The hostel fees were £2 10s (£2.50) per week which covered bed, breakfast and dinner five days a week and full board at the weekends. I slept in a large bedroom with four other girls and our only heating was a coin-in-slot gas fire, which we could rarely afford to use. We kept warm in bed by using our bedside rugs as an extra blanket. The warden was a very grand lady Mrs Wade-Palmer who could wither

miscreants with a glance, but it was the assistant warden Miss Chant who really ran things. Although food and furnishings were sparse, I remember that the Quiet Room and the Lounge (where visitors were allowed until 10 pm) were beautifully furnished and would have passed muster in a smart club. I also remember the excitement when we acquired a Television Room, but there were no comfortable sofas only hard slatted wooden folding chairs. I lived at Robart House for about 18 months and was generally happy. I made good friends, two of whom I still see regularly. Our payday treat was a trip to the Wimpy Bar in Kensington High Street. Together we moved out into a flat in Swiss Cottage, which began another chapter of my life. Jane Garrett nee Doody, Surbiton Surrey (by email)

ABOVE: The hostel I stayed in; RIGHT: Me on the left with a roommate in Kensington Gardens SUMMER 2013


ALCHEMY AND THE BIRTH OF SCIENCE Dear Postbag, I think that members who enjoyed reading Gareth Southwell’s article Alchemy and the Birth of Science in the last issue would also enjoy Margaret Wertheim’s book Pythagoras’ Trousers subtitled God, Physics and the

IN DEFENCE OF ELOCUTION Ed’s note – Evelyn George’s letter in our last issue has clearly struck a chord with some of you judging by the number of replies in my postbag. Clear pronunciation and annunciation is important but we should not overlook our regional dialects and accents as these contribute to the rich diversity of the UK Dear Postbag, I agree wholeheartedly with Evelyn George’s comment about elocution and feel that much of the deficiency could be remedied if many of the current TV and radio presenters would speak more slowly. Rapid speech by newsreaders and weather reporters in both media I find particularly difficult due my deficient hearing and the female presenters seem to speak faster than their male

Gender Wars. In this book, Wertheim argues that from its inception, physics has been a religiously inspired activity. Harold Yardley, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs

counterparts. A typical example is “Sco’land” in weather reports. This apparent slackness with the spoken word also evident in written work, when journalists scatter “ands” and “buts “ and seem to enjoy using long sentences with liberal parentheses. The use of current clichés such as “fantastic” and “for free” and the application of the suffix “ee” to all sorts of subject nouns, e.g. attendee, retiree only add to the problem faced by the interested listener/reader. Chris Gittins, Long Lawford, Rugby (by email) Dear Postbag, I have just read the letter concerning the need for elocution lessons in school. I feel these have been missing for so many years that we are now fighting a losing battle in most schools. What worries me most is grammar, which is rather lax in many middle-aged people and particularly noticeable on the BBC and in respectable newspapers. One word, which I find impossible to understand, is ‘secretary’ frequently pronounced ‘secetary’. How can any young person know how to spell a word pronounced in this way? The use of computers has introduced the American spelling of so many words, which is not helpful in the delivery of correct English. I too despair of the way English has been corrupted. Sheila Mackey (by email) Dear Postbag, I went to private elocution lessons from the age of 12 to 15 years old in the 1940’s. My teachers at



Senior School were full of praise for me because I was in pantomime plays entertaining people. Just lower down from where I lived was Prestwick where there was an elocution teacher who taught elocution to Honor Blackman and Victoria Wood. I managed to obtain my fifth grade with distinction and had to deliver a speech from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. I do think it would be a good idea to put elocution in the curriculum starting in the primary schools, as it would bring happiness to these children. Mary Lowe, Oldham Dear Postbag, The decline in standards of diction and grammar began decades ago when, for reasons unknown, the educated minority, the authority figures, stopped correcting the young. Consequently, good speech is no longer fashionable; and many educated children now speak less well than their educated parents. Estuary English, with its characteristic glottal stop, has been allowed to pervade society, and is to be heard even in high places. It also occurs in television advertisements, where speech reflects that of the majority, from whom the greatest profit is to be made. One might ask how this deterioration could have come about during a period in which higher education increased to a point approaching 50% of the population. If elocution is returned to schools, which seems unlikely, who will teach it? Surely not the teachers, many of whom are themselves in need of it. It is too late for change. Young people now know they can achieve position and wealth without elocution. Dennis Brett, Ruskington, Lincs

MILITARY TRAVELS Dear Postbag, Frederick Vincent’s experiences (spring issue) crosses with some of mine. I was also called up in 1945 and went to Walley Barracks Essex for 6 weeks primary training where I met Joe Oakenful. Only he, I and two others were then posted to Kitchener Barracks, Chatham for sapper training. As I was intending to be an architect I applied to be an Engineer Draughtsman and was accepted, Joe did the same and we were sent to The School of Military Engineering, Bromley Barracks, Chatham. On passing out we were elevated to Lance Corporal, Joe was posted to Germany but I went to Malta. I went from Newhaven to Dieppe and then by train, round Paris, on by the Pyrenees to Toulon, then by boat to Malta, most of those on board continued east. In Malta I was placed

in the CRE’s office and found myself doing a lot of field surveys. Being a keen swimmer this station was ideal, we were on the shore of St George’s Bay. I converted an army respirator to a snorkel and did lots of underwater swimming! I was in Malta for two years during which time I also visited Crete, Cyprus and Greece. I returned to the UK in March 1948 and went back to my old job at the Architects Department, Essex County Council in Chelmsford. Gordon Robertson, West Malling, Kent

If you have a story or picture to share, write or send it to the Editor using the contact information at the front of the magazine. The Editor regrets it is not possible to enter into correspondence with individual readers. All submissions unless otherwise indicated will be considered for publication. It’s lovely to hear from you and read all of the letters you take the time to write. But unfortunately due to space constraints we are often unable to print the full version of some of them. In these cases, letters will be edited to fit within the allotted space we give to Postbag.

If you are finding it difficult to read the magazine, then sign up to receive our FREE audio version which includes all the main features, news and information that are contained in the printed version. It comes on a CD (kindly produced by Kent Association for the Blind) and is posted out to you just after publication of the print version. To request the audio version of the magazine contact Fellowship Office on 020 8691 7411

THE PLANT HUNTERS Dear Postbag, I wanted to write and say how interesting I found the article on Plant Hunters in the last issue. I have just sponsored some Rhododendrons at Hillier Gardens and my husband Peter and I also sponsored plants at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew and Wakehurst Place. I gave Tom Hart Dyke a rare (in cultivation) Japanese plant that I grow and propagate for his World Garden, which my friend Margaret took me to last year and it’s well worth a visit. I am currently working on a new project for the Sylvia Scholarship Fund

for Botanic Gardens Conservation International to support training in essential plant conservation skills for young people who work in Botanic Gardens in developing countries. Jenny Grundy, Richmond, Surrey

Jenny pictured by the Dipping Ponds at Hillier Gardens SUMMER 2013


coffee break

The English language is an amazingly rich arena of words, pronunciations and meanings. But did you know some of these quirky facts?

Trivia and titbits to keep your mind in gear!

The most commonly used letter in the alphabet is E The least used letter in the alphabet is Q Dreamt is the only word that ends in mt The first letters of the months July through to November spell JASON

have a CHUCKLE

There are only 4 words in the English language which end in ‘dous’ (they are: hazardous, horrendous, stupendous and tremendous)

The Wit of Coward 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Noel Coward who during his life was responsible for some memorable quotes:

 It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.

 It’s a pity you didn’t have a little more brandy. It might have made you more agreeable!

 I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.

 Television is for appearing on, not looking at.

 I love criticism just so long as its unqualified praise.  I’ll go and see anything so long as it amuses me, or moves me. If it doesn’t do either I want to go home.

 I’ve sometimes thought of marrying - and then I’ve thought again  Never trust a man with short legs. His brains are too near his bottom.

Character assassination Understand the hidden meanings behind your staff appraisal, or utilise when giving a leaving speech

The oldest word in the English language is ‘town’ The word ‘Strengths’ is the longest word in the English language with just one vowel The dot on top of the letter ‘i’ is called a tittle The past tense for the English word ‘dare’ is ‘durst’ The word ‘testify’ derived from a time when men were required to swear on their testicles

Swatting Flies

The first English dictionary was written in 1755

A woman came home to find her retired husband waving a rolled up newspaper round his head. ‘What are you doing dear?’ ‘Swatting flies - I got 3 males and 2 females’ ‘How do you know what sex they were?’ The man very confidently replied, “Easy - 3 were on the beer and 2 were on the phone.”

Active socially: Drinks heavily. Character above reproach: Still one step ahead of the law. Excels in the effective application of skills: Makes a good cup of coffee. Is well informed: Knows all office gossip and where all the skeletons are kept. Tactful in dealing with superiors: Knows when to keep mouth shut. Willing to take calculated risks: Doesn't mind spending someone else's money.

The old English word ‘juke’ meaning dancing lends its name to the juke box All pilots on international flights identify themselves in English regardless of their country of origin

The word ‘almost’ is the longest in the English language with all the letters in alphabetical order

The most commonly used word in English conversation is ‘I’ SUMMER 2013




The Economist published its annual Pocket World in Figures a bit earlier this year (published by Profile Books, priced £10.99). This little gem offers up some fascinating global figures

Percentage of population who gave money or time to charity or helped a stranger 1 US 60% 2 Ireland 59% 3 Australia 58% =4 New Zealand 57% =4 UK 57%

Nobel Peace Prize winners 1 US 19 2 UK 11 3 France 9 4 Sweden 5 =5 Belgium 4 =5 Germany 4

Standard of living (highest GDP in dollars per head) 1 Luxembourg 105,190 2 Bermuda 89,240 3 Norway 85,390 4 Switzerland 67,460 5 Qatar 61,530


10 10






19 5



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23 23

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Your letters 1


























Starter clue: Number 10 is the letter ‘C’ Most expensive office space (in dollars per square foot) 1 Hong Kong 150.09 2 London 142.94 3 Tokyo 118.89 4 Moscow 111.48 5 Paris 99.84

Most car journeys (average distance in km travelled per car per year) 1 China 36,020 2 Chile 29,483 3 Peru 29,088 4 Thailand 27,790 5 India 23,882 (UK 20th - 15,266 - of 40)


Each number appearing in the squares below relates to a letter. As you fill each word into the grid you will unlock more letters and be able to fill in more of the grid


Biggest tourist spenders (in millions of dollars) 1 US 82,684 2 Germany 82,027 3 UK 64,113 4 China 45,953 5 France 36,403

Movie goers (total number of cinema visits in millions) 1 India 4,432.7 2 United States 1,424.4 3 France 204.6 4 UK 178.6 5 Japan 170.7


adrift aver big wheel czar Czech Republic dewy embed ethereal

freedom ibidem jurybox least letup lughole mutable ogle

MEMBER GIVEAWAY Profile Books has kindly donated 5 copies of The Pocket World of Figures to giveaway to readers. To enter the competition send your name and address to: Pocket Book Giveaway Summer 2013, The CSRF, Suite 2, 80A Blackheath Road, London SE10 8DA. Closing date: 28 June 2013. The first five entries drawn will be the lucky winners. Judges’ decision is final.

prurient scurvy smelly spite ubergeek well-qualified

WORD SEARCH PUZZLE Find the herbs and spices hidden in the word search grid from the list below



aconite adder’s tongue agrimony anise balm baneberry basil bay bennet betony burdock camomile capers cayenne chervil chickweed chicory chive cinnamon clary cloves cress

cumin dill dittany endive fenugreek Florence fennel garlic gentian ginger grass henbane hog’s-bean horseradish hyssop lettuce lovage mace marjoram mint mustard myrrh

nutmeg oregano orpine paprika parsley pot herb rosemary rue sage savory senna sesame simple sorrel southernwood sweet herb tansy thoroughwort thyme woad



Prize Crossword Congratulations to Mrs M Donegan from Glasgow who was the lucky winner last issue. Enter this issue’s prize crossword and you could win £100 worth of gift vouchers of your choice. The lucky winner will be able to select where their vouchers can be redeemed.




