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Tom Hart Dyke on Lullingstone’s world garden

Exploring the unusual pastime of re-enactment


How to navigate the care system

a DOOR to the PAST Heritage Open Days

could we live

FOREVER? Exploring transhumanism

P L U S : 2 0 1 2 A G M • C U LT U R E • P u z z le s • G R O U P N E W S • P O S T B A G • B O O K S Supported By The Civ il S er v ice Insurance S ociet y C h a r it y Fu n d

Editor’s Letter The Civil Service Retirement Fellowship Suite 2, 80A Blackheath Road, London SE10 8DA t: 020 8691 7411 f: 020 8692 2386 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

The magazine has been produced with financial support from


I’ve spent nearly half of July ‘living in’ Olympia as I’ve been lucky enough to help the Fellowship out with their involvement as David with Permanent Secretary Sir Suma Chakrabarti at an the official charity partner at Civil Service Live awareness event for the CSRF at and taking a stand at the 50+ Show. The shows were the Ministry of Justice on consecutive weeks and I would be remiss if I didn’t congratulate the Fellowship Office staff and volunteers for making both events enjoyable and productive. Being able to promote the work of our charity at events such as these provides an essential opportunity to attract new supporters. We’ve got some new writers contributing to this issue who have added to our usual mix of interesting and thought provoking features. I’d like to draw your attention to the first of a series of articles we will be running looking at the care system. If you or any of your family or friends have any stories relating to care then please write in as I am keen that your experiences will help us shape how this series evolves. Finally if you enjoy reading don’t forget to register to be a member of the CSRF/ NHSRF Book Club. Thanks to the generosity of the Civil Service Insurance Society the first 100 members who register will receive the first book absolutely free. You can find out more on page 11. As usual I look forward to hearing your feedback and hope you enjoy the issue,

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 4056 e: Editor: David Tickner Contributors: Gareth Southwell, David Porteous, Mela Ragusa, Martin Sayers, Janet Tester Contact the Editor By mail: Use the address above Email: Tel: 020 8691 7411 Designer: Charlotte Morgan ©2012. avanti Magazine is published by Square7 Media Ltd on behalf of the Civil Service Retirement Fellowship (CSRF). All rights reserved. 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 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. 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 CSRF.

The latest news from the Fellowship Office and Chief Executive’s message.

16  Who cares? What’s on offer - the first in a series of features that focus on the Care system.

20  Transhumanism Do we want to be more than human? Gareth Southwell considers the question.

24  Bringing the past to life David Porteous explores the fascinating world of re-enactment societies.

28  Creating the World Garden

We look at some of the buildings opening their doors around the UK for the Heritage Open Days.

43  Coffee Time Fun titbits, trivia and the ever-popular prize crossword!

46  Postbag Your letters and views.

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

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

Martin Sayers interviews explorer and botanist Tom Hart Dyke about his World Garden at Lullingstone Castle.

32  The Literary Caribbean Mela Ragusa looks at how the Caribbean has been the source of inspiration for many writers.

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


40  Hidden History


62  My Favourite Things With actress Isla Blair.

32 28 AUTUMN 2012


front desk from the chief executive Words by Jean Cooper

Dear Friend, Looking at the numbers of new supporters who have joined the Fellowship so far this year it is gratifying to see a significant CSRF President and Head of the Home increase by comparison to the same Civil Service Sir Bob Kerslake with Jean time last year. This is mainly due to the and the sponsored walk team phenomenal amount of hard work put in by the staff at Fellowship Office and many of our volunteers who have attended events year ahead so watch this space. to promote the benefits of supporting our As I’m writing my letter we’re in work. But we can’t afford to rest on our the midst of traffic chaos thanks to laurels. Everyone can lend a hand, whether the Olympics and Paralympics. Our doing some local fundraising or signing up local station at Greenwich is one of the a new supporter. official venue stations and as such we’re I am delighted to report on the experiencing all sorts of “fun and games” appointment of our new Civil Service when it comes to staff getting in and out Champion, Sir Paul Jenkins KCB, QC. We of the office. So if you do experience any are very much looking forward to working difficulties in getting through to the office, with him as one of the biggest challenges leave a message and somebody will be back we face is overcoming the lack of awareness in touch as quickly as is possible. Disruption from within the Service itself. His support is predicted to last until September 9th. will be very important. Congratulations to all the Seniors’ I would like to thank all those Board Golf Tour winners, we’d like to see more Members who have already visited social CSRF golfers involved next year so if groups; you can read their reports in the you’re interested please get in touch. I also group focus section. A special welcome to extend a big thank you to CSIS for their our three new board members Michael, support of our Book Club and Photography Phyllis and Martin who are very keen to competition and to Helen Harris (Deputy visit groups so if you would like to put a CEO at CSIS) for picking the winners. request for any of them to visit then please Finally I would like to thank you contact the office. for your continuing letters of support I was pleased to see so many new faces and encouragement. Knowing that you at this year’s Annual General Meeting appreciate the hard work that goes on here that was held at the Civil Service Club in in sometimes challenging circumstances London. I would like to extend a big thank makes all the difference to the team at you to staff at the Club for the excellent Fellowship Office. We are all totally service and organisation provided on the committed to work on your behalf and with day. It is clear that from the feedback forms our great band of volunteers and supporters, we have received from Company Members strive to build a strong and vibrant so far that the new format is popular. The Fellowship for the future. new Board of Directors met not long after the AGM and has some With all good wishes, positive plans for the



The latest news from Fellowship Office

Life Member

Appeal Update To date we have raised over £80,000.00 so thanks to all those of you who have sent in donations in the last few months. You can still make a contribution. Send your cheque (made payable to ‘The CSRF’) to Member Appeal, The Civil Service Retirement Fellowship, FREEPOST SE4414, London SE10 8BP. Or alternatively you can make a donation online at or by text to CSRF01 (along with the amount you wish to donate – e.g. £10) to 70070. Every little bit really does help. You can also make a regular donation by signing up to a direct debit or deduction from your Civil Service Pension. You can download a direct debit form from our website, www.csrf. or call Fellowship Office to request a copy on 020 8691 7411

Our new Champion We are delighted to welcome Sir Paul Jenkins KCB, QC who is Permanent Secretary and Chief Executive of the Treasury Solicitor’s Department as our new Civil Service Champion. Paul spent much of his early career as a litigator in the Treasury Solicitor’s Department. Immediately before taking up his appointment as Treasury Solicitor, he was the Director General of the Law, Governance and Special Policy Group in the Department for Work and Pensions as well as the Solicitor to both DWP and the Department of Health.





Phone Buddy Update It’s been 6 months since it was launched and our buddy scheme continues to grow in popularity. At Civil Service Live and the 50+ Show in July there was a lot of interest from people wanting to volunteer to participate. Over 100 members and volunteers are using the service and it’s pleasing to note the extremely positive feedback we’ve received from those involved. Whatever your age you can sign up to make or receive a call. We are particularly keen to hear from any members wanting to receive a call. The registration process is simple and all details are treated in the strictest confidence. To register for the Buddy scheme you can call Fellowship Office on 020 8691 7411, email: or online at (click the buddy icon on the homepage)

What our buddies say “My buddy makes me feel in touch with the world again” Louise C

“We are getting along very well and I find our talks very pleasant and interesting.” Maureen N “The lady is easy to talk to and we ‘gel’ well.” Peter R “I think it’s an excellent scheme and I’m happy with the way it’s working.” Elizabeth B “I now consider her to be a real friend.” Dorothy D

Other opportunities

There are many ways which you can get involved with the Fellowship as a volunteer from helping out at an event to fundraising locally on our behalf. Without the help and support we receive from our volunteers we would not be able to maintain the level of services we provide.



Silver Sunday Silver Sunday is a new day in the calendar to celebrate older people. Taking place on October 7 it is being piloted this year in three London boroughs with the idea of it becoming a national event from next year. For more information visit

Join the Big Skills Share The theme of this year’s UK Older People’s Day is the Big Skills Share. A wide range of local events are being planned across the country on or around October 1. So why not get involved and celebrate the contribution you make to your local community. For useful ideas and some free resources to help you get involved visit the Full of Life website, campaigns/olderpeoplesday

Doorstep selling campaign launched Last month the Office of Fair Trading launched a campaign to encourage elderly or vulnerable consumers to be sensible when buying on their doorstep and reduce their vulnerability to rogue traders. Find out more at

Chip and signature cards – an alternative for Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organisation. So if you’d like to find out more about volunteering opportunities call Fellowship Office on 020 8691 7411, email: or visit

those unable to use a PIN

Volunteers Martin Claridge, Michael Peacock and Jean Anderson helped us maintain a good profile and presence at the recent 50+ Show

The Payments Council is working to raise awareness of chip and signature cards following research showing a gap in knowledge about the cards among bank staff, retailers and consumers. It seems that those who could benefit from the cards don’t know they exist. Find out more at AUTUMN 2012



fundraising The sunshine Walk! The sun shone throughout the Fellowship Office’s Whitehall Walk in June. To help raise funds for the Fellowship the staff decided to follow on from their successful Thames Walk last year with another sponsored walk. It followed a 12mile route that took in the areas around Westminster, Whitehall and Victoria with many departments popping out to show their support along the way. CSRF President and Head of the Home Civil Service Sir Bob Kerslake joined the walk along Whitehall and representatives from DEFRA, BIS, Cabinet Office, DFiD, HM Treasury and The Supreme Court all came out to show their support. It was a very enjoyable day and aside from raising funds it also provided a valuable opportunity to remind departments about our work as a charity. So far we have raised just over £1000.00 but donations continue to come in. A big thanks to our groups and branches at Liskeard, Princetown, Tamar-Tavy, Wadebridge, Bury St Edmonds, Streatham & Norbury, Belfast, Lincolnshire, London Southbank, Brighton & Hove, Leatherhead, Swansea, Catford & Lewisham, Maidstone, Yate, Nottingham, Scarborough, Dumfries & Kirkcudbright and Westbury on Trym for their donations. Thanks also to our publishers Square7 Media for their donation. You can still make a donation to the Sponsored Walk – donate online at the CSRF website, or send your cheque (made payable to ‘The CSRF’) to: The CSRF Sponsored Walk, Suite 2, 80A Blackheath Road, London SE10 8DA.