7 Large deer; American elk (6) 8 For all to see (8) 9 Chinese seaport; kidnap person for service at sea (8) 10 Abase (6) 11 Practice for a play (8) 12 Stellar (6) 13 Not separable into parts (11) 18 Japanese form of self defense (6) 20 Individual who seeks personal reward in return for details (8) 22 Picturesque (6) 23 Cheap or tawdry (8) 24 Operations between vehicles in flight (3,2,3) 25 Soft, subdued shade (6)




1 Customer payment collector (7) 2 Irish political party (4,4) 3 Use of figures or numerals arithmetically (6) 4 Gulf emirate (3,5) 5 Fate (6) 6 Annual reference publication (7) 8 Head of parliamentary government (5, 8) 14 Unable to be assailed or contradicted (8) 15 Generous gifts (8) 16 Dog treat (7) 17 Wander aimlessly (7) 19 Set aflame (6) 21 Limp or hanging loosely (6)

Solution to Spring Prize Crossword











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TO ENTER: Please send the completed crossword, along with your name, address and postcode to: PRIZE CROSSWORD, CSRF, Suite 2, 80A Blackheath Road, London SE10 8DA. The judges’ decision is final. Winners will be notified by post. Closing date: 28 June 2013 NAME: ADDRESS:



TELEPHONE NUMBER: Please tick if you do not wish to receive our e-newsletter






group news

GROUPFOCUS News from around the group network. Main report by David Tickner (DT)


Bognor Regis 21 March As part of Fellowship Office’s on-going plans to open up new groups, the latest initiative being explored is a new group that serves beneficiaries in the Bognor Regis and Chichester area. Following on in the footsteps of the new Whitstable & Herne Bay (incorporating Canterbury) group which opened earlier this year, a mailshot was sent out to people in the Bognor Regis, Bosham, Chichester and Selsey areas to determine the level of local interest in forming a new group. Group and Branch Support Officer Belinda Stalker popped down to Bognor Regis earlier this month (where the highest number of responses came from) to meet with a couple of volunteers who had offered their services to help establish a new group. (DT)


Ascot & Sunningdale 15 March

An alternative type of racing arrived at Ascot in the form of zoo animals last month! The races in question formed part of the entertainment on offer to members of the Ascot & Sunningdale group at their annual Bring & Buy sale and were every bit as popular as Ascot’s famous races. Ascot & Sunningdale group has an active programme of events throughout the year and meet once a month at Sunningdale Park, the former home of the National School of Government and now owned by DeVere Events. Their group meetings begin with lunch before moving downstairs to enjoy activities that include visiting speakers, a popular general knowledge quiz and annual beetle drive. Members also benefit from various trips out during the course of the year. Newly appointed CSRF Volunteer Manager Gonul Irfan was a guest at the



STOP PRESS : STOP PRESS meeting and was able to chat to group members about the National Visitors Network, the new befriending scheme that is piloting this year. The scheme that provides home friendship visits to anyone in need has been launched this year, piloting in the South East and North West and Dumfries & Galloway regions. In addition to distributing information about the National Visitors Network, Gonul found time to join members on the ‘race track’, winning her ‘race’ with a tiger! (DT) ABOVE LEFT: Gonul Irfan (left) with Ascot & Sunningdale group chairman John Cook and his wife Mavis; ABOVE RIGHT: ‘At the Races’ with other members

The first group meeting of the Bognor Regis & Chichester group will be taking place on Thursday 27 June from 12pm2pm at the Jeneses Community Arts Centre, 45 Linden Road, Bognor Regis. If you live in the area please go along and show your support. For more information contact Belinda Stalker at Fellowship Office

Pictured: (L to R: standing, Belinda Stalker and Gonul Irfan from Fellowship Office with local volunteers from Bognor Regis)

Certificates of Merit/Appreciation These certificates are a small acknowledgement for somebody who has given outstanding service to your group. So if you’d like to nominate someone you feel deserves recognition then the requests should normally come from a branch or group committee. The certificates are free and there are no forms to fill out either! But please allow maximum time for the certificate to be processed and signed. For any requests for certificates please contact Fellowship Office on 020 8691 7411


Eltham 28 March


Westbury (Wiltshire) 15 April My visit to the Westbury group had been long overdue. I received the invitation from group chair Ken Holloway a couple of years ago at the AGM in Coventry and a conspiracy of calendar clashes and a shoulder injury had conspired to prevent my visit. But it was well worth the wait as Westbury is a good example of a well-run group with strong regular attendance and a packed programme of events and activities to suit all tastes. Ken Holloway and his committee should be congratulated for their commitment. Not being a visiting speaker gave me a chance to enjoy the meeting as a guest and have plenty of time to chat to members about all the various activities going on with the Fellowship at a national level. The visiting speaker delivered a fascinating talk about the history of hill figures around the country; the Westbury or Bratton White Horse being the closest to the group, only a couple of miles away from the town. The welcome given by Westbury group members was heartfelt and warm and it re-affirms the importance of the work carried out by the Fellowship across the country and its importance for the lives of all beneficiaries. (DT)

Newly appointed CSRF Head of Fundraising and Membership Kate Bishop met members from the Eltham group during their March meeting. As membership is an integral part of her new role, Kate was keen to see first hand how groups operate and with Eltham currently topping the table for attendance figures it was a good one to start with. The group showed its usual hospitality to visitors by making her feel welcome on arrival and providing her with a good opportunity to chat to members. Eltham group runs a regular coffee morning with visiting speakers each month but in addition operates a mixed programme of other activities including days out, theatre trips, pub lunches and holidays. After some seasonal hot cross buns for refreshment with their tea, the group settled down to listen to Helen Kendall-Tobias, who delivered an engaging talk on ‘Scarf Styling’ complete with demonstrations; offering the ladies (and gentlemen) a whole multitude of different ways to tie their scarves! (DT) ABOVE: Eltham group members are always ‘game for a laugh’! BELOW: Eltham group Vice Chair Patricia Pearce (left) with the new CSRF Head of Membership & Fundraising Kate Bishop

ABOVE: Westbury group members wave at the camera SUMMER 2013


Board Of Director Group Visits

Reporting by Tony Hazeldine (TH), Ray Flanigan (RF), Phyllis Duignan (PD) and Sylvia Edgell (SE) All group officers were re-elected and after a concise presentation on national activities from me, group members settled down to enjoy their Bring & Buy sale and very popular raffle. I left with a warm glow having had the opportunity to talk to quite a few members. (RF) Pictured: Group members posing for Ray’s camera


4 February I was pleased to be able to attend the group’s Annual General Meeting as my previous attempt at visiting Luton last year had been thwarted at the last minute! From arrival I felt welcome and was very impressed by the combination of ultra efficiency (in how they conducted their AGM) and the overall warmth from group members. I particularly congratulate June Barrett, the long serving Chair, her

husband John, the group’s very efficient secretary and the rest of the committee for providing a well run group offering a full programme of activities and a very friendly welcome to all comers! (RF) Pictured: Ray Flanigan with members of the Luton group at their 2013 AGM


1 March

The group is well supported by members who are evenly made up of men and women. Members are able to enjoy an interesting programme of speakers and a range of holidays and outings that are arranged by Ann Mullard, Evelyn Stonham and Muriel Peeke. Under the stewardship of the new Chair, Peter Standen and continued support from members, Orpington continues to bloom! (PD)


6 March

I very much enjoyed my visit to this well supported group who have an interesting programme of speakers and events. The group also boasts an even split of men and women which was nice to see. They also had at least four members in wheelchairs who were able to gain easy access to the hall. The speaker, Mel Rees, gave a very entertaining talk on his family, which was greeted with much laughter by all those at the meeting. (PD)




13 March

I received a very warm welcome from chairman Bob Gairey and was able to chat to quite a few early attendees before the meeting. Whitchurch has been suffering from a drop in numbers in recent months and is looking at ways in which they can attract new members along to meetings. Before the main event, which was a film, I was able to speak to members about all the work going on nationally for the Fellowship. (SE) Pictured below: Sylvia Edgell (standing left) with Whitchurch group secretary Mary Minty (standing right) and group members


6 March

A bright crisp spring morning found me in Shefford for the group’s Annual General Meeting. There was clearly a great deal of rapport between the members as this is a well-established group where everybody (including me) was made to feel welcome.

NEW FOREST 9 April It was a great pleasure to visit this friendly group that is run very well by the Chair, Sandy Whittaker. Listening to their report at the AGM they have clearly had a very busy year of activities. The formal proceedings were followed by my quick presentation on Fellowship activities before all attendees settled back to enjoy a splendid buffet lunch. (TH) Pictured: Tony Hazeldine (pictured 4th from right) with members of New Forest group

in pictures

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1. Chester: CSRF Member Olive Westerman celebrated her 90th birthday at a recent group meeting and was presented with a bouquet of flowers and a cake. 2. Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard: There was a distinctly regal theme at their summer meeting last year to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. Members enjoyed a ‘tea with the Queen’ Tiara Party with some rather splendid costumes on show!


3. Dumfries & Kirkcudbright: Members combined business and pleasure at their AGM last month (as the pictures show) enjoying a lunch before completing official proceedings.


4. Hastings: John Dent celebrated his 100th birthday in March. He’s pictured with his companion Joyce Edmunds. 5. Sleaford & Ancaster: The group held a recruiting event in March to attract new members that was run in conjunction with a presentation made by Wiltshire Farm Foods. 6. Princetown: Members held a Burns night with a Piper in the formal dress of the Black Watch who piped in Chef Alan Williams bearing the Haggis.

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7. Salisbury Plain: Outgoing chairman Mr Gordon Steward who served the group for 12 years stood down at their recent AGM. He’s pictured with newly elected chairman Mr. Jeffrey Vincent (pictured right). 8. Liskeard & Pensilva: Mrs Mary Ball (pictured) was one of the group volunteers who helped run the stand at the Mayor of Liskeard’s charity mini-market. 9. Eltham: Group members enjoyed a day trip out to the Milestone Museum in March. 10. Tamar/Tavy: Mike Fitzpatrick (pictured left) was presented with a gift in recognition of his long standing service as acting secretary of Tamar Tavy group. Mike has recently handed the reins to Dave Askew. 11. Sutton: Congratulations to (pictured left to right) Pam Davis, Peter Ferrezznolo and Peter Hodson who received Certificates of Merit as a mark of their long service to the group recently. 12. Wellington branch: Emrys Jones (pictured with June Oakley) received a Certificate of Merit on behalf of him and his late wife Mary for running the branch for 16 years.

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10 12 SUMMER 2013


group info SCOTLAND Dumfries & Kirkcudbright John Walker CHAIRMAN 01387 261889 We do not hold regular meetings but if you would like further details about coach outings and to book, please contact Pat Greig on 01387 770526. 05/06/13 Coach Trip to Ulverston

Dundee Charles Paterson SECRETARY 01382 858862 The Queen’s Hotel, 160 Nethergate, Dundee Second Tuesday of each month at 10.40am (except June)

SUMMER PLANNER With groups operating throughout the United Kingdom it is very likely there is one near you. There are many rewarding ways that you can get involved and groups are always pleased to welcome new members. So why not pop along to your local group and find out more about what they get up to?

05/06/13 Outing to Dornoch 03/07/13 Outing to Loch Garten to view Ospreys 07/08/13 Outing (TBA)

Edinburgh (Central)


Liz Beedie SECRETARY 0131 229 7422 Edinburgh Quaker Meeting House, First Floor, 7 Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh. Buses to George IV Bridge, there is a lift. Third Tuesday of the month (October-April) at 2 pm 07/06/13 Summer Walk (meet at Lakeland on the corner of George Street/Hanover Street at 1.30pm) 21/06/13 Full Day Outing using Public Transport to North Berwick (meet at 9.30am in the Bus Station at Stance C, please contact Jean Robertson on 0131 661 8760 if you want to come along) 25/06/13 Coffee at St Johns Church Tea Room at the West End (2.00-3.30pm) 05/07/13 Summer Walk (meet at Lakeland on the corner of George Street/Hanover Street at 1.30pm) 19/07/13 Day Outing to St Andrews (meet at 9.30am in the Bus Station at Stance C, please contact Jean Robertson on 0131 661 8760 if you want to come along) 30/07/13 Coffee at St Johns Church Tea Room at the West End (2.00-3.30pm) 02/08/13 Summer Walk (meet at Lakeland on the corner of George Street/Hanover Street at 1.30pm) 23/08/13 Day Outing to Peebles (meet at 9.30am in the Bus Station at Stance C, please contact Jean Robertson on 0131 661 8760 if you want to come along)

William Lauchlan SECRETARY 01436 842723 The Howie Pavillion, Rosneath First Monday of the month at 1.30pm (except July)

Edinburgh (Corstorphine) Mr V Burchell SECRETARY 0131 334 5781 Martin Shields Hall, St. Ninian’s Church, Corstorphine, Edinburgh. Third Thursday of each month October-April at 10.30-11.45am. Please note that we combine our activities during the summer months, please see the Edinburgh (Central) entry.

Edinburgh (Craiglockhart) Liz Beedie SECRETARY 0131 229 7422 Craiglockhart Parish Church Hall, Craiglockhart Drive North, Edinburgh. Second Wednesday of each month October-April at 2pm. Please note that we combine our activities during the summer months, please see the Edinburgh (Central) entry.

Highland (Scotland) Mrs Pam Barnet LOCAL CONTACT 01463 790265 MacDougall Clansman Hotel, 103 Church Street, Inverness First Wednesday of each month at 2pm & coffee morning on third Wednesday of each month at 11am. Lunch Club on selected Fridays throughout the summer.



NORTHERN IRELAND & NORTH WEST ENGLAND Antrim Brian Shields CHAIRPERSON 028 9443 2615 Crown Buildings, 20 Castle Street, Antrim Second Wednesday of each month at 2.30pm (except Jul & Aug)

Banbridge Mrs M Andrews SECRETARY 028 4062 3780 3rd Floor, Old Tech Building, Downshire Road First Wednesday of each month at 2pm (except Jun, Jul and Aug)

Bangor Isabel McKnight SECRETARY 028 9186 3410 Hamilton House, Hamilton Road, Bangor Second Wednesday of the month at 2.30pm (except Jul & Aug)

Belfast George Glenholmes SECRETARY 028 9048 0339 McElhinney Room, The Pavillion, Stormont Estate, Upper Newtownards Road First Monday of each month at 2.30pm

Birkenhead/Wirral Cynthia Morgan SECRETARY 0151 678 6266 Victory Hall, 61 Salacre Lane, Upton, Wirral First Tuesday of the month at 2.00pm

Blackpool & Poulton Leonora Sanderson CHAIRMAN/SECRETARY 01253 358435 Council Chamber, Blackpool Town Hall, Talbot Square, Blackpool Second Monday of the month at 1.30-3.30pm

Bury Gerald Beadling CHAIRMAN 01706 633674 The Mosses Community Centre, Cecil Street Each Wednesday at 2.15pm (except any events listed below) 26/06/13 Leeds/Liverpool Canal Cruise (Lunch on Board included) 24/07/13 Kendal and Ullswater for Lake Cruise 07/08/13 AGM

Chester Mrs C F Hanratty CHAIR 01244 520929 Christian Aid Centre, Queen Street, Chester

Third Tuesday of each month at 2.15pm (no meeting in August) 18/06/13 Tea/Coffee, Biscuits and Chat. Speaker (TBC) 16/07/13 Strawberry Tea

Craigavon George McConnell SECRETARY 028 8676 4395 Portadown Library, 24-26 Church Street, Portadown, Craigavon First Tuesday of the month at 2.30pm

Crewe Miss Grace Harding CHAIRMAN 01270 250677 Wells Green Methodist Church Hall, Brooklands Avenue, Wistaston, Crewe First Tuesday of each month at 2pm (unless otherwise stated) 04/06/13 Nostalgia Time with Jonathan and Pam Baddeley. Jonathan plays clarinet and ukulele and Pam sings. 02/07/13 My Part in beating Hitler - Ray Cowdall, member of Nantwich & Crewe Operatic Society 06/08/13 Private Palaces and Great Houses of London - illustrated talk by Michael Murphy

Lancaster & Morecambe Mrs V Pritchard CHAIRMAN 01524 32733 Torrisholme Methodist Church, Longton Drive, Torrisholme, Morecambe Second Tuesday of the month at 2.15pm (except Jul & Aug) 11/06/13 Summer Lunch and Fair

Lisburn Helen Fletcher SECRETARY 028 9261 1604 Bridge Community Centre, 50 Railway Street, Lisburn Second Monday of each month at 2.30pm (except Jul & Aug)

Penrith Richard Roscoe CHAIRMAN 01697 472383 Different local hostelries each quarter First Tuesday of the quarter (March, June, September, December) at 12.30pm for lunch

Runcorn Mr A Stobbie CHAIRMAN 0151 424 0340 Department of Education & Skills, Castle View House First and Third Thursday of each month at 1pm

Southport Mrs E Milne CHAIRPERSON 01704 560850 Conservative Club, Bath Street, Southport Third Thursday of each month at 2pm onwards 20/06/13 Monthly Get Together 18/07/13 Monthly Get Together 15/08/13 Monthly Get Together

Stockport/Grove Park Joan Broadbent SOCIAL SECRETARY 01625 873740 Brookdale Club, Bridge Lane, Bramhall First Thursday of each month at 2.15pm 06/06/13 From First Edition to City Final - Mr P Levy 15/06/13 Visit to Saltaire: Guided Tour and Visit to David Hockney Gallery 04/07/13 Tales of a Market Trader - Mr J Sambrook 01/08/13 The Operatic Movement - Mr R Browne

June 2013 Outing to Ampleforth Abbey (details from Secretary) 18/07/13 Strawberry Tea (Wesley Chapel) 15/08/13 Meet in Ripley Castle Courtyard Café at 3pm

Horsforth, Rawdon & District Mrs M J Taylor 0113 267 8110 Venue varies. We meet in local hostelries for lunch. Please contact Mrs Taylor for more details. Last Tuesday of each month at 12.30pm

Waterloo (Merseyside)


Mrs Joyce Nicholls SECRETARY 0151 931 5265 Mersey Road Methodist Church, Mersey Road, Crosby, Liverpool Second Tuesday of each month at 10.30am

Colin Bielby SECRETARY 01482 782930 Age UK Healthy Living Centre, Porter Street, Hull Third Tuesday of the month at 2.15pm (except Aug) 18/06/13 Daughter of a Miner - talk by Mrs Marlyn Walker 16/07/13 Wish Granting of Make a Wish Foundation - talk by David Horner 20/08/13 No meeting

NORTH EAST ENGLAND Blaydon Elizabeth Pearson SECRETARY 0191 488 0840 Ridley Room, Blaydon Library, Wesley District Precinct, Blaydon Second Tuesday of each month at 10.30am

Boston Spa/Wetherby Mrs Janet Walker RECORDS SECRETARY 01937 842216 Deepdale Community Centre, Deepdale Lane, Boston Spa, Wetherby Second Tuesday of the month at 2.00pm (except Jul & Aug) 11/06/13 The Brontes - talk by Mrs P Osborne

Bradford Mr N Griffiths SECRETARY 01274 586410 Conference Room, Centenary Court, St Blaise Way Third Tuesday of each month at 2pm 18/06/13 Purple, Green and White - talk by Geoff & Marsha Thorndike 16/07/13 Interesting People I have Met - talk by Mr R Boyce 20/08/13 Coins through the Ages - talk by David Mosley

Chester-Le-Street Brian Dawson SECRETARY 0191 388 8608 St Mary & St Cuthbert Parish Centre, Church Chare, Chester-Le-Street First Monday of each month at 2-4pm 03/06/13 Rail Track - talk by Mr Alex Nelson 06/06/13 Outing to Alnwick Gardens (leaving 10am, returning approx 4pm) 01/07/13 Quiz and Book Sale 05/08/13 Mystery Tour

Durham Richard Wood SECRETARY 0191 384 2628 Please contact Richard Wood for details Last Thursday of each month at 2.15pm (except Aug)