FROM TOP: Outside DEFRA on Smith Square with Permanent Secretary Bronwyn Hill; Visiting the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on Victoria St; Outside HM Treasury on Parliament Street with Permanent Secretary Sir Nick Macpherson; At DFiD on Palace Street with Permanent Secretary Mark Lowcock; With Registrar Louise di Mambro at the UK Supreme Court on Parliament Square



Other Funds raised A big thank you to staff at the Department of Business, Innovations and Skills who raised £50.10 by donating to collection boxes in staff rest areas. Sales of our popular stress pigs at Civil Service Live and the 50+ Show raised £374.02 – so thanks to all those visitors who made a donation.

Where in the world is our pig? Don’t forget you can help us raise funds by adopting one of our stress pigs for a minimum donation of £5. Once you’ve adopted your pig share your pictures with other members via the Pig Tales page on the CSRF website. Congratulations to Mrs D Tink from Bristol who won a £50 M&S voucher for correctly spotting that the pig was in Russia in the last issue. Keep your eyes peeled in future issues for another ‘Spot the Pig’ competition. Make a minimum donation of £5 and we will send you a pig of your very own! Send your cheque made payable to ‘The CSRF’ to ‘Pig Tales Donation, The CSRF, Suite 2, 80A Blackheath Road, London SE10 8DA or you can order online at



A Trusted Partner The Civil Service Insurance Society has been at the forefront of providing insurance services to civil servants for many years. Their pride in the quality and integrity of their services has been rightly recognised this year with a nomination in the prestigious Moneywise Customer Service Awards in the Most Trusted Motor Insurance Provider category. Whether a customer or not, you have benefitted from their generous financial support via the contributions we have received from both the Civil Service Insurance Society and the CSiS Charity Fund. It is this that has enabled us to support member initiatives, subsidise volunteer costs and keep you up to date with useful information and advice. The support they have provided to avanti alone (as headline sponsor for the past 3 years) has helped us strengthen and build our relationship with you. Aside from actively supporting our national social group network, the magazine has promoted new member benefits, recruitment drives and fundraising initiatives. It also was an essential tool for the launch of our telephonebefriending scheme at the end of 2011, which has already made a positive difference to the lives of many of you. We would like to extend a big thank you to the Trustees of the CSiS Charity Fund on behalf of the entire membership for their ongoing support. We are looking forward to developing our relationship from next year to enable us to deliver some new initiatives to our social groups and beneficiaries.





1. CSRF Member Barbara Graham who receives the audio version of the magazine on a visit to Kent Association for the Blind’s headquarters; 2. CSIS Deputy Chief Executive Helen Harris (pictured) was one of the judges of this year’s photographic competition. The prizes were sponsored by CSIS; 3. Support from CSIS helped us to promote the Seniors’ Golf Tour that we ran for members with the National Health Service Retirement Fellowship; 4 and 5. CSiS Charity Fund’s sponsorship of the magazine enables us to provide groups with the opportunity to publicise their activities and promote their local services and support to members.

Legacy giving This source of support remains an important one for any charity, so please consider nominating the Fellowship for a charitable legacy in your will and help our work to continue for years to come. Any contribution will make a positive difference to the Fellowship’s ability to both

maintain and expand its range of services. If you’d like to find out more about leaving a legacy or writing a Will then contact Fellowship Office to request our free information sheet on legacies or you can download it directly from the members’ area on the CSRF website

“The CSIS Charity Fund has donated in excess of £320,000 to the Retirement Fellowship in the last 4 years and it is thanks to the support of our CSIS policyholders that the Society is able to generate the income and maintain this virtuous circle amongst active and retired civil servants and the communities in which they live.” Kevin Holliday, Chief Executive, CSIS AUTUMN 2012




annual general meeting 2012 The fifth Annual General Meeting of the company was held at 1pm on Wednesday 27 June 2012 at the Civil Service Club, Great Scotland Yard, London SW1A 2HJ As a result of Coventry being involved with the Olympics our usual stomping ground for the Annual General Meeting and Conference was not available, providing the Board of Directors with an opportunity for a fresh, more cost effective approach to the AGM. It was decided earlier in the year that business be contained to a single day with representatives enjoying a buffet lunch before business. Knowing how people will react to something new is always a bit of worry but on the day staff received very positive feedback from those who attended. The main comment was that proceedings be lengthened a little to allow members more time for discussion and catching up with other representatives. The Board of Directors is currently looking at the plans for the 2013 AGM.




An outline of proceedings follows here:

Chairman’s opening remarks The Chairman welcomed all company members, Vice President Peter Jones and Kevin Holliday, CEO of CSIS. Out of 65 company members, 41 were present with apologies received from 24.

Accounts In the absence of a Treasurer, the company’s accounts for the year ending 31 December 2011, together with the Chairman’s Statement, the Report of the Board of Directors and the Report of the Auditors, were presented by Richard Hornsby, Deputy Chief Executive, and were accepted.

Auditors It was RESOLVED that Chantrey Vellacot be re-appointed auditors of the company and



5 1: New Board Directors Martin Claridge (Br 78) and Michael Wailes (Br 111); 2: Pat Pearce (Br 22) with new Board Director Phyllis Duignan (Br 22); 3: Liz Beedie (Br 39); 4: Lyn Willan (Br 51), Doreen Beck (Br 90) and Vida Pritchard (Br 51); 5: Roger Walker (Br 99) with Fellowship Office’s Belinda Stalker; 6: Mildred Pierce (Br 17), Derek Heffer (Br 7) and Board Director Sylvia Edgell (Br 17)


7 that the Board of Directors be authorised to fix their remuneration.

Ordinary Resolutions 1. T hat rates of subscription to the Fellowship for the year 2013 increase by 10p per month for single subscriptions from £25.20 to £26.40 per year and by 15p per month for joint subscriptions from £40.20 to £42.00 per year. Carried unanimously


9 10 11


7: Colin Cutler (Br 109) 8: Board Director Keith Sullens; 9: Anne Guess (Br 56); 10: Joan Cowan (Br 80); 11: Peter Harris, MBE (Br 20) with Margaret Carter (Br 14); 12: Fellowship Office’s Yvonne Scott, Richard Hornsby and Belinda Stalker

2. That the Board of Directors change the calculations of any future annual subscription increases (if deemed necessary) previously based on the Retail Price Index (RPI) to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to take into account the recent changes to the calculations to Civil Service Pensions from RPI to CPI and that these increases be based on the September figure of the previous year. Carried unanimously

Directors The following were elected as Directors for the year 2012-2013: Martin Claridge, Phyllis Duignan, Sylvia Edgell, Evelyn George, Tony Hazeldine CBE, John Lloyd CB, Ann Rhodes, Keith Sullens CBE and Michael Wailes.

Open floor for Discussion After business was concluded the Chairman opened the floor for a general discussion on ‘matters of interest’. A number of representatives asked for greater clarification on the branch and group structure and the method of selecting company members. The new format of the AGM was commented on with members asking that the day might be extended a little to incorporate more opportunity for an open forum session. A few branch representatives reported on the challenges they face with recruiting new members and asked what progress, if any, had been made to resolve the issues faced by the lack of data we receive on those civil servants approaching retirement. All of the comments received during the ‘open floor’ session were noted by the Board of Directors and will, where relevant, be followed up. AUTUMN 2012



member activities Solving your computer & I.T. problems It’s great to hear that so many of you are getting the benefit of our IT/Technology advice helpline. Board Director Tony Hazeldine recently used the service and was extremely impressed with the result, “I would like to recommend our computer and IT advice service. I recently needed to send out an urgent letter but despite trying could not get my printer to work. I contacted our telephone line and spoke to Jamie (from BC Technologies) who was able to eventually

sort out the problem. The whole process took over 30 minutes and only cost me the price of a telephone call. It was a first class experience.” This service is run on our behalf by BC Technologies and is completely FREE (except for the cost of your phone call). To contact the CSRF Computer Advice line: Tel: 01369 706656 (please note: the telephone line operates from Mon-Fri 9am-5pm only) or email:

The Seniors’ Golf Tour Overall three tournaments took place on the Tour at Studley Wood and Llandrindod Wells with the final held at the Warwickshire golf course. Everybody who participated enjoyed the events and plans for the 2013 Tour are already underway. If you’d like to register your interest then please contact Fellowship Office with your details. TOP: All who attended the Studley Wood with tournament captains Prof. Mike Schofield (3rd from right front row) and Chairman John Barker (2nd from right back row); BOTTOM: (l to r) Bob Nicholls, Chairman John Barker and Prof. Mike Schofield

“I would like to recommend our computer and IT advice service... The whole process took over 30 minutes and only cost me the price of a telephone call. It was a first class experience.” Board Director Tony Hazeldine

NHS Direct Survey Congratulations to Miss Nanette Box from Sheringham, Mrs Garner from Clacton-on-Sea, Mr Collis from Bognor Regis, Mrs Foster from Launceston and Heather Owen from Swansea who each receive a £10 M&S voucher for filling out our NHS Direct survey in the last issue. The feedback we received has provided us with some useful insight into member views that will be taken into consideration as we consider the viability of a dedicated ‘health line’.