Gateshead Mrs J Scott SOCIAL SECRETARY 0191 268 7935 Gateshead Legion Club, 142 Coatsworth Road, Gateshead (please note new venue) First Thursday of the month from 10am - 12 noon 06/06/13 Slides of Thailand - illustrated talk by Mrs Op Den Brouw 04/07/13 Strawberries & Cream 01/08/13 Quiz and Xmas Lunch Booking

Harrogate & Ripon Margaret Terry SECRETARY 01423 885297 Wesley Chapel (Lower Hall), Oxford Street Third Thursday of each month at 2.15pm

Killingworth (North Tyneside) Catherine Hankin CHAIRMAN 0191 268 1992 Sedgefield Court, West Mount, Killingworth NE12 6GF First Monday of month (except Bank Holidays) at 10.30am. 03/06/13 Quiz 01/07/13 Fire Service Humour - talk by Peter Weighill 05/08/13 Summer Meal out

Middlesbrough Lilian Lloyd SECRETARY 01642 315439 St. Marys Centre, 82-90 Corporation Road, Middlesbrough Last Tuesday of the month at 2pm 25/06/13 ‘Make do and mend’ by Susan 30/07/13 Suneta - demonstration and talk on Indian Culture 27/08/13 Strawberry Tea

Newcastle West Mrs E Jackson CHAIRMAN 0191 267 4728 Bentinck Social Club, Bentinck Road, Newcastle upon Tyne Second Wednesday of each month at 10am - 12 Noon 12.06/13 Italian Themed Coffee Morning 10/07/13 Strawberries & Cream 14/08/13 Coffee, Quiz and Chat

Scarborough Mrs P Mawson SECRETARY 01723 512778 Small Room, 1st Floor, Scarborough Library, Vernon Road, Scarborough First Tuesday of the month at 10.15am 18/06/13 Summer Lunch at The Mount Hotel, Cliff Bridge Terrace, Scarborough 12.30 for 1pm 02/07/13 He’s Behind You! - talk on Pantomime by Rev R Thorp

Sunderland & Washington Ivan Bell SECRETARY 0191 549 4130 Age UK, Bradbury House, Stockton Road, Sunderland (1st Floor Room) First Monday of each month 2.00-3.30pm 03/06/13 Annual Strawberry Tea

Whitley Bay Peter Harris MBE CHAIRMAN 0191 447 4066 Age UK Centre, Park Avenue, Whitley Bay Second Thursday of the month 10.30am - 12 noon 16/07/13 Coach Trip and Meal

WALES & WELSH BORDERS Caerphilly Mr Gwion Lewis TREASURER 029 2086 8643 Windsor Road Church Hall, Windsor Street, Caerphilly Second Tuesday of the month at 10.30am 11/06/13 Mid-Summer Lunch (time and venue to be arranged) 09/07/13 The Wonders of Nature - talk by Mr Nev Davies 13/08/13 Forest Fire Fighting - talk by Mr John Hunt (Vice-Chairman)

Church Stretton John Brewer SECRETARY 01694 722965 Mayfair Community Centre, Easthope Road, Church Stretton First Friday of the month at 2.30pm 21/06/13 Pub Lunch: The Crown at Wentnor 05/07/13 Trip to Wollerton Old Hall Gardens, Hodnet 02/08/13 Pub Lunch: The Bucks Head, Church Stretton

Llandudno Mrs B A Rennie ASSISTANT SECRETARY 01492 876238 Queen’s Hotel, The Promenade, Llandudno First Tuesday of each month at 10.30am 18/06/13 Lunch at a local Hotel followed by a walk 16/07/13 Lunch at a local Hotel followed by a walk

Llanishen (Cardiff) Bernard Pearce CHAIRPERSON 029 2075 1493 Park End Presbyterian Church Hall, Rhyd-y-Penau Road, Cardiff CF14 0NZ First Tuesday of each month at 10.00am

Ludlow Peter Waite LIAISON 01584 872639 Local Public Houses, various venues, in and around Ludlow Third Tuesday of each month at 12.30pm

Neath/Port Talbot Mrs E Northcott CHAIRMAN 01639 887851 Moose Hall, Castle Street, Neath Last Wednesday of each month at 2pm 19/06/13 Visit to Tredegar House, Newport (joint venture with Swansea NHS Retirement Fellowship) 26/06/13 The Last Woollen Mill in Neath - talk 31/07/13 Summer Tea 28/08/13 Welsh Homes of Distinction - talk

Oswestry Ruth Haile CHAIRMAN 01691 650993 The Wynnstay Hotel, Church Street, Oswestry First Tuesday of each month at 10.30am 04/06/13 My Life in the Bank - talk by Glenys Wheeler 02/07/13 Volunteering at Attingham Park - talk by Heather Game 06/08/13 My Olympic Games Experience - talk by Julia Foster

Swansea Mrs Sylvia Edgell CHAIRMAN/SECRETARY 01792 851125 The Vestry Hall, St Mary’s Church, Swansea Last Friday of each month at 2pm (except Aug) 28/06/13 Work in Ghana - talk by David Howells 26/07/13 The Bay Magazine - talk by Mrs Leslie Williams SUMMER 2013


Whitchurch (Cardiff)


Mrs Mary Minty SECRETARY 029 2061 4445 Ararat Baptist Church, Plas Treoda, Whitchurch, Cardiff Second Wednesday of the month at 10am 12/06/13 Myths and Myth Makers - talk by Alan Thorne 13/06/13 Trip to Craig-y-Nos Country Park (TBC, could be 14/06/13) 10/07/13 An Interesting Life - talk by John Richardson 14/08/13 Ted’s Trans-Canada Travels - talk by Edward Hellewell

Mrs J Turner CHAIRMAN 024 76 465382 Room 2, Gilbert Richard Centre, Broadway, Earlsdon Third Tuesday of each month at 2pm (except Jul, Aug, Nov and Dec)

Ynys Mon (Anglesey) Mr Eric Maynard CHAIRMAN 01407 720146 The Valley Hotel, London Road, Valley, Anglesey Second Tuesday of each month at 12.30pm for lunch (except Aug)

MIDDLE ENGLAND Amersham Lavinia Syson SECRETARY 01763 884992 The Community Centre, Chiltern Avenue, Amersham First Wednesday of the month at 2.30pm (except Aug). Walks take place every third Wednesday of the month - please contact Jim Campbell on 01494 713249 for details. 05/06/13 “If we are still here” - talk by Ron White 03/07/13 International Reminiscences - talk by Michael Welling

Banbury Anne Garton SECRETARY 01295 750151 Hanwell Fields Community Centre, Rotary Way, Banbury Second Tuesday of each month at 2.15 - 4.15pm (except Aug) 11/06/13 Dear Diary - talk by Moira Byast 09/07/13 Tales of Old London AD1666-1851 - talk by Colin Oakes. Raffle. 21/08/13 Coach Trip to Bletchley Park. Guided tour followed by lunch and time to view the rest of the park.

Bedford Patricia Waters SECRETARY 01234 347443 Bunyan Meeting, Mill Street, Bedford First Tuesday of each month at 10am 04/06/13 Coffee Morning and Poems by Frank Batt 02/07/13 Coffee Morning and Heart Start with Bill Brady 27/07/13 Holiday to Shanklin, Isle of Wight 06/08/13 Coffee Morning and ‘A Royal Do’

Birmingham June Oakley CHAIRMAN 01952 604922 The Briar Rose, 25 Bennett’s Hill, Birmingham (please note new venue for June and July) Third Wednesday of each month at 11.00am


Donnington Betty Pugh CHAIRMAN 01952 811355 Turreff Hall, Turreff Avenue, Donnington Every Monday at 1pm (except Bank Holidays)

Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard Mrs Janet Bliss SECRETARY 01582 661795 Scout HQ, Grovebury Road, Leighton Buzzard First Wednesday of the month at 2pm 05/06/13 Happy Feet - talk by Podiatrist, Jack Ludyard. Raffle and Book Table 03/07/13 The Restoration of Ashridge Park and Gardens - talk by Estate Manager, Mick Thompson. Raffle and Book Table. 06/08/13 A Guided Tour of Ashridge House and Gardens (this will be our annual Fellowship outing)

Evesham Eric Marsh GROUP LIAISON 01386 421460 Foyer of the Methodist Chapel, Bridge Street, Evesham Second Tuesday of each month at 10.30am. We hold tea/coffee mornings on these dates and occasionally have lunch afterwards.

Grantham Mr Maurice Whincup CHAIRMAN 01476 572425 Church of the Ascension Hall, Edinburgh Road, Grantham First Wednesday every month at 10.00am - noon

Hucclecote Mrs B Arnold SECRETARY 01452 618069 Evangelical Church, Colwell Avenue, Hucclecote, Gloucester First Thursday of the month at 2.00pm 06/06/13 Midsummer Celebratory Tea 04/07/13 “You cannot be serious”, a story of a Wimbledon Linesman - talk by Brian Partridge 01/08/13 To Cornwall and Back - talk by Rosemary Prosser

Bank Holidays) 03/06/13 Sugarcraft and Demonstration 01/07/13 Slips, Trips and Falls - talk by Else 05/08/13 Tea Party 12/08/13 Outing to Windsor

Lutterworth Mrs J Law CHAIRWOMAN 01455 552141 Cricket Pavillion, Coventry Road, Lutterworth Third Monday of each month at 10.00am

Melton Mowbray Mr M Johnson CHAIRMAN 01664 566821 School Room, United Reform Church, Chapel Street, Melton Mowbray First Tuesday of each month at 1.45pm

Milton Keynes Pamela White SECRETARY 01908 237055 Centrecom, 602 North Row, Secklow Gate West First Monday of each month at 1.30pm (second Monday if first is a Bank Holiday) except Aug 03/06/13 Quiz followed by a talk entitled Best Foot Forward by Kevin Varly 01/07/13 Bring and Buy followed by Bingo

Northampton Mr Geoff Morris CHAIRMAN 01604 719677 Holy Sepulchre Church Rooms, Church Lane, Northampton Alternate Thursday mornings at 10.00am 02/07/13 Proposed trip to Springfield Shopping Complex, near Spalding, Lincolnshire

Nottingham Pam Bradley CHAIR 0115 938 4676 The Nottingham Mechanics, 3 North Sherwood Street, Nottingham Second Wednesday of each month at 10.15am - 12 noon

Nuneaton Rachel Homer SECRETARY 02476 385845 The Sycamore Tree, 2 Chapel Street, Nuneaton (next to the Ropewalk) First Tuesday of each month at 11.00am for coffee mornings.

Royal Forest Val Collett CHAIRMAN 01594 562442 Baptist School Rooms, Parkend, Lydney Second Wednesday of the month at 2pm (except Aug)



Pam Hussey LIAISON OFFICER 01562 755632 Various venues Third Wednesday of each month at 11am (except when lunching out) 19/06/13 Lunch, Bodenham Aboretum 17/07/13 Coffee Morning 21/08/13 Coffee Morning

Mrs Peggy Brown CHAIRMAN 01780 480314 Various locations for pub lunches Third Wednesday of each month

Lincoln City Jannette Hook SECRETARY 01522 803412 Mothers Union Centre, St. Benedicts Church, St. Benedicts Square, Lincoln First Wednesday of the month at 10.30am

Shefford Eileen Devereux CHAIRMAN 01462 814765 Community Hall, Ampthill Road, Shefford Third Tuesday of the month at 10am - 12 noon 18/06/13 Call My Bluff - Alf Evans 16/07/13 Members Participation Morning 20/08/13 A Holiday in York - Ken Burton


Mrs Catherine Kealy LOCAL CONTACT 01527 876166 Bromsgrove Golf Club, Stratford Road, Bromsgrove First Wednesday of each month at 11.30am for coffee. Bar snacks and lunches also available.

Mrs Margaret Bradley SECRETARY 01472 388928 Elizabeth Court, Church Street, Louth First and third Thursday of the month at 10.30am

Ray Morris SECRETARY 01754 762060 Phillip Grove Community Rooms, Church Road South, Skegness First Thursday of each month from 10am - 12 noon

Coalville & Ashby


Sleaford & Ancaster

Terry Watson CHAIRMAN 01530 835373 Thringstone Community Centre, The Green, Thringstone Third Wednesday each month 2.00-4.00pm

John Barrett SECRETARY 01582 519886 The Chaul End Centre, 515 Dunstable Road, Luton First Monday of every month at 2.00pm (except

Mike Smith GROUP PR/CO-ORDINATOR 01526 833273 Sleaford: Bristol Bowls Club, Boston Road, Sleaford. Ancaster: Angel Court, Ancaster




Sleaford: First Thursday of the month 10.15am Noon. Ancaster: Second Wednesday of the month 10.15am - Noon 18/06/13 Visit Newark, Lunch and Boat Trip on the River Trent aboard MV Sonning 31/07/13 Visit and travel on the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway

Solihull Margaret Smith SECRETARY 0121 744 6150 Solihull Assembly Rooms, Poplar Road, Solihull Second Monday of each month at 10am

Stamford Mrs B Smith CHAIRMAN/SECRETARY 01780 755437 Tenter Court, Wharf Road, Stamford Last Thursday of the month at 2.15pm

Wellington Emrys Jones CHAIRMAN 01952 254252 Belmont Community Hall, New Street, Wellington, Telford First Thursday of the month from 10am - 12 noon

Wigston Mrs J Collins VICE CHAIRMAN 0116 288 7802 The Royal British Legion, Launceston Road, Wigston Second and fourth Mondays of each month from 1.30 - 4.00pm (Bank Holidays permitting) 10/06/13 Murder Most Foul - talk by Mrs Caroline Roberts 24/06/13 Canine Partners - talk by Mrs Kate Cross 08/07/13 Songs from the Shows - talk by Mrs Rosemary Leonard 22/07/13 Outing to Bourton-on-the-Water (TBA) 12/08/13 Fire Safety with a Smile - talk by Mr Bill Wells

Worcester Leigh Watkins SECRETARY 01905 774034 Perdiswell Young Peoples Leisure Centre, (A38) Droitwich Road (opp. Checketts Lane) Second Wednesday of each month at 1.00pm (except Aug) 12/06/13 Musical Quiz 10/07/13 TBA 14/08/13 Summer Outing

EASTERN ENGLAND & EAST ANGLIA Attleborough Mrs D Parker SECRETARY 01953 456958 Methodist Church Hall, London Road, Attleborough Third Thursday of the month from 10am - 12 noon 20/06/13 Oakland Foods Representative 18/07/13 Contact Care from Saffron Housing 15/08/13 TBA

Aylsham & District Janet Bezant SECRETARY 01263 731640 Friends Meeting House, Peggs Yard, Red Lion Street, Aylsham Second Monday of each month at 10am (unless it’s a Bank Holiday)

Billericay Mr J R Smith LOCAL CONTACT 01277 622156 Various venues for lunches at 12.30pm

Bury St Edmunds Mrs Doreen Ginn CHAIRMAN 01284 755256 West End Home Guard Club, Abbot Road, Bury St. Edmunds Second Wednesday of each month at 10am

12/06/13 The Inns, Alehouses and Pubs of Bury St. Edmunds - talk by Martyn Taylor 10/07/13 Sailing on The Lord Nelson - talk by Sue Perkin-Ball 14/08/13 Confessions of a Diplomat’s Wife - talk by Celia Simms

Colchester Joan Gomer SECRETARY 01206 794656 St Margaret’s Anglican Church Hall, Stansted Road, Colchester Third Tuesday of each month at 2pm 18/06/13 The Mersea Barrow - talk by Pat Kirby 16/07/13 Visit by Ipswich Group, Quiz and Cream Tea 20/08/13 Jim Reeves: the Man and his Music talk by Dr J Knight

Croxley Green & Rickmansworth Frank Brown 01923 779070 Red Cross Centre, 1 Community Way (off Barton Way), Croxley Green Second Thursday of alternate months (ie Jan, Mar, May etc) at 10.15am and on first Monday of intervening months for pub lunch from 12 noon. For more information on pub lunches please contact Mrs Eileen Murray on 01923 776092

Harlow Mrs Edna McNaughton SECRETARY 01279 865102 Toby Carvery, Harlow First Friday of the month at 12 noon

Harpenden Mr Tony Thomson GROUP REPRESENTATIVE 01582 713250

Hertford Mrs Olive Smith CHAIRMAN 01992 550753 Methodist Church Hall, Ware Road, Hertford First Monday of each month at 2-4pm (except Bank Holidays) 03/06/13 Quilting - talk by Marion Blacktin 12/06/13 Visit to the Theatre to see the comedy ‘Relatively Speaking’ 01/07/13 Bee-keeping - talk by Derek Driver 06/07/13 Holiday to Sandown, Isle of Wight (6-13 July) 05/08/13 Bats in the Belfry - talk by Margaret Rogers 14/08/13 Visit to Historic Bury St. Edmunds

Huntingdon Mrs Gillian Greville SECRETARY 01480 458098 Little Stukeley Village Hall, Low Road (off Mill Road), Little Stukeley, Huntingdon Last Thursday of the month at 2.30pm 27/06/13 Visit to Butterfly Farm and Rutland Water (departure time from Burgess Hall, St Ives TBA) 25/07/13 Summer Lunch at Little Stukeley Village Hall (12.30 for 1pm) 29/08/13 Travellers - talk by Peter Edwards

Ilford Mrs Sylvia Green SOCIAL SECRETARY 020 8594 5284 St. Andrew’s Church Hall, The Drive, Ilford Third Monday of the month at 1.30pm 17/06/13 The Wood Green Animal Shelter - talk by Dawn Cox 15/07/13 The History of the Police - illustrated talk by Mr D Swinden 19/08/13 Varied Games - by Angela

Ipswich Eva Stevens SECRETARY 01473 688040

Museum Street Methodist Church Hall, Blackhorse Lane, Ipswich First Wednesday of each month at 2pm (except Aug) 05/06/13 Suffolk Deaf Association - talk by Ellen Kaye 03/07/13 Peter Day plays Live Music 10/07/13 Luncheon at Peak Lodge at 12.30pm 16/07/13 Quiz/Cream Tea at Colchester Group 14/08/13 Coach Outing: Great Yarmouth Circus

Loughton Eric Adams CHAIRMAN 020 8508 7207 Jazz Archive Room, Loughton Library, Traps Hill, Loughton Third Monday of each month at 2pm 17/06/13 Social Afternoon 15/07/13 Summer Holidays

Lowestoft Kate McNamara TREASURER/SECRETARY 01502 714380 Beaconsfield Club, 7 Surrey Street, Lowestoft First and Third Wednesday of each month at 10.30am (except Aug)

Mildenhall Alan Benton CHAIRMAN 01638 715492 Mildenhall Social Club, Recreation Way First Tuesday of every month Nov-Feb at 1.30pm and Mar-Oct at 2.00pm

Newmarket Mike Hastings CHAIRMAN 01638 661065 St. John Training Centre, Newmarket Hospital, Exning Road Second Wednesday of each month at 2.15pm 12/06/13 Battle of Britain - talk by Bob Burridge 10/07/13 Cream Teas. Indoor Activity. 14/08/13 Indoor Entertainment

Norwich Mary Weatherhead SECRETARY 01603 410821 Reading Room, Doughty’s Hospital, Golden Dog Lane Second Monday of each month at 10am for 10.30am

Radlett Mrs Shirley Herbert SECRETARY 020 8953 2999 Local restaurants for coffee or lunch Monthly - details from Secretary

Rayleigh Mrs F Cohen SOCIAL SECRETARY 01702 342426 Cloister West, Parish Rooms, Rayleigh Church, Rectory Garth (off Hockley Road), Rayleigh First Thursday of each month from 2.00-4.00pm

Rochford Mrs F Cohen SOCIAL SECRETARY 01702 342426 Parish Council Rooms, 82 West Street, Rochford Third Thursday of each month from 1.45-3.45pm

Saffron Walden Mrs E Mansfield CHAIRPERSON 01279 755458 The Chequers Public House, Cambridge Road, Ugley, Bishops Stortford Second Monday in the month (approx 4 times per year) at 12-12.30pm for lunch. Please contact Chairman for details.