Photography Competition 76 entries to the photo competition were received, which made picking the winners very tough. But our judges, Deputy Chief Executive of the Civil Service Insurance Society Helen Harris, avanti Editor David Tickner and Competition Co-Ordinator Mik Webb eventually managed to select the three winners after much deliberation. All the prizes were sponsored by the Civil Service Insurance Society.

Winners Overall winner: Anthea Graham (NHSRF) ‘From Youthful Beauty to Maturity’ (Prize: Canon 600d SLR camera). CSRF Winner: Beryl Osborne MBE - ‘Isle of Wight’. (Prize: Canon SX220 digital camera). NHSRF Winner: Alan Foulkes - ‘Steam Days’. (Prize: Canon SX220 digital camera)



CSRF Winner Beryl Osborne MBE receiving her prize from Vice Chairman Russell Brown at Fellowship Office for the winning picture ‘Isle of Wight’ (also shown here)

With the official launch of the CSRF/NHSRF Book club last month, Talking Heads visited the Westcliff on Sea group and asked members to name their favourite book. Here’s a selection of the books they picked.

Iris Balson The Copper Beech by Maeve Binchy

Frances Cohen Water Babies by Charles Kingsley

Joyce M ans i T he Da Vinci Cod e by Dan Brown

Edna Smith Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Alan Blackburn David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Mary Emmerson Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier Evelyn Bush The Seven Dials Mystery by Agatha Christie

Brenda Green T he Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Enjoying BOOKS

We’ve had a great response from members to our new book club. Many are already well into reading the first book on the booklist which is Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies (the sequel to the Man Booker Prize winning Wolf Hall). Thanks to the generous support of the Civil Service Insurance Society we are able to provide this first book absolutely free to the first 100 members who register

Lillian Rackham Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome Joyce Hunter The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas

for the book club. Although please note this will be on a first come, first served basis. How to register Membership of the book club is FREE to any full member of the CSRF or NHSRF. To register: either email with your name, full postal address and telephone number, sign up online in the Members’ area or write in to: CSRF/NHSRF Book Club, The CSRF, Suite 2, 80A Blackheath Road, London SE10 8DA. AUTUMN 2012




Pensioners’ Parliament 2012, Blackpool

Maintaining an active presence within departments and in front of potential new supporters is an essential part of our ongoing communications strategy. A huge thank you to our team and volunteers whose hard work and commitment helped make these events run smoothly.

Ministry of Justice, London May 24

Over 150 staff members including Permanent Secretary Sir Suma Chakrabarti visited the stand during an awareness-raising event held at the department’s buildings on Petty France.

June 19-21

Delegates from Older Peoples’ forums across the country attended this annual event run by the National Pensioners’ Convention. During the three days we made a lot of new friends and were delighted to catch up with members too.

2 1 1: Alfred Ford, Chairman of the Penylan group; 2: Winifred Beckwith (left) and Ivy Sealey (right) from our Blackpool & Poulton group

2 1 Civil Service Live 2012, London July 3-5

We were the official charity partner for the second year running at the civil service’s only in house exhibition. Over 800 serving civil servants visited our stand during the three-day event, which once again provided a valuable opportunity to engage directly with the potential next generation of supporters and volunteers.



3 4

1: Delegates pictured with Fellowship Office’s Belinda Stalker (centre) and Kam Bedi (right); 2: These delegates from Scotland (pictured with Chairman John Barker, left of picture) were up at 2am to get down to the show! 3: (l to r) Fellowship Office’s Belinda Stalker with former CSRF Chair Katrina Williams, DirectorGeneral, Strategy, Evidence and Customers, DEFRA and Edward Hackett, DEFRA work experience trainee; 4: Belinda Stalker with new member Alan Lloyd (from the Ministry of Defence)

The 50+ Show, London July 12-14

Over 10,000 visitors visited the UK’s leading event for the over 50s this year (over 1000 of them paid a visit to the CSRF stand). Aside from reconnecting with many existing members (from our groups in Sutton, Eltham, Worcester Park, Catford & Lewisham and Ilford) we were also able to speak to many retired civil servants about how they can join up and support us.


1 3


1: Sutton group Chair Peter Hodson with his wife, Sheila; 2: Board Director Phyllis Duignan with visitors from South East London; 3: New member Helen McCaffrey with Belinda Stalker; 4: Stand volunteers Belinda Stalker, Kam Bedi with members from our Ilford group

Ministry of Defence, RAF Wyton July 31 We were pleased to be one of a number of organisations present at RAF Wyton’s Moving On event at the end of last month to offer helpful advice and information to staff leaving work. Volunteers Michael Peacock and new Board Director Martin Claridge ran our stand and met many MoD staff who were interested in volunteering. Volunteers Michael Peacock and Martin Claridge. AUTUMN 2012



Launching the Lifeboats Angela Saunders, Hon Secretary of the Lifeboat Fund highlights the 2012 Appeal Almost everyone has heard of The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) but not everyone has heard of The Lifeboat Fund. The Lifeboat Fund (full name: The Communications and Public Service Lifeboat Fund) was founded by civil servants in 1866 and is an official charity of the Civil Service, Royal Mail and British

A Yearly Cycle This is the first year that HMRC have been able to issue pay as you earn (PAYE) customers with timely end of year reconciliations of tax due and tax actually deducted by employers and pension providers. These annual reconciliations (form P800) form an important part of the PAYE operation. The (mainly) computerised process involves the taxpayer, the employer/pension provider and HMRC. If you pay your tax via the self-assessment process you should not receive an annual reconciliation calculation. There are many reasons why the collection of tax can go wrong. So what do you do?



Telecom. There is just one purpose behind our fundraising activities – to support the RNLI in its life-saving work. Since it began, The Fund has purchased 52 lifeboats for the RNLI; these boats have saved over 4,700 lives. Last year was the second busiest year for RNLI lifeguard incidents with over 70% of those involved in lifeguard actions being 2-9 year olds. It is this that is our priority for the year ahead – to support lifeguard training of one person at every RNLI lifeguarded beach in the UK and ensure they are beach kitted out in the latest safety lifejackets. To train one lifeguard costs £504 and the cost of an all weather jacket is £350. If you wish to make a donation to The Lifeboat Fund you can do so through the website or call 0131 244 8488

Check everything and question anything that doesn’t make sense, even if you are due a refund. Here are some handy hints: 1. D  o you agree with the total income figure? Check this against your end of year certificates from employers and pension providers (P60s), certificate 975’s for savings and investments and dividend tax vouchers. 2. H  ave you been allocated the correct personal allowance? Should you have the married couples allowance, if yes, has it been restricted to £3,648 (2011/12)? Is your income over £24,000? Yes? are you 65 or over? Yes?, then is your age related allowance restricted? Are you entitled to the blind persons allowance?

3. Look out for adjustments. These often relate to underpayments of tax from earlier years. Do you agree that you had an underpayment? If yes have you enquired why the underpayment occurred? Even if you agree with the figures and an underpayment is due, do not automatically accept that this should come from you. It might be an employer or HMRC error that needs investigating. This article is by Tax Help for Older People (registered charity no 1102276) who offer free tax advice to older people on incomes below £17,000 a year. To contact them call their helpline on 0845 601 3321 or 01308 488066




How to navigate the care system


GE UK in their report, Crisis in Care 2012 revealed that this year spending on older people’s social care in England has fallen by £500 million and the funding gap is growing. The Government would need to spend £1 billion more than this year to stop the situation getting any worse. Social care is any service ranging from help in the home for dressing to 24-hour support in a residential care home. These services are designed to help people to maintain a good quality of life, remain independent, stay active and protect them in vulnerable situations. The current system is unfair, confusing and unsustainable. Many of those who need help and support are being badly let down by a system at breaking point, while others find themselves having to sell their



homes in order to pay for the support they need. What makes the situation even worse is the woeful state of some of the residential care homes for older people. BBC’s Panorama has twice exposed failings in care homes in graphic detail. Their report into Winterbourne View (a private assessment and treatment centre in Bristol) led to the Care Quality Commission undertaking unannounced inspections of care facilities across the country to ensure better practice. Their more recent expose of Forest Healthcare’s Ash Court care home that showed the abuse of a 70 year old Alzheimer’s patient was just as shocking. The Commission on Funding of Care and Support (aka the Dilnot Commission) presented its findings to the Government

last year in a report called Fairer Care Funding. Subsequently it was asked to recommend a fair and sustainable funding system for adult social care in England the results of which were published last month. Amongst other things they include a recommendation that older and disabled people who use support services should contribute up to £50,000 towards their social care costs. With Care being such an important issue to both older people and families alike we will be running a series of features in the next few issues of avanti that look at all aspects of the Care system – the articles will be written by some leading experts from within the care field and offer useful advice and information on everything from knowing your rights to what care options there are available.

In this first article, Rebecca Law from the charity Independent Age offers guidance on the options available when it’s time to consider care. Although older people live independently in their own homes, it may become increasingly difficult to cope. At Independent Age, we take thousands of calls a year from older people and their families who are looking for guidance on the options open to them.

Always get a needs assessment

If you are having difficulty managing tasks at home, such as washing or dressing, contact social services and ask them for a free needs assessment. These are available to everyone, regardless of your financial circumstances, and will establish what your needs are. Sometimes an assessment by an Occupational Therapist from the Council can help you find sensible and safe ways of doing things for yourself, so it’s always good to ask. There are no time limits in law which set out how quickly you should be assessed. If you feel you need assistance urgently, make sure you let social services know.

Care at home

After an assessment, your needs will be graded to either critical, substantial, moderate or low. Increasingly, they are only providing services to those people who have substantial or critical care needs. Most councils charge for the provision of home care. How much you will pay depends on the local ‘Charging Policy’, a

Even if you are not eligible for care provided by the council there are benefits available that may help

financial assessment will be made of your ability to pay for your care. If you do not qualify, or if you do not want to receive services from the council, there are a range of other home care services that could help. Your local Age UK or Age Concern should be able to inform you about local services and the Care Quality Commission will be able to tell you about locally registered services. If you do qualify, social services can arrange different types of support to assist you to remain in your own home, they will discuss your options with you, always ask if you don’t understand anything at all. Even if you are not eligible for care provided by the council there are benefits available that may help. Attendance Allowance for example is available for people over 65 who require care and/or supervision. Disability Living Allowance is similar but is available to people under 65, it is always advisable to take specialist advice on these and speak to your local Age UK or CAB for a full benefits check.

Going into a care home

Social services may recommend that you move into a care home and they should provide you with information about suitable care homes in your area based on your needs. It is advisable to visit a number of care homes before making

a decision. Always find out from social services what they usually pay for the type of care you need in a care home. If you are paying your own care home fees in full, it is always advisable to take specialist financial advice to protect against running out of money to pay your fees. Or speak to one of our advisors to ensure you understand the range of possibilities available to you.

Meeting the cost of care home fees

Living in a care home can be expensive. Some people (those who have savings and capital worth over £23,250) will pay their own care home fees, but others will be eligible for financial support from their local council. They will ask you to complete and sign a financial assessment form to calculate your eligibility. When calculating these, the council does not have the right to make your spouse, civil partner or partner give details about his or her income or savings. Even if you will be paying your care home fees yourself, you can still receive support and assistance from the local council in finding a suitable home and arranging a placement if you cannot make the necessary arrangements yourself or have no-one to do it for you. Even if you do make the arrangements yourself, the council should still give you advice on the type of care you need and its availability. AUTUMN 2012



Relative Matters

Chris Moon-Willems owns Relative Matters, an organisation that specialises in supporting older people and their relatives who are unable to access social work or other support and want professional advice to find out what support is available and practical help to arrange it – she explains the various care options out there

More information on everything can be found on the Independent Age website: or in their free book, Wise Guide: Life-improving advice for the over 65s. Order your copy by calling 020 7605 4225.

Care home (residential): A residential care home provides the care and support your relative would receive at home from a carer. Help is available 24-hours a day and meals are provided.

Alternatively, you can call the Independent Age advice line on 0845 262 1863 to speak to one of their advisers for free and confidential advice and information on home care, care homes, going into hospital and other related issues. Lines are open Monday to Friday between 10am - 4pm.

Have you ever got lost trying to find your way out of a maze? Can you remember the sense of rising panic and loss of control? This is just how the care system can feel when we are suddenly faced with finding our way around it because an elderly loved one, or the person who looks after them, has an illness or accident. I have worked for Social Services and the NHS for over 30 years and have ‘hands on’ experience of caring for my elderly parents. So let me help you find your way around the care system and the various options that are available. Support at home Personal care packages ranging from one hour a week to live in care offering 24-hour support. Support with daily living tasks such as shopping, preparing food, attending appointments, gardening and home maintenance. Adaptations and equipment to maintain independence. Residential care There are three main types of residential care home:

Care Home (special needs): Specialist care homes, which used to be called EMI (Elderly Mentally Infirm) homes, are registered for people with dementia. Care homes (with nursing): Care homes with nursing, generally care for more dependent people who have more complex and/or changing care needs and require the sort of care that can only be provided under the supervision of a qualified nurse. Some care homes offer both residential and nursing care and are sometimes referred to as dual registered homes.

Find more information from Chris on her blog at

Member Offer Chris is offering CSRF members that chance to buy her new book ‘Relative Matters’ containing lots of useful advice and guidance on understanding the care system for just £12.99 (incl.p&p; RRP £18.99 delivery within 3-5 days). To order call 0845 319 4870 and leave your contact details and where you’d like the book sent to.


Further information


The Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) puts people in touch with accredited independent financial advice for older people. www.societyoflaterlifeadvisers. or contact their helpline on 01617 071107 It is also important that you or your relative gets all the welfare benefits they are entitled to. To check eligibility go to or contact their helpline on 0808 802 2000.

talk tous Have you recently gone into care? Or are you or your family considering this as an option? We’d like to hear about your personal experiences of the care system – how easy was it for you to find out information? Did you get the right advice? What were the best (and worst) elements of the process? Send your letters to the Editor at the Fellowship Office address or email:


TRANSHUMANISM Do We Want to Be More than Human? Gareth Southwell considers answers to the question




ccording to records, Shakespeare died with neat circularity on his 52nd birthday. Then, as now, 52 wasn’t thought a great age. Both his parents had made it past 70, his eldest daughter, Susanna, would live to 66, and his youngest, Judith, to a venerable 77. In terms of his gene pool, then, we might say he’d been slightly short-changed. And yet, in the context of life in 17th century England, he was lucky. Standards of science and medicine meant that infant mortality was common, and nowcurable diseases prevented a significant percentage from reaching adulthood (Judith’s twin, Hamnet, died at 11). War, plague, poor diet and sanitation, accounted for yet more. Together, these factors reduced average life expectancy to a starkly modest 35. The scientific revolution greatly improved this statistic – in most ‘first world’ countries, at least. The CIA’s World Factbook puts the current world average life expectancy at birth at around 71, just past the biblical promise of “threescore years and ten” (Psalm 90). The current UK average life expectancy is about 80. Yet people are not just living longer, but with better general health and quality of life. For the psalmist, to live beyond one’s allotted span was to be cursed with “labour and sorrow”, but today’s octogenarian may hope for a much more pleasant and fulfilling retirement. And why not? As science and technology advance, 80 may become the new 70, the new 60 or even 50. And the logic of scientific advance promises even more than that. In 1965, Gordon E. Moore, the founder of computer chip manufacturer Intel, estimated that computing power and capacity doubled every two years. This prediction proved accurate, and what has

Soon, not only will science solve global warming, overpopulation, food and energy shortage, but enable us to extend the very limits of what it means to be human. As disease becomes a thing of the past, so must death itself – for isn’t death merely a disease?

become known as Moore’s Law has since been employed more generally to technological and scientific advance. Plotting such changes over the past 50 years, Moore’s Law predicts that the speed of development is picking up – doubling over ever-shorter periods. At this rate, futuristic dreams of robot servants, affordable space travel and Star Trek teletransporters are closer than we think. Soon, not only will science solve global warming, overpopulation, food and energy shortage, but enable us to extend the very limits of what it means to be human. As disease becomes a thing of the past, so must death itself – for isn’t death merely a disease? This general vision for transcending human limits has acquired the name transhumanism. Dreams of immortality are almost as old as humanity itself, but transhumanism is the first movement to view this ambition in non-religious terms, as a technologically achievable goal. However, the suggested means of this achievement can differ widely. In 1995, Dr Timothy Leary – former Harvard psychologist turned 1960s LSD ‘guru’ – was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. With typically unconventional verve Leary tackled this unwelcome development head-on. At the very least, he argued, we should take control of our death, ‘manage’ it as we might a retirement party. His openmindedness also led him to consider certain more outlandish options. In his final book, Design for Dying, he identifies what he considers the most viable “technological alternatives to irreversible death”, providing us with a useful overview of some central strands of transhumanism. Firstly, cryonics. Medical science might not yet be unable to cure advanced prostate cancer, or other forms of terminal disease, but Moore’s Law predicts that it someday will. Cryogenic freezing therefore allows preservation of the individual until medicine catches up, and you can be defrosted and cured. This, Leary argues, is comparatively affordable for the middle

class, with whole body preservation starting at $75,000, or the budget option of $30,000 for brain preservation only. Then, there’s nanotechnology. Whilst this might seem like something out of science fiction, it’s becoming possible to build ‘molecular machines’ or ‘nanobots’, things so tiny that they may one day be used to repair damage to individual cells. This means that, in time, what we think of as death might even be reversible. Thirdly, there’s human-machine interface. Already, amputated limbs are routinely replaced with artificial or ‘robotic’ parts. Pacemakers are commonplace, and Parkinson’s disease can now be treated by a tiny chip inserted into the brain, providing a signal that blocks the characteristic tremor experienced by sufferers. And why stop there? As technology develops, it’s easy to envisage ways in which these techniques might not only repair but improve human capacities. Might we not one day become ‘cyborg’ entities, brains encased in imperishable robot bodies, each of our failing organic parts replaced in turn by superior artificial ones? Finally, the most distant possibility involves the ‘uploading’ of our consciousness to a computer. Since, arguably, our personal identity consists in information – the ‘data’ of memories and experiences, the pattern of characteristic brain waves – then why couldn’t this information be stored digitally? Futurist author Ray Kurzweil predicts that, if Moore’s Law is correct, ‘mind uploading’ will be with us by 2030. This would indeed seem to guarantee us a form of immortality – as long as someone remembers to make a backup… Of course, immortality is merely one goal for transhumanists. Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom has argued AUTUMN 2012