Shoeburyness Mrs F Cohen SOCIAL SECRETARY 01702 342426 Thorpdene Community Centre, Delaware Road, Shoeburyness First Tuesday of each month from 2.00-4.00pm SUMMER 2013


St. Albans Mrs B G Hill SECRETARY 01727 858198 Friends Meeting House, Upper Lattimore Road, St. Albans First Thursday of the month at 10am

Stevenage & Baldock Helen Leisk SECRETARY 01438 355131 United Reformed Church, Cuttys Lane, Stevenage First Thursday of every month at 2pm 06/06/13 The Work of the Mercy Ships - talk 04/07/13 Strawberry Tea 09/07/13 Coach Outing to Hughenden Manor (must be pre-booked) 01/08/13 To the South Seas - talk by Geoff Hales

Swaffham David Moore CHAIRMAN 01760 723740 Methodist Church Hall, London Street, Swaffham Third Tuesday of each month at 10.15am

Watford (Cassiobury) Mr Ian Whyte LOCAL CONTACT 01923 441952 St. Luke’s Church, Langley Way, Watford WD17 3EG Second Tuesday of Jan, May, Jul, Sep & Nov at 10am

Westcliff-on-Sea Mrs F Cohen SOCIAL SECRETARY 01702 342426 Balmoral Community Centre, Salisbury Avenue, Westcliff on Sea Fourth Wednesday of each month from 2.00-4.00pm

Wickford Peter Blake CHAIRMAN & SECRETARY 01268 583060 Christchurch Hall, R/O 44 High Street, Wickford Second Thursday each month 1.30 - 3.30pm

Witham David Longhurst COMMITTEE MEMBER 01376 513629 Methodist Church Hall, Guithavon Street Last Tuesday of each month at 10.30am

SOUTHERN ENGLAND Aldershot Gloria Wetherill SECRETARY/SOCIAL SECRETARY 01252 345318 Holy Trinity Church, Galpin Hall, Windsor Way, Aldershot Second Thursday of every month at 1.30-3.30pm

Arun - formerly Littlehampton Jim Underwood TREASURER 01903 709033 St Joseph’s Convent, Franciscan Way. Please use entrance in East Street if arriving by car. Second Wednesday of each month at 2pm 12/06/13 Beetle Drive

Ascot & Sunningdale John Cook CHAIRMAN 01344 429391 De Vere Venues, Sunningdale Park, Larch Avenue, Ascot Third Friday of each month at 12 noon (except Aug) 14/06/13 The Most Popular Indoor Activity - talk by Tim Moorey 19/07/13 Beetle Mania - Peter & Dorothea Standley

Basingstoke Janette Davies CHAIRMAN 01256 321471 Brookvale Village Hall, Lower Brook Street, Basingstoke



First Wednesday of each month at 10.00am 05/06/13 Norway in Summer - talk by Carol Watson 18/06/13 Thames Boat Cruise 03/07/13 Send a Cow - talk by Tony Buckle 09/07/13 Outing to Swanage 07/08/13 Tax, Care and Toy Boys (llong-term care) - talk by Chris Dingley 23/08/13 Outing to Wilton House and Shopping Outlet

Ferndown Village Hall, Church Road, Ferndown Third Wednesday of each month at 10.30am. Skittles meetings, New Forest walks and other events are held from time to time - ask Eric Basire for details.


Burgess Hill

Hilary Markham SECRETARY 01424 210985 Bexhill Sailing Club, Marina, Bexhill-on-Sea Fourth Tuesday of each month at 10am 28/05/13 Stuart Pelling, CSRF Legal Helpline 25/06/13 Quiz 23/07/13 ‘How Communities have changed over the years’ - talk by John Mills 27/08/13 TBA

Mike Mason CHAIRMAN 01444 245289 Millfield Suite, Cyprus Hall, Cyprus Road, Burgess Hill Fourth Wednesday of each month at 10am for coffee mornings

Bournemouth - Boscombe & Southbourne Paul Tabor CHAIRMAN 01202 422493 St Katherine’s Church Hall, Church Road, Southbourne First Wednesday of each month at 10am 05/06/13 Water Aid - talk by Hazel Taylor 03/07/13 Spice up your Life - talk by Ron Taylor 07/08/13 Produce Auction

Bournemouth - Central Alan Carter 01202 292720

Bournemouth Christchurch & Highcliffe Paul Tabor 01202 422493

Bournemouth - New Forest Sandy Whittaker CHAIRMAN 023 8028 2157 New Milton Community Centre, Osborne Road, New Milton (please note change of venue) Second Tuesday of each month at 10.15am (please note change of date) 11/06/13 The Two Sieges of Malta - talk by Ken Gordon 09/07/13 The Wireless in Wartime - talk by John Symonds 13/08/13 World of a Wildlife Photographer - talk by David Boag

Bournemouth - Poole & District Ray White 01425 476037

Bournemouth - Ringwood & District Ron Fisher CHAIRMAN 01202 896315 Greyfriars Community Centre, Ringwood First Friday of each month at 10am 07/06/13 Of Corsets Art - talk by Ros Liddington 18/06/13 Pub Lunch (details from Ron Fisher) 05/07/13 Entertainment from your Committee 16/07/13 Pub Lunch (details from Ron Fisher) 02/08/13 Nature’s Magical Moments - talk by John Coombes 17/08/13 Garden Party. Tickets £4 in advance, £5 at the gate 20/08/13 Pub Lunch (details from Ron Fisher)

Bournemouth - Swanage Mrs Irene Greenway 01929 423394

Bournemouth - Wimborne & Ferndown Eric Basire SECRETARY 01202 897158

Brighton & Hove Mrs Anne Cobby Ventnor Hall, Blatchington Road, Hove First Wednesday of the month at 2.15pm

Chandlers Ford Ken Willcocks CHAIRMAN 023 8076 0102 Chandlers Ford Community Centre, Hursley Road, Chandlers Ford First Friday of the month at 10am 07/06/13 Astrology - talk by Mrs C Pain 05/07/13 I joined the Army to see the World and ended up in Stoke-on-Trent - talk by Mr P Redmond 02/08/13 Fun in Foreign Fields, restoring sight in many countries as a GP and Eye Surgeon - talk by Drs Lynette and David Moss

Crawley Jim Piercey CHAIRMAN 01293 409332 Bill Buck Room, Crawley Library, Southgate Avenue, Crawley Fourth Friday of the month at 2pm 28/06/13 Quiz 26/07/13 TBA 23/08/13 TBA

Emsworth & Havant Ralph Whitehouse CHAIRMAN 01243 374081 Emsworth Community Centre, Church Path, Emsworth First Friday of each month at 10am 07/06/13 Lunch at The Barley Mow, Walderton.

Fleet Dorothy Brookman CHAIRMAN 01252 684368 Baptist Church Hall, 115 Clarence Road, Fleet Third Tuesday of each month at 2.15pm (except Jul, Aug and Dec) 18/06/13 Restoring Fleet Pond - talk by Colin Gray 16/07/13 Group Lunch

Hailsham Jeanne Archer CHAIRMAN & SECRETARY 01323 832055 St. Marys Church Lounge, St. Marys Church, Vicarage Road, Hailsham Second Tuesday of the month at 10.15am (except Aug)

Hastings & St Leonards John Hall CHAIRMAN 01424 813355 All Saints Church Hall, All Saints Street, Old Town Third Tuesday of each month at 10am - 12 noon (except Aug) 18/06/13 In and Around the Peak District illustrated talk 16/07/13 “Games and Chat” Coffee Morning

Newbury Roger Walker CHAIRMAN 01635 44575 St. Johns Church Room, Newtown Road, Newbury Second Monday of the month at 2.15pm



David Keeling CHAIRMAN 01903 248663 United Reformed Church Hall, Shaftesbury Avenue (just south of Durrington Railway Bridge: entrance in Barrington Road) Third Tuesday of each month at 10.00am (coffee at 9.45am) 18/06/13 Lancing College Slides - talk by Jeremy Tomlinson (Registrar) 16/07/13 Arundel, the Jewel in the Downs - talk by Joe Hayes 20/08/13 The Quiz with Bill Marshall

Joyce Beard SECRETARY/TREASURER 07706 868648 Burnham Area Youth Centre, Cassis Close, Burnham on Sea Fourth Tuesday in each month from 10am to 12 noon (except Aug)

Reading West & Tilehurst



David Cox SECRETARY 0118 958 6311 United Reformed Church Hall, Polsted Road, off Armour Road Last Wednesday of the month at 2pm (except Aug) 26/06/13 Controlling Pain the Natural Way - talk by Andrea Crowther 31/07/13 Summer Buffet (to be arranged) 28/08/13 Out and About from Lake Garda - talk by Alan Pritchard


10/06/13 Bring & Buy, Plant Sale and Quiz 08/07/13 A Tall Ship Crew Member - talk by Betty Collins 18/07/13 Annual Strawberry Tea Party 12/08/13 Carers in the Community - talk by Penny Jankoeski

Portsmouth North Janie Quayle CHAIRMAN 023 92 641954 St. Nicholas Church Hall, Battenburg Avenue, Copnor Second and fourth Mondays at 2pm (except Bank Holidays and Aug)

Southsea Mrs Emily Kitching SECRETARY 023 92 785427 St. Simon’s Church Hall, Waverley Road, Southsea Second Wednesday of the month at 10.30 and fourth Wednesday of the month at 2.30pm (except Aug) 12/06/13 Celebration Buffet Lunch for the Queen’s 60 Year Reign 19/06/13 Coach Outing to Southampton via Hythe Ferry 26/06/13 Talk about the Great Fire at Uppark 17/07/13 Coach Outing to Uppark 08/08/13 Day Outing to Cowes, Isle of Wight

Stubbington Peter Stilwell SECRETARY 023 92 527346 amy_ Catholic Church Hall, Bells Lane, Stubbington Second Thursday of each month at 2.00pm (meeting) and last Tuesday of each month at 10.30am (coffee morning). On the Tuesday following the Thursday meeting we have a pub lunch. On the last Thursday of the month we have lunch at a local pub and play skittles. 13/06/13 Flags - talk by Cdr B Nicholls 11/07/13 The New Forest - talk by Sue Bowman 08/08/13 Growing Old Disgracefully - talk by Gwen Appleton

Tadley Mr D MacLean CHAIRMAN 0118 970 1290 Tadley Community Centre, Newchurch Road, Tadley First Thursday of each month at 1.30pm for 2.00pm (excepting in unusual circumstances when advance notice is given to our members)

Twyford & Wargrave John Keast SECRETARY 0118 940 2975 Hannen Room, St. Marys Church, Station Road, Wargrave Third Tuesday of Feb, Apr, June, Oct and Dec

Uckfield John Gutteridge SECRETARY 01825 764781 Five Ash Down Village Hall, Five Ash Down, Uckfield First Thursday of the month at 2.30pm unless otherwise announced. 06/06/13 Pub Lunch (venue to be confirmed) 04/07/13 Lunch at David’s (cost/time to be advised) 01/08/13 A Don Dray Presentation (provisional) otherwise Summertime Tea and Quiz

Mrs Freda Hedge SECRETARY 01980 590499 Antrobus House, 39 Salisbury Road, Amesbury First Tuesday of each month at 2pm (unless otherwise stated) 04/06/13 Summer Bazaar 18/06/13 Outing to Bristol 02/07/13 Memories of Old Shops in Salisbury talk by Edna Tryhorn 16/07/13 Mystery Trip 06/08/13 Group AGM 20/08/13 Outing to Weston Super Mare

Barnstaple Peter Mumby CHAIRMAN 01271 815021 Committee Room, Roundswell Community Centre, Roundswell, Barnstaple Last Friday in the month (except Jan, Aug and Dec) at 11am Feb, May, Jun, Jul, Oct and Nov and at 10am Mar, Apr and Sep. 28/06/13 Coffee Morning 26/07/13 Coffee Morning

Bath Roy Burnett CHAIRMAN 01225 426583 St. John’s Parish Hall, South Parade, Bath First Thursday of each month at 10.30am for coffee mornings as well as events listed below. Short Mat Bowls held every Friday at 2pm at The Scout Hut, The Avenue, Bath 06/06/13 Coffee Morning 09/06/13 Creative Travel Holiday to Newquay and the Cornish Explorer (9-14 June) 25/06/13 Committee Meeting 04/07/13 Coffee Morning 01/08/13 Coffee Morning 27/08/13 Committee Meeting

Blandford Forum Mrs M Chambers SECRETARY 01258 456572 Contact Secretary for venue details. Second Friday of each month at 11am

Bradford-on-Avon Mr P F Nuttall SECRETARY 01225 862919 United Reformed Church Hall, St. Margarets Street, Bradford on Avon Second Monday of each month at 2.15pm (except Aug) 10/06/13 Cream Tea with Quiz 25/06/13 Coach Trip to Moreton-in-Marsh and Sezincote House 08/07/13 Mary Bruce, Aviator and Rally Driver talk 18/07/13 Coach Trip - Avon River Cruise 12/08/13 Coffee Morning at Fitzmaurice Place

Brixham Mrs Brenda Smith SECRETARY 01803 559466 Various local restaurants, usually Waterside Paignton Usually second Thursday of the month at 12 noon contact Brenda Smith for details.