Feature Perhaps human evolution, in the truest sense, doesn’t lie in nanobots or superintelligence, but in our attitude to our limits that a combination of genetic engineering and human-computer interface will allow us to develop ‘superintelligence’, evolving qualities and abilities that give birth to a new breed of ‘posthuman’. We might choose such superhuman abilities as if from a menu. Genetic enhancement, computer augmentation, mind uploading, even perhaps to exist as part of a digital ‘hive mind’ with other uploaded individuals, working together as a single entity. Like consumer choice, the possibilities are endless. Or are they? Before we get carried away, we should consider some objections. Firstly, the reliance on Moore’s Law may be questioned. If we were to predict adult height based on speed of growth as a child, we’d be wrong. Might technological growth level off in a similar way? Scientifically, we might find that some things are simply beyond our comprehension. One such mystery might be consciousness. Science and philosophy still struggle to understand what the mind is and how it fits into our picture of the world. It may turn out that there is something essential to consciousness that cannot be uploaded to a computer or generated artificially. This sort of talk infuriates most transhumanists (and some scientists and philosophers), but it remains a possibility. Biological immortality faces the problem of the Hayflick limit. If you damage your skin, healthy skin cells divide to produce new ones. However, as biologist Leonard Hayflick discovered, this process has a limit. This is why we age, and ultimately die: our cells can no longer divide. This limit is set by our genes, so no matter what scientific and social advances increase our life expectancy, there would always seem to be a maximum biological limit – a maximum lifespan. But what if we could, through genetic engineering, remove this limit? This would make our cells, ourselves, immortal. But if everyone lived forever, the planet would get very crowded, not to mention the strain on resources. Biologically, however, the



consequences might be disastrous. Cancer involves just such immortal cells – could we ensure only healthy cells were immortal? Tampering with the genetics of cell death might unwittingly unleash some unthought-of biological nightmare. A similar problem exists with nanotechnology. To provide enough ‘nanobots’ to regulate and repair the human body, we would have to allow them to reproduce themselves. But what if this went wrong? Like an immortal cell, nanobots could go on and on replicating themselves, creating an all-consuming cancer-like ‘grey goo’ that would devastate life on earth. Not a pretty thought. And their use for criminal and terrorist purposes doesn’t even bear thinking about. Philosophically, there’s also the problem of personal identity. Whilst some transhumanists embrace these new possibilities, most would feel uncomfortable with there being another ‘copy’ of us (which mind uploading makes possible), or being part of a collective ‘hive mind’. Or, as each part of you is replaced by fresh-grown or artificial limbs and organs even perhaps your brain - might you be left to wonder what remains of the original ‘you’? However, aside from technical, ethical and philosophical difficulties, there’s a more fundamental objection to transhumanism. Whilst the vital role of technology and science in furthering health and welfare is undeniable, philosophers have traditionally suggested that there is wisdom and dignity in

accepting human limits, death included. Advanced technology and scientific progress have not made humanity more compassionate or moral – in fact, the opposite is the case, making wars and genocides even easier to conduct. The same would be true of transhumanism. What horrors could a cyborg Stalin wreak, or a neo-Nazi hive-mind? The fact that we are not immortal or all-powerful restrains our less noble instincts. Perhaps human evolution, in the truest sense, doesn’t lie in nanobots or superintelligence, but in our attitude to our limits. It is, rather, in overcoming traditional human limitations – selfishness, aggression, greed – that we truly evolve. Maybe that’s the real transhumanism.


bringing the past


Rather than just read about history, do you want to recreate it? In the UK there are dozens of re-enactment societies - for individuals, couples and families - that will give you the opportunity to dress up and live the life of a Roman or Viking, or fight in battle like a soldier at Waterloo or D-Day. David Porteous speaks to some re-enactors about their fascinating and unusual pastime.


im Siddorn spends many of his weekends adopting the persona of a man who lived a thousand years ago. When playing the part of his alter ego, his clothes are adorned with gold and silver jewellery and he is armed with a sword, as befits his rank as an Anglo-Saxon eolder [correct spelling]. He and thousands like him are re-enactors, history enthusiasts who recreate the past by showing how our ancestors used to live. Kim, a retired mechanical engineer from Bristol, is a member of Regia Anglorum, a historical re-enactment society that recreates life in England around the turn of the first millennium. As well as appearing at shows around the country, the group holds open days at a permanent site in Kent, where its members have built a fortified Anglo-Saxon manor house (known as a long hall), the largest building of its type in Europe. It even has its own



fleet, having reconstructed no less than seven full-scale replica Viking ships. Regia Anglorum has shed the old ‘hack and bash’ image associated with some historical re-enactment societies. There is more to history than battles and so it also depicts aspects of everyday life in pre-Norman Conquest England that are just as illuminating to historians, providing craft demonstrations and other activities that women and children can take part in and which broaden the appeal of the entertainment it can lay on for the public. “We are a very family-friendly society and have 750 members of all ages,” says Kim, a veteran re-enactor of 30 years’ standing. “We live all over the country and come from all walks of life. We have at least two vicars, a priest, a bank manager, ex-services personnel and for some reason a large number of people who work in IT. One thing we all have in common is a genuine interest in this period of history.” While re-enactors are all amateurs, their societies are in effect run like small businesses, generating revenue to pay for their hobby through performances at fetes, carnivals, museums and historical shows, and by appearances in documentaries and movies. Regia Anglorum, for example, has 112 TV and film credits to its name. Members of another group, Britannia,

Interested in becoming a re-enactor? Here are a few tips... • First, decide what historical period most interests you and research what groups you could join (see the information panel for some useful recommendations) • Visit events and talk to re-enactors about their hobby • If you want to involve your family, find out if the group you are interested in runs activities suitable for all ages and abilities CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The Wyoming Wild Bunch at the American Museum; Melee’ of a Pike Encounter; Regia at Jorvik Viking Festival & Feasting (Regia Anglorum,; Lady of the Manor; Ruperts Regiment parade at Newstead Abbey.

played Roman soldiers and Germanic warriors in the memorable opening battle scene of the film Gladiator starring Russell Crowe. The growing popularity of the hobby, particularly for World War II re-enactments, has also given rise to a huge industry supplying original and reproduction equipment from uniforms to weapons (including tanks). Many people will have heard of the Sealed Knot, the oldest re-enactment society in the UK and the biggest in Europe. Throughout the year, it stages events based around battles, skirmishes and sieges of the English Civil War. It says its aim is not to glorify war but to educate the public about the life and times of people in that period – and it seems its members have a lot of fun doing so, making lifelong friends and even finding romance. Alison Warren, a teacher from Corsham, Wiltshire, joined the society in the 1970s when she was at university. During

one battle, she met her future husband, Gareth. Today they serve side by side in Charles Gerard’s Regiment of Foote, she as a musketeer – she has her own authentic matchlock musket, a licensed firearm she also uses to go clay pigeon shooting – and he as a captain of artillery. “It’s a great hobby to be involved in if you’re interested in history and like me you’re a bit of a ham actor,” says Alison. “I’ve learned so much about 17th century England, the politics, the way people lived, all kinds of things. “The Sealed Knot is very big, far larger than many other re-enactment societies, but within our own regiment we all know each other and there is a really good family atmosphere. I’ve been to everybody’s weddings and I have very few friends now who are not in the society.” “I always say to people who are interested in joining to come along for a weekend and just see if it’s for you. The regiment will take you to its heart

• Ask yourself if you and your family are prepared to live without modern comforts during re-enactments • Most groups provide insurance for their members but check what cover is available • As well as membership fees, think about the cost of buying period costume and equipment • Lastly, give it a go – most re-enactment groups offer taster sessions or open weekends to attract new members AUTUMN 2012



CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Kings Guard attack with Point of Pike; A Volley of Musket Fire; William to London, Regia Viking ship, Archery (Regia Anglorum,

and look after you, any feelings of selfconsciousness about dressing up disappear very rapidly, the parties are great and you might even find the love of your life!” The Wyoming Wild Bunch is a group of like-minded enthusiasts who share their interest – or rather, as they freely admit, obsession – with the Old American West. Its members have conducted detailed research to make sure their clothing, equipment and the way they live during re-enactments are all as authentic as possible. Modern trappings like wristwatches are strictly forbidden. Their displays include horse riding, punch-ups and gunfights; native American Indians are represented, too. They also have a chuck wagon, just like the ones that formed part of wagon trains on the American prairies, which two of their number painstakingly built by hand over the course of two years. They even eat what cowboys used to eat, some of the most popular recipes being sourdough pancakes and corn fritters. Not surprisingly the Wyoming Wild Bunch has won several awards for the realism of their events. Founded in 1990, the society is run by Chris Large and Pam Gray, a retired couple from Bridgwater in Somerset. “I knew Chris was a Wild West enthusiast when we



got together,” recalls Pam, “but when I first saw him put on his cowboy gear, I thought you must be joking! After a while I decided to join in and it all went from there.” “That’s what so great – it’s not a case of the boys going off to play cowboys by themselves. We all go away together as a family and children and grandchildren come along as well. I suppose there’s an element of escapism but it’s mainly a hobby we all really enjoy. We love talking to the public about the cowboy way of life. Our shows are like a live history lesson and when you see the children’s faces, you can tell they’re fascinated.” According to the National Association of Re-enactment Societies (NAReS), more than 20,000 people in the UK regularly take part in historical re-enactments. It counts more than 30 groups among its members and provides codes of practice and guidance on a range of issues such as the safe use of replica firearms and pyrotechnics. “Our members are interpreters of the past,” adds Kim Siddorn, who serves on the executive committee of NAReS. “The ability of re-enactors to bring history to life is very important because they present an image of the past that modern audiences can understand.”

Find out more about the re-enactment societies mentioned here (some do not advertise telephone contact numbers) Regia Anglorum Britannia The Sealed Knot Charles Gerard’s Regiment of Foote Tel: 01902 762014 The Wyoming Wild Bunch Tel: 01278 426404 The National Association of Re-enactment Societies Find out more about societies that recreate other periods of history here


creating the



Intrepid explorer and botanist Tom Hart Dyke has a passionate love for plants; so much so it saw him kidnapped in South America for 9 months while on a quest for orchids. While he was in captivity, he had a plan in his mind to create a garden at his ancestral home and on his return he put these plans in place to create the famous World Garden, which contains a magnificent array of plants from across the globe. Martin Sayers chats to Tom about how he created the garden and some of the plants contained in it.


o say that Tom Hart Dyke’s story is an extraordinary one is an understatement. Over the past eight years he has built the World Garden, an extraordinary botanical feast for the senses at Lullingstone Castle in Kent. Yet the inspiration for this incredible achievement came from the point of a gun, as Tom remembers, “Back in 2000 a friend and I were trekking through a very remote place on the Panamanian/Colombian border that is one of the most botanically rich areas on the planet. It was also extremely dangerous and whilst trekking one day we were captured by guerrillas and held captive for the next nine months. At one point we were told we had just five hours left to live. Obviously I was terrified, but I was also suddenly overcome with a desire to make those last hours

MAIN PIC: Sunflower ‘Helianthus’ (one of many on show for the Sunflower Weekend); RIGHT: Tom Hart Dyke in the hot & spikey cactus house; The Miniature World Alpine Garden

matter – to do something life affirming and worthwhile. I took out my diary and started to feverishly scribble down notes about a garden that I would plant at Lullingstone – a garden that would include plants and flowers from across the world, all laid out in their continent of origin to show the huge breadth of botanical biodiversity that exists on this planet. It literally was something I had not thought about until that point – somehow that terrible moment served as the inspiration for what would become my life’s work.” In December 2000, Tom and Paul were released into the jungle and eventually found their way back to civilisation. When he got back to the UK he was determined to put his plan for what

The World Garden in facts And figures Number of plants contained in each continent section:

Asia: 1300 Europe: 1200 N. America: 1200 Australasia: 800 Africa: 700 S. America: 700 Number of annual visitors to the World Garden

10,000 Rarest plant:

The Queen of the Andes (South American section) Collected by Tom during a trip to Peru in 2010, it is believed that the World Garden specimen is the only example in the UK.

Biggest plant:

Spinning Gum (National Collection of Eucalypts) This big and beautiful Eucalyptus tree has silver leaves that spin around the stems.

Smallest plant:

Mossy Scabweed (Australasian section) This tiny moss-like plant is actually, despite its appearance, a close relative of the carnation.

Oldest variety of plant:

Wollemi Pine (Australasian section) Also known as the Dinosaur Tree, this ancient variety is millions of years old but living specimens were only first discovered in 1994 in Australia’s Blue Mountains. AUTUMN 2012


Leisure he had now dubbed the World Garden into action – seeing it as a chance to both fulfil his dreams and to save Lullingstone Castle, the ancestral Hart Dyke family seat that was in desperate need of funds. He believed that the World Garden would be able to reverse a decline in visitor numbers through providing a unique and exciting point of interest. “It took a while to obtain planning permission and secure finance but in October 2004 we started to clear what was then the castle’s herb garden and by March 2005 we welcomed our first paying visitors,” he remembers. “Since then the Garden has gone from strength to strength. We now have around 6,000 different plant species from across the world, which are all laid out in large flowerbeds – each one in the shape of the continent the plants and flowers originate from, so visitors are effectively touring a botanical map of the world! You have everything here, from extraordinarily exotic species such as the rare and beautiful Eucalyptus Silver Princess, to toxic varieties like the Queensland Stinger – the world’s most dangerous plant – and wonderful native species such as the Common Spotted Orchid, which I have to say is one of my favourites at present!” His passion for plants proved to be the saviour of the castle, which saw visitors leap from just a few hundred a year to thousands. The rise in visitors has enabled restoration work to take place throughout the site and for the World Garden to quite literally keep on growing. Recent additions include the ‘Hot and Spiky House’ for cacti and the ‘Cloud Garden’ greenhouse that is home to plants from temperate climates. The World Garden is also home to the National

Collection of Eucalypts, which was the product of an expedition Tom took to Tasmania, where he collected seeds from trees he felt would suit the UK climate; the collection has thrived and includes some particularly rare specimens. His next big ambition for the garden is to have a tropical orchid house filled with magnificent orchid species that simply would not survive outside. He is certainly confident that the World Garden will continue to prosper, “The World Garden really brings people together – so far it has been entirely planted and tended by volunteers and I think visitors respond very positively to what we are doing here. It has been an extraordinary experience and one that I feel very privileged to be part of - whilst I wouldn’t recommend being kidnapped to anyone, it certainly had a dramatic effect on my life!” The Baobab sculpture, Africa (World Garden)

About Lullingstone Castle Set within 120 acres of beautiful countryside near Swanley in Kent, Lullingstone Castle has been the ancestral seat of the Hart Dyke family for twenty generations. Dating back to the time of the Domesday Book, it is one of England’s oldest family estates and both Henry VIII and Queen Anne were regular visitors. As well as the famous World Garden, Lullingstone offers a range of attractions, including Queen Anne’s Bathhouse and an 18th Century ice house. The castle, grounds and World Garden are open to the public from the April 1st to September 30th on Fridays (except Good Friday), weekends and bank holidays. Guided tours of both the castle and garden are available.

Opening Hours World Garden Open Fridays (except Good Friday), Saturdays, Sundays & Bank Holiday Mondays: 12 noon - 5pm House Open Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm, for a guided tour (included in the ticket price) Entry prices - Adult £7.00, child £4.00, senior citizen £6.50 – for more information call 01322 862114 or visit

Member Offer The Hart Dyke family are very kindly offering all CSRF members a special 2 for 1 offer to visit Lullingstone Castle and the World Garden. The 2 for 1 would apply to 2 members with one coupon. To take advantage of this offer you will need to cut out this coupon and present it on arrival. There are no restrictions - it is valid for special events and on bank holiday weekends too until the end of the season on 30th September 2012.






If you are planning a Caribbean cruise, or perhaps have on your wish list a particular destination there that you’d love to go to, there’s no better way to evoke a sense of place than by seeing it through the eyes of great writers. Get ready to travel, with our Caribbean reading list! Words by Mela Ragusa




ver since Treasure Island the West Indies have haunted our imaginations. Writers have been inspired by the archipelago’s natural beauty, its dangerously unpredictable climate and the tumultuous human dramas that have unfolded there. From the 17th century Journals of Thomas Gage to Noel Coward’s witty asides over aperitifs with the Queen Mother at his Jamaican hideout… travellers and writers have been drawn like magnets to the West Indies. Some of the most powerful writing comes from those born and/or bred in the archipelago, masterpieces like Jean Rhys’s The Wide Sargasso Sea and VS Naipaul’s A House for Mr Biswas, Derek Walcott’s Omeros and the writings of new literary stars like Earl Lovelace, Kwame Dawes, Lakshmi Persaud and many more.


Literary snippets Thomas Gage was an The view From Noel Cowards early travel writer, an English House Firefly, overlooking Port Maria, Jamaica Dominican priest he travelled the Caribbean islands and catalogued tales of blood French Revolution, which and warfare in his created modern-day Haiti. Journals. The events are seen through

Octopussy are largely or partly set in Jamaica. One of a new generation of powerful contemporary Jamaican writers, try Kwame Dawes’ collection of short stories, A Place to Hide (2003), about the contradictions between the island’s huge creativity and the violence that afflicts its inner city communities.


Richard Hughes’ A High Wind in Jamaica (1929) is about an English family that ‘stays on’ after emancipation near St Ann’s, living The writer Ernest Hemingway loved Cuba; in one of the dilapidated mock gothic it formed the backdrop for much of his mansions that accompanied the great writing, in particular The Old Man and the sugar plantations. After a hurricane (Emily, Sea. Such was his bond with the island that the heroine of ‘High Wind’ watches as a Hemingway donated his Nobel Prize for ‘sea as immovable as basalt and yet clear Literature to the Cuban People. There is a as the finest gin’ becomes a tidal wave) museum, the Museo Hemingway, devoted the family decide to send the children to to him, and the hotel Ambos Mondos, boarding school in England, on a banana his favourite place to stay in Havana, has boat. The children are kidnapped by preserved his room as it was! pirates, with ensuing events as And let’s not forget Graham Literary savage and haunting as those Greene’s iconic comic novel snippets in Lord of the Flies. Our Man in Havana. Noel Coward had two A comedy satirizing ‘My dear wife is taking houses, ‘Blue Harbour’ the British Secret a trip to the West Indies.’ and ‘Firefly’ east of ‘Jamaica?’ ‘No, she went of her Service, it centres on Ochos Rios in Port own free will.’ (P G Wodehouse, a hard-up vacuum Maria, Jamaica, where cleaner salesman who Uncle Dynamite). This is he entertained film fabricates information apparently the origin of stars and royalty and to make a living as a spy this well-worn wrote his plays. He writes and uniquely captures the joke. of hosting the Queen Mother atmosphere of Batista’s Cuba there in 1965: ‘We sat on the in the 1950s. veranda before lunch and introduced the Queen Mother to Bullshots. She had two and was delighted.’ It was also on Jamaica that Ian Fleming Isabel Allende, the famed Chilean writer, wrote more than a dozen novels and short has also strayed into Caribbean waters, stories featuring Agent 007. His novels and with her eighth novel Island Beneath the their films Dr No, Live and Let Die, The Man Sea (2010). It is about the slaves’ revolt with the Golden Gun and the short story of Toussaint Louverture, inspired by the


the eyes of a slave girl, Zarité, daughter of an African mother she never knew and one of the white sailors who brought her into bondage.