Chard Gordon Baker SECRETARY 01460 73333 The Donyatt Bowling Club, Ilminster Third Thursday of the month at 10.30am

David Gardner CHAIRMAN 01249 658431 Rotary Hall, Station Hill, Chippenham First Wednesday of each month at 2pm (except Aug)

Crediton Miss M Steer CHAIRMAN 01363 866256 Various venues - contact the Chairman for details First Friday of each month at 10.35am for coffee unless there is a trip or lunch when a notice will appear in the local paper

Dawlish Mrs M Carter SECRETARY 01626 888275 The Manor House, Old Town Street Second Friday of each month at 2pm (except Jul & Aug). 14/06/13 Summer Party July Outing (to be arranged)

Dorchester Mike Rogers SECRETARY 01308 420755 Dorset Youth HQ, Lubbecke Way, Dorchester Third Thursday of the month at 10.15am for 10.30am - 12.30-1.00pm 20/06/13 Cape Town to Victoria Falls - talk by Chris Shaw 18/07/13 Rock of Ages - talk by Charlie Rugaroni 15/08/13 O’ Mr Porter - talk by Peter Hammond

Exmouth Carol Brett SECRETARY 01395 442671 Wings Club (formerly RAFA), Imperial Road, Exmouth First Wednesday of each month at 10am 05/06/13 Coffee Morning including Taster Presentation by Oakhouse Foods 03/07/13 Coffee Morning 07/08/13 Coffee Morning

Liskeard & Pensilva Shirley Waye CHAIRMAN & SECRETARY 01579 346089 Refreshment Rooms, Liskeard Town Hall, 3 West Street, Liskeard Last Wednesday of each month at 10am 26/06/13 Summer Lunch at the Refreshment Rooms, Liskeard 31/07/13 Growing Old Disgracefully - talk by Val Budgen-Cawsey 28/08/13 Antiques & Collectables, Auctions talk by Roger Knowles

Minehead Isabel Dobson 01643 703199 Foxes Hotel, The Esplanade, Minehead Coffee mornings on the last Tuesday of the month at 10.15am (except Mar, Jul, Aug and Dec)

Princetown Mike Fitzpatrick SECRETARY 01822 890799 Prince of Wales, Tavistock Road, Princetown First Thursday of the month at 12.30pm SUMMER 2013


20/06/13 Day Trip by coach - details to be confirmed. Lunch in a recommended hostelry. 18/07/13 Day Trip by coach - details to be confirmed. Lunch in a recommended hostelry. 15/08/13 Day Trip by coach - details to be confirmed. Lunch in a recommended hostelry.

Salisbury Plain Mr Roy German SECRETARY 01980 653446 The Village Hall, High Street, Durrington Third Tuesday of each month at 2.30pm (except Aug) 18/06/13 Strawberry Cream Tea 25/06/13 Outing to Bird World and Forest Lodge Garden Centre 16/07/13 Wild Life - talk by D & T Townend 23/07/13 Outing to Weymouth 23/08/13 Summer Fete 27/08/13 Outing to Tewkesbury and Ross on Wye

Sidmouth Margaret Adams CHAIRMAN 01395 577622 Sidholme Hotel, Elysian Fields, Temple Street Second Wednesday of each month at 10.25am 19/06/13 Lunch at Blinis Restaurant, Sidmouth (12 noon) 24/07/13 Lunch at Devoncourt, Exmouth (12.30pm) 19/08/13 AGM at Mavis Wray (10am)

Somerton Colin Mclntyre SECRETARY 01458 223953 The Two Brewers, Leigh Road, Street Third Tuesday of the month at 11.30am

Tamar/Tavy (Tavistock) David Askew SECRETARY 01822 612274 Burrator Inn, Princetown Road, Dousland, Yelverton Second Thursday of the month at 12.30pm 13/06/13 Life Growing Up in Plymouth before the 2nd World War - talk by Joice Reith 11/07/13 Dartmoor Rescue Group - talk by Catherine Blackie

Taunton Mick Grigg CHAIRMAN 01823 272046 Lawns Social Club (formerly Royal British Legion Club), St. Mary Street, Taunton Second Friday of the month at 10.30am (unless Public Holiday in which case third Friday) 14/06/13 Tip Top Hats - talk by Jill Benn 12/07/13 Bring & Buy Cakes and Bric-a-Brac 09/08/13 Prize Quiz

Trowbridge Peter Collins SECRETARY 01225 768370 Old Manor Hotel, Trowle, Trowbridge/ St. Thomas’ Church Hall, York Buildings, off Timbrell Street, Trowbridge First Wednesday of each month at 10.30am (Old Manor Hotel) & third Wednesday of each month at 2pm (St Thomas’ Church Hall) 05/06/13 Coffee morning at Old Manor Hotel 19/06/13 ‘Osteoporosis’ - talk by Mrs Bridget Duff 03/07/13 Coffee morning at Old Manor Hotel 17/07/13 Coach Outing to Weymouth 07/08/13 Coffee morning at Old Manor Hotel 21/08/13 ‘Metal Detecting or the Frome Haul’ talk by Dave Crisp



Westbury (Wiltshire)


Ken Holloway CHAIRMAN 01373 864049 Paragon Hall, Haynes Road, Westbury Third Monday of each month at 1.45pm for 2.00pm (except Aug). 17/06/13 Secrets of Handwriting - talk by Mr J Jameson-Davis 26/06/13 Outing to Sidmouth 15/07/13 Herbs for Cooking and Medicine - talk by Mrs D Whittle Aug 2013 Coffee Morning (TBA) 14/08/13 Outing to Highclere Castle

Eileen Morgan CHAIRMAN 020 8650 8784 Beckenham Public Hall, 4 Bromley Road, Beckenham First Tuesday of each month at 2pm

Westbury-on-Trym Beryl Webb SECRETARY 01454 614451 Studland Court, Henleaze Road, Henleaze First Thursday of each month at 2pm (except Aug) 06/06/13 Summer outing to Bournemouth 04/07/13 ‘TV Tales’ - talk by Tim Hooper

Weston-Super-Mare Alan Jackson CHAIRMAN 01275 858766 Friends Meeting House, corner of High Street/ Oxford Street, Weston-Super-Mare First and third Thursday of the month at 10am (for coffee mornings, other events listed below) 06/06/13 Coffee Morning 11/06/13 Coach Outing to Sidmouth and WI Tea 20/06/13 Coffee Morning 04/07/13 Coffee Morning 09/07/13 Coach Outing to Hidcote Manor and Gardens 18/07/13 Coffee Morning 01/08/13 Coffee Morning 13/08/13 Coach Outing to Tiverton and Canal Boat Ride

Weymouth Geoff Greenstreet SECRETARY 01305 832432 St. Nicholas Church, Buxton Road, Weymouth Second Thursday of each month at 2.30pm (except Aug) 13/06/13 Weymouth Harbour: the Steam Ship Years - talk by Brian Jackson 26/06/13 Coffee Morning 11/07/13 The Story of Portland Stone - talk by Stuart Morris 24/07/13 Coffee Morning

Yate & District Donald Kirkham CHAIRMAN 01454 317242 Yate Parish Hall, Station Road Fourth Tuesday of each month at 2pm 25/06/13 Coach Outing and Boat Trip from Maidenhead to Windsor 23/07/13 Stan Cruz - Magician 27/08/13 Coach Outing to the American Museum, Bath

LONDON & SOUTH EAST ENGLAND Banstead & District Miss Marion Pevy SECRETARY/TREASURER 01737 812129 Banstead Methodist Church Hall, The Drive Last Tuesday of each month at 10.30am - 12 noon (except Jun [Garden Party] and Jul [Summer Lunch] - venues to be announced). 25/06/13 Garden Party 30/07/13 Summer Lunch 27/08/13 Coffee Morning

Bexleyheath Miss Norma Smith SECRETARY 020 8304 2466 St. Andrews Church Hall, Brampton Road, Bexleyheath First three Wednesdays in every month at 1.453.45pm (except Aug). Every 2nd Wednesday is a Social Afternoon and Bingo. 05/06/13 Queen Victoria’s Dreadful Uncles - talk by Sheila Boyd 12/06/13 Social Afternoon with Bingo/Quiz 19/06/13 Adrian Chapman: Vocalist, Guitarist and Instrumentalist 26/06/13 Coach Trip to Brighton 03/07/13 Quiz with Elaine & Alan 10/07/13 Social Afternoon with Bingo/Quiz 17/07/13 Songs from the 50s and 60s with Kate Newman 31/07/13 Coach Trip: River Cruise Runnymede to Windsor 28/08/13 Coach Trip to Eastbourne

Camberley Anne Morris SECRETARY 01344 772419 High Cross Church, Knoll Road, Camberley Fourth Tuesday of each month at 2pm (except Jul, Aug & Dec) 25/06/13 Social Afternoon

Edgware & Stanmore Ray Broom SECRETARY 020 8427 8659 St. Lawrence’s Church Hall, Whitchurch Lane, Edgware Second Monday of each month at 2pm 10/06/13 On the way to the Theatre - talk by Mavis Wright 08/07/13 Quiz and Bingo 12/08/13 Social Event

Enfield Susan Bentley SECRETARY & PROGRAMME 020 8360 4361 St. Andrew’s Church Hall, Silver Street, Enfield First Monday of the month at 10am (unless a Bank Holiday when it will be the second Monday). Bookings are now being taken for our Christmas Lunch to be held on 28 November - £5.00 deposit required. 03/06/13 A Long Weekend in Paris, including Versailles - illustrated talk by Brenda Brown 01/07/13 Sussex and the South Downs illustrated talk by Ian Torrance 05/08/13 The Wonderful Sound of ‘Woolies’ talk by Steve Jennings