Born in Roseau, Dominica in 1890 Jean Rhys moved to England when she was 14 and was mocked for her accent by other pupils at the Perse School, Cambridge. Her most famous novel The Wide Sargasso Sea (1966) re-imagines Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre with a Creole theme: a white Creole heiress marries Mr Rochester, unhappily trapped in an oppressive society belonging neither to the white Europeans nor the black Jamaicans.


Two Years in the French West Indies (1890) is a classic portrayal of Frenchruled Martinique by Lafcadio Hearn, the American aesthete and traveller: he portrays the island as an exotic fusion of European, African and Asian influences with slavery a recent memory. The seventeenth century capital of Martinique was destroyed by a volcanic eruption early last century. The writer James Pope Hennessey was following in the footsteps of his grandfather (who had been sacked as governor of Trinidad for being too liberal) when he came and surveyed the ruins of Martinique and wrote The Baths of Absalom (1954), an extended footnote to James Anthony Froude’s English in the West Indies (1887). AUTUMN 2012





Anthony Kellman was born in St Michael, Barbados, in 1955. He is a musician, novelist and poet. His novel The Houses of Alphonso (1994) is about the return of a restless, unsettled man from the USA to reclaim his family inheritance and make sense of his childhood and youth in Barbados.

The combination of romance, ease of communication and all the high tech conveniences you find at home makes the Caribbean a very attractive proposition…

Trinidad and Tobago

Both the Naipaul brothers have drawn on their Trinidadian Literary upbringing, (VS was born snippets in Chaguanas, Shiva Anthony Trollope, while in Port of Spain) in carrying out his day job as a their writings. Sir VS civil servant for Her Majesty’s Naipaul’s A House for Government and setting up a Mr Biswas (1961) is the postal service in the region, he engrossing tragi-comic saga of Mohun Biswas wrote the travelogue The - an Indo-Trinidadian West Indies and The against whom life’s cards Spanish Main seem permanently to be stacked - as he struggles to build a life for his family. The Chip-Chip Gatherers (1973) is a comic novel by VS Naipaul’s younger brother, Shiva Naipaul. Set in a Trinidadian From Top: Grenadian woman; Bridgetown, Barbados village, it won the Whitbread Award for its portrayal of the colourful lives of its Hindu and Muslim Indo-Caribbean protagonists. from her family’s country wisdom and A Hindu girl educated in a catholic convent from her access to colonial education, in Port of Spain, Lakshmi Persaud cites Cider and becomes involved in the events that with Rosie as one of her formative literary culminate in the American invasion of 1983. experiences. Try her novel Sastra (1993) Jacob Ross tells the story of the about a young woman growing up in a Hindurevolution through the eyes of a young Trinidadian family torn between following man, in a more fantastical way in Pynter her own desires or following the traditional Bender (2008). path of obedience to her family’s wishes. Earl Lovelace won the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1997 for his novel Salt. Seen as today’s ‘master storyteller of the West Cyril Dabydeen grew up in the Canje in Indies’ Lovelace was born in Toco, Trinidad Guyana. His novel Dark Swirl (1988) is also and he has spent most of his life on Tobago. set there: a ‘Gerald Durrell’ type explorer His most recent novel is called Is Just a arrives in a remote Guyanese village; in Movie (2010) and is about the desire of pursuit of the mythical Massacouraman… the unlooked upon to be recognised as it’s a poetic fable that sees events through people of worth. both European and village eyes. David Dabydeen’s The Intended (1991) is a novel about a boy growing up in a Guyanese village before going to England, where he is abandoned into social care but Poet and novelist Merle Collins went works his way to a scholarship to Oxford. to school at St Georges Grenada and Born in Berbice, Dabydeen studied English was deeply involved in the Grenadian at Selwyn College, Cambridge and is Revolution. Her novel Angel (2010) is currently Guyana’s ambassador to China. about a young woman who learns both





With temperatures typically between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit the Caribbean is a delightful place to visit all year round. High season is between December and April – expect more crowds and expense. Take advantage of lower prices in the other months. August and September are the most likely months for hurricanes – although many tourists are happy to take that risk! http://gocaribbean. is a useful website which provides a month-by-month insight into the weather and what’s on in the archipelago. A cruise can be the perfect way to sample the different flavours of the Caribbean. They traditionally divide into two routes, Western and Eastern (west and east of Puerto Rico). The Western route takes in a greater variety of cultural attractions, landscapes and seascapes. The Eastern route visits smaller more secluded islands and is ideal for those wanting beautiful beaches, peace and relaxation. If you prefer to stay in one place with lots to explore, Cuba is a highly popular destination. At the ‘crossroads of the Caribbean’ it has a remarkable rich and vibrant culture as well as tropical beaches. Medical requirements are simple: Hepatitis A is generally needed, with typhoid in some destinations. Consult your medical adviser for individual destinations. A visa is required. It costs a few pounds and can be organised by your travel provider.


leisure life

books New releases reviewed by Janet Tester

Our regular round up of books and entertainment

The Innocent By David Baldacci (Macmillan) ISBN 978 0 230 74925 2

Terribly English By Rupert Besley (Souvenir Press Ltd) ISBN 9780285640924 There couldn’t be a more suitable time to publish this cultural guide for curious natives and baffled visitors than in this year of the Jubilee and the Olympics. An enormous amount of information has been skilfully packaged into a compact and humorous book covering subjects such as English history, the famous English Sense of Humour, a complete guide to regional dining delicacies, and even a pronunciation guide for local slang. The curiosities and quirks of ‘Englishness’ are examined in fine detail. The illustrations are marvellous and there are also some revision pages at the end of the book to check that the reader has been paying attention! Rupert Besley is one of Britain’s leading cartoonists having appeared everywhere from The Oldie and Private Eye to Country Life.

Former Washington Attorney, David Baldacci, enjoys a rare relationship with the FBI, which allows him to research his thrillers so convincingly. The pace of this book never falters and the reader is carried along with a story encompassing violence, murder, danger, compassion, duty and honour. The unexpected hero is an assassin with a mission. His latest task is to eliminate a US government employee and when this goes badly wrong, he becomes a wanted man. Also on the run is young Julie, smart but wild, who has seen her parents murdered before her eyes. Very clever writing puts the reader firmly on side with this unlikely pair. Will it all come right in the end? It’s difficult to see how it will work out which makes this book impossible to put down. David Baldacci’s family foundation, the Wish You Well Foundation is a non-profit organisation working to eliminate illiteracy across America.

A Street Cat Named Bob By James Bowen (Hodder & Stoughton) ISBN 978 1 444 73709 7 James found Bob five years ago, curled up in a doorway and injured. It was an unlikely partnership between a recovering drug addict trying to make a living as a street musician and a ginger tom with bags of character and a will to survive. Today James sells the Big Issue or busks in Covent



Politically Correct Bedtime Stories By James Finn Garner (Souvenir Press Ltd) ISBN 978 0 285 64041 2 This expanded edition includes a new story, The Duckling that was judged on its personal merits and not its physical appearance. Political correctness has been around quite a long time now and we have all got more used to it – it seems to be something that we laugh about but can’t fully eradicate from our lives. This book will enable you to enjoy tales from your childhood while seeing them in a whole new light. Read about Snow White’s relationship with seven vertically challenged men, marvel at Little Red Riding Hood, her grandma and the cross-dressing wolf as they set up a household based on mutual respect and cooperation, and believe in the Emperor who was not naked but merely endorsing a clothing-optional lifestyle! It’s always good to laugh – this little gem will keep you smiling every time you open it.

Garden and Bob is his constant companion, often curled on James’s shoulder. This charming story is very compelling, showing how friendship can heal scars of a troubled past. The chance meeting of man and cat has resulted in an amazing relationship and the story of their adventures makes great reading. Bob has appeared with James on national television and his exploits can be followed on Twitter@streetcatbob.

A Shed of One’s Own By Marcus Berkmann (Little Brown) ISBN 978 1 4087 0323 6 For any man over the age of thirtyfive this book could be considered as essential reading. Middle age has a nasty habit of creeping up and Marcus Berkmann has compiled this witty collection of chapters about many of the pitfalls and perils of growing older. Younger people may choose to disregard these salutary warnings, older people, sadly, can already identify with most of the subjects covered in this humorous study of the ageing process. Subtitled Midlife Without the Crisis it can be read either as a helpful guide to avoiding the worst excesses of approaching middle age or as a comforting confirmation of the fact that everyone else also suffers the outrages of getting older. Marcus Berkmann is the author of several books, including the classic Rain Men.


We have five copies of Marcus Berkmann’s A Shed of One’s Own to giveaway. To enter please send your name, address and telephone number to: Book Giveaway, The CSRF, Suite 2, 80A Blackheath Road, London SE10 8DA. Competition closes: September 30 2012.

Midnight in Peking: The Murder that Haunted the Last Days of Old China Snow: The Double Life of a World War II Spy By Nigel West and Madoc Roberts (Biteback) ISBN 978 1 84954 093 3 Nigel West is a historian specialising in security and intelligence matters and has teamed up with Madoc Roberts, an experienced television producer and director. Based on recently declassified files and meticulous research, Snow reveals for the first time the truth about an extraordinary man. Arthur Owens, codename Snow, was an enigmatic character, central to the espionage game played between spymasters Tar Robertson of MI5 and Nikolaus Ritter of the German secret service. Outwardly nervous and highly-strung, Owens was nevertheless able to operate with cool skill where the slightest mistake would have led to his execution for treason by either side. The keystone of MI5’s doublecross system, Snow became one of Britain’s most successful spies and provided a wealth of information about the enemy. As Germany prepared for invasion in 1940, agent Snow lured dozens of spies into MI5’s clutches. This very well written book brings to life the amazing story of a man who was at times duplicitous, philandering and vain, brave, reckless and calculating and perhaps patriotic or maybe not – he will certainly remain, for the most part, a man of mystery.

By Paul French (Viking) ISBN 978 0 670 92107 2 British historian Paul French is a widely published analyst and commentator on China and has lived there for ten years. Buried deep in the Foreign Office archives, he unearthed the case file prepared by former British Consul, Edward Werner, about the horrific murder in 1937 of his teenage daughter Pamela. In the dying days of colonial Peking Pamela’s badly mutilated body was discovered under a haunted watchtower. Various suspects including a blood-soaked rickshaw puller, the Triads and a lascivious headmaster were investigated but the case became forgotten amid the carnage of the Japanese invasion by all except Pamela’s distraught father. Paul French has finally unveiled the truth behind this ghastly murder, revealing an undercover sex cult, heroin addicts and disappearing brothels. It is sad that Pamela’s father did not live to see the results of Paul French’s research which has been presented so compellingly in this best seller.

E-BOOKS ed here are

All of the books review your Kindle available to download to thor or via Amazon. Key in the au n select the title of the book and the ering Kindle option before ord AUTUMN 2012


culture Exhibitions around the UK

The Scottish Colourists: Inspiration and Influence City Art Centre, Edinburgh Until 14 October

Skyfall Sony Pictures, Released on October 26 The latest Bond movie hits the screens with a new adventure for 007 directed by Sam Mendes. Daniel Craig steps into the role once again and finds his loyalties to M (Judi Dench) tested to the limit when her past catches up with her. Expect plenty of action and drama with a cast including Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem, Helen McCrory and Albert Finney. Q returns aswell in the form of actor Ben Whishaw.

This exhibition, drawn mainly from the City of Edinburgh’s art collection, sets out to place the work of the Colourist artists in a wider Scottish context. It looks at those artists from previous generations who acted as an inspiration for their work, and who gave them the confidence to express their ideas. These traditions were merged with contemporary French painting, for all four artists spent prolonged periods there. The success of The Colourists acted as a powerful stimulus for succeeding generations, and the exhibition contains work by some of the artists they, in turn, inspired. Paintings by McTaggart, Roche, and Melville are included, alongside Redpath, Gillies, Houston and many more. Admission is free – for more information call 0131 529 3993 or visit

Anna Karenina Universal Pictures, Released on September 7 Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel returns to the screen in a brand new star-studded film adaptation of the ill-fated love affair between Anna Karenina and Count Vronsky. The film, directed by Joe Wright (Atonement) sees Keira Knightly as Anna and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Vronsky, backed up by a stellar cast including Jude Law, Emily Watson, Kelly Macdonald, Olivia Williams and Matthew Macfadyen.

The Sun, 1910–13, Edvard Munch, Oil on canvas, © Munch Museum/ MunchEllingsend Group /DACS 2012

Hope Springs Momentum Pictures, Released on September 14 Stars: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carrell After thirty years of marriage, a middle-aged couple attend an intense, weeklong counselling session to work on their relationship with unexpected results.

Ruby Sparks Twentieth Century Fox, Released on October 12 Stars: Antonio Banderas, Steve Coogan, Annette Bening A novelist who is struggling with writer’s block finds a very alternative route to romance; by creating a female character who he thinks will love him and then willing her into existence!



Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye Tate Modern Until 14 October Munch’s painting The Scream has attained a prominent role in popular culture, yet much remains to be understood about the complex Norwegian artist. Munch has traditionally been portrayed as a 19thcentury artist, symbolist or pre-expressionist, but this groundbreaking exhibition at the Tate Modern seeks to highlight his 20th-century influences. Using a selection of Munch’s paintings, photographs and films, the exhibition will demonstrate how the artist was fully engaged in contemporary events and inspired by the changing world around him. Tickets are priced at £14 (£12.20 concs), for more information call 020 7887 8888 or visit

Quentin Blake: Larger than life Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne Until 14 October

King Lear Almeida Theatre, London Until 3 November Jonathan Pryce takes the lead role in Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy in a production directed by Michael Attenborough. It forms part of the World Shakespeare Festival that has been running in venues around the UK since April this year. Tickets are priced from £8-£32. For more information call the box office on 020 7359 4404 or visit

Undercover – Life in Churchill’s Bunker Churchill War Rooms, London Until 2013 Visitors can hear the first-hand personal accounts of those who worked in the Cabinet War Rooms during the war. Learn what life and conditions were like underground and experience the authenticity and emotional resonance of walking through the corridors where Churchill made history. Tickets are priced £16.50 adults (£13.20 concs); special rates are available for groups of ten and over. For more information call 020 7930 or visit

Quentin Blake is one of Britain’s best-loved and most successful illustrators, having won countless awards and appointed Britain’s first Children’s Laureate. Young and old alike know him, his name having been synonymous with his illustrations for Roald Dahl’s books. Recently Quentin Blake has been commissioned by hospitals and health centres in the UK and abroad to produce works, which have a therapeutic effect on their residents. Over 50 works by him are display for visitors to experience the effects for themselves. Admission is free – for more information call 0191 232 7734 or visit

From the series Our Friends in the Circus © Quentin Blake

In Pursuit of Art: Charles Eastlake’s journey from Plymouth to the National Gallery Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery 22 September – 15 December The National Gallery, London, is collaborating with Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery to explore the life and legacy of Sir Charles Eastlake (1793–1865). Painter, scholar and arts administrator, Eastlake was born in Devon, a county that has produced many great British artists. This exhibition investigates Eastlake’s artistic development in Plymouth and subsequent activities as a central figure of the Victorian art world – he is best remembered for being President of the Royal Academy and the first director of the National Gallery. Admission free - For public information please contact 01752 304774, or visit

THEATRE Don’t forget that if you are a fan of the theatre we have two theatre clubs available for members and both offer some good discounts on ticket prices. have been running the avanti theatre club for some time now and offer regularly updated deals on West End shows in London as well as discounts on hotels and restaurants. We have also entered a partnership with the Ambassadors Theatre Group who is the country’s largest theatre owner. They offer a whole raft of ticket discounts on productions at their theatres across the country. Both theatre clubs are accessible via the Members’ area of the CSRF website – click the required icon and you will be able to see all the selected offers available and follow the instructions online to book your tickets. This is a web-based only benefit but if you encounter any problems with booking then call the following contact numbers: for West End Theatre Club (020 7492 1566) and for Ambassadors Theatre Group (0844 871 7627)

ABOVE: Giovanni Battista Moroni, Portrait of a Man holding a Letter (‘L’Avvocato’), about 1570 © The National Gallery, London AUTUMN 2012



open a door into


history How often have you walked past a historic building on your local high street and wondered what it looked like from the inside? This September could be your oncea-year chance to glimpse its hidden treasures when venues across the country throw open their doors as part of a Europe-wide celebration of architecture and heritage. David Porteous describes some of the fascinating places you could visit


t was Winston Churchill who said, “we shape our buildings and they shape us.” You can discover the stories that shaped your community during this year’s European Heritage Days when thousands of outstanding buildings, of all styles, ages and functions, open their doors free of charge. It’s a rare chance to explore the mysterious, curious and interesting places that lie on our very doorstep. Many of these locations are normally closed to the public, while others would usually charge for admission. Buildings that are routinely open, such as churches, libraries and museums, will offer something special such as behind-the-scenes tours, children’s activities, exhibitions or access to seldom-seen artefacts. There are separate programmes for England, London, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, which are held annually in September and together form the UK’s biggest and most popular grassroots cultural event. It is only possible thanks to a 45,000-strong army of volunteers – property owners, preservation trusts, civic societies, charities and their teams of helpers – who give up their time to share their passion



and knowledge and bring local history to life. Heritage Open Days, steered by the National Trust and backed by English Heritage, is England’s contribution to the festival and is expected to attract around 1 million visitors. And who says history is just about grand houses and imposing castles? Over 4,000 properties – from follies to factories, lidos to lighthouses, tunnels to temples – will open up and share their secrets. Modern buildings are also featured, providing a showcase of the best in contemporary architecture