Hounslow Roy Woods CHAIRMAN 020 8230 5533 United Reformed Church Hall, 114 Hanworth Road, Hounslow Second Tuesday of each month 1.30-4.00pm 11/06/13 Isleworth’s Royal Connections illustrated talk by Christine Diwell 09/07/13 Chile - illustrated talk by Tony Leppard 13/08/13 Coronation Tea

Kingston & District Mrs Jean Hall SECRETARY 020 8942 2309 Kingston Methodist Church Hall, Avenue Road, Fairfield South, Kingston Third Tuesday of each month at 2pm. For outings programme contact the Secretary. 05/06/13 Coach Outing to Brighton

18/06/13 Life in Game Parks in East Africa - talk by Nigel Glover-Wright 16/07/13 RAF Biggin Hill and the Battle of Britain talk by Bob Ogley 20/08/13 Lambeth - its Palace and People - talk by Joan Cottle

Leatherhead Anne Thomson SECRETARY 01372 373258 John Rumble Hall, Fetcham Village Hall, The Street, Fetcham First Friday of each month at 10am 07/06/13 A Forgotten Heroine - talk by Joan Bogle 05/07/13 My Year as Chairman of Mole Valley District Council - talk by Caroline Salmon 02/08/13 Fish & Chips Lunch

London - Catford & Lewisham Doreen Hughes SECRETARY 020 8461 4800 St. Laurence Church Hall, Bromley Road, Catford Second Tuesday of the month at 10am 11/06/13 Summer Social with Strawberry Tea 09/07/13 Coffee Morning 13/07/13 Coffee Morning 22/08/13 Coach Outing to Hastings (to be confirmed)

London - Chiswick W4, W6 & W12 Helen Barron CHAIRMAN 020 8748 2486 Scouthaven, Wilson Walk (passage between Stamford Brook Underground Station and Prebend Gardens) Fourth Friday of each month at 2pm (except Aug)

London - Clapham SW4 & SW11 Miss M Farley SECRETARY 020 8870 7361 Staff Restaurant 4th Floor, PCS Headquarters, 160 Falcon Road, Clapham Junction First Thursday of each month at 10.15am. We also have a monthly pub lunch - for details please contact the Secretary

London - Dulwich & Norwood Miss M J Bacon SECRETARY 020 8761 2158 Railway Club, Selhurst Station Approach Fourth Tuesday of each month at 10.30am 25/06/13 Bring and Buy Sale 23/07/13 My National Service Experience - talk by Bob Elliott 27/08/13 Life in Bethlem Hospital - talk by Andrew Wilson

London - Edmonton Mrs Sheila Lamonte CHAIRPERSON 020 8886 7873 Ambassador Room, Millfield House, Silver Street, London N18 Third Monday of each month from 10am - 12 noon 17/06/13 Agatha Christie - illustrated talk by Geoff Bowden 15/07/13 Home Instead - talk by Chris Thomas, a provider of private care in the home. 19/08/13 The Work of a Prison Officer - talk by John Hancock

London - Eltham Phyllis Duignan CHAIR 020 8265 0810 United Reformed Church,Sherard Hall, Court Road, Eltham Fourth Thursday of each month at 10am - 12 noon 06/06/13 Outing to Churchill Theatre Bromley to see Go Back for Murder by Agatha Christie (2.30pm)

13/06/13 Coach Outing to Chiswick House and Gardens 27/06/13 Coffee Morning followed by Floral Demonstration by Andrea Winter 11/07/13 Coach Outing to Eastbourne 25/07/13 Coffee Morning followed by “Do we need a Toastmaster” - talk by Alan Coxon 08/08/13 Coach Outing to Bexhill 22/08/13 Coffee Morning followed by History and Culture of Gipsy Travellers - talk by Philip Godliman

London - Fulham SW5, SW6 & SW10 Mrs Grace Phillipson CHAIRMAN Waterford House, Waterford Road, Fulham First Wednesday of the month at 10.15am. Please contact Fellowship Office (020 8691 7411) for further details.

London - Hendon Harry Hunt SECRETARY 020 8202 7647 Various venues each month for lunch - phone Secretary for details First Thursday of every month at 12.30pm

London - Southbank SE17 Joy Creamer CHAIRPERSON 020 7407 2332 Penrose Tenants Hall, Penrose Estate, Walworth Second Wednesday of each month at 10am

London - Stockwell SW8 & SW9 Mr D Stannard SECRETARY 020 7720 0982 Job Centre Plus Offices, 246 Stockwell Road, Brixton Fourth Thursday of each month at 2pm

London - Streatham & Norbury - SW16 Mrs J E Winter SECRETARY 020 8764 6450 The Glebe Sheltered Housing Complex, Prentis Road, Streatham SW16 1QR Second Tuesday of each month at 2pm 11/06/13 Musical Bingo 09/07/13 Strawberries & Cream Tea with sandwiches and homemade cakes. Cost (including entry) £3.00 per head. 13/08/13 How to stay on Budget - talk by Mrs Kathanne Easton

Maidstone Keith Hunter CHAIRMAN 01622 746792 Methodist Church Centre, Brewer Street, Maidstone Second Monday of the month at 2pm (except Aug) 10/06/13 Keyboard 08/07/13 Cream Tea, Quiz and Raffle Aug 2013 Trip to be planned.

North/South Harrow Mrs Doris Bending SECRETARY 020 8863 3240 St. Albans Church Hall, Norwood Drive, North Harrow Last Tuesday of the month at 2pm 25/06/13 Affinity Water from Source to Tap talk by Grant Worth 30/07/13 The Principality of Monaco illustrated talk by Cled Yorwerth 27/08/13 The Story behind the Picture - by the Artist Miss Pam Adsley

Romney Marsh Mrs Win Owen CHAIR 01797 362598 The Assembly Rooms, Church Approach, New Romney Second Wednesday of each month at 10am 12/06/13 Why Dungeness is Special - talk by Heather Chantler 10/07/13 Plays, Parts and Poems - talk by Michael Claughton 14/08/13 43 Years as a Taxman - talk by Ron Blunsden

Sanderstead & Selsdon Ralph Perryman LOCAL CONTACT 020 8657 3487 The Sir Julian Huxley, 152-154 Addington Road, South Croydon Please contact Ralph Perryman for details of coffee mornings, lunches and other events.

South East Middlesex Mrs June Brown SECRETARY 020 8891 4680 Various venues Various dates and times

Staines Dorothy Dib SECRETARY 01784 441990 Various restaurants for lunch. New members always welcome. Third Tuesday of each month

Sutton Pam Davis SOCIAL SECRETARY 020 8641 2114 Friends Meeting House, 10 Cedar Road, Sutton Last Monday of the month at 2-3.45pm (except Aug & Dec). 10/06/13 Informal Lunch (TBC) 24/06/13 Cycling around the World - talk by Pam Goodall 15/07/13 Outing to the Dickens Museum (TBC) 29/07/13 Cream Tea and Social Afternoon 12/08/13 Outing to Fulham Palace (TBC) 19/08/13 Informal Lunch (TBC)

Whitstable & Herne Bay (inc. Canterbury) Linda Swift LOCAL CONTACT 01227 276583 Swalecliffe & Chestfield Community Centre, St. Johns Road, Whitstable Fourth Thursday of the month at 2.00pm (except Aug & Dec) 27/06/13 Cheesemakers of Canterbury - talk 28/07/13 TBC

Worcester Park Peter Tharby CHAIRMAN 020 8337 7423 Old Malden Scout Hall, 411 Malden Road, Worcester Park First Monday each month at 2.00-4.00pm (If Bank Holiday, then second Monday) 03/06/13 The Work of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution - an illustrated talk by Colin Brown 01/07/13 “I’m a Brown Owl - get me out of here!” - a talk by a regular favourite of ours, Jean Vesey 05/08/13 Our ever popular Summer Lunch

Orpington Peter Standen VICE CHAIRMAN 01689 833358 The Memorial Hall, Methodist Church, Sevenoaks Road, Orpington First Friday in the month at 1.45pm



the last word


favourite things…

Virginia Ironside has had an impressive career as a journalist and writer. She began as a temporary secretary to Shirley Williams at the Fabian Society and then worked at Vogue, the Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail (as a rock columnist) and now has a weekly column in the Independent and a monthly one in the Oldie magazine. She also appeared on stage at last year’s Edinburgh Festival in Growing Old Disgracefully.



Velasquez Las Meninas My father, who designed the backs of the first decimal coins and was also a painter and taught life drawing at the Royal College of Art, loved Velasquez, and so did my mother. My mother was Professor of Fashion at the RCA and I remember her making me a fancy dress copied from the little Infanta.



Lady with a Little Dog by

Anton Chekhov. Is Chekhov the best writer in the world? I still adore all those Russians – Turgenev, Dostoevsky and, nearly as good as Chekhov, Nabokov. This is only a short story, about an old roué’s infatuation with a young married woman, but you can read it again and again and still get something from it.



  Ray Charles ‘Georgia on my Mind’ This is a piece of music I’d like played at my funeral. It is all about yearning – the longing to get back to his home state, Georgia. Don’t we all long for some kind of peace and haven and place we can rest our heads without worrying anymore?



Film All about Eve Those old great black and white films beat modern ones every time, I think. In this classic Bette Davis plays a Broadway star, ousted by the treachery of her young protégé. The dishy George Sanders makes a rather dark appearance throughout, and to make everything even better, it only lasts 1 hour 40 minutes. Why do films today last so long?



I’ve been to Moscow three times and although I’ve always found it terrifying, I’ve found it incredibly exciting, as well. The Kremlin is beautiful, and the sheer grim energy of it reminds me of New York in the sixties – particularly now that since things are more liberal than they used to be there’s a wealth of innovation and enthusiasm.



When I was young I used to dye everything I had purple and I still love the colour. I even have a purple streak in my fringe!



I don’t know why anemones appeal so much. Partly their black pollen and the way they twist and curve as they grow older, partly their dusky colours. Virginia Ironside’s latest novel, No! I don’t Need Reading Glasses! is out now from Quercus, hardback £14.99 and reviewed in the book section of this issue

MEMBER GIVEAWAY Quercus has kindly donated 5 copies of Virginia Ironside’s new book to giveaway to readers. To enter the competition send your name and address to: Book Giveaway Summer 2013, The CSRF, Suite 2, 80A Blackheath Road, London SE10 8DA. Closing date: 28 June 2013. The first five entries drawn will be the lucky winners. Judges’ decision is final.

Summer 2013 avanti magazine  

The latest issue of the Civil Service Retirement Fellowship's magazine leads on their brand new befriending initiative, the National Visitor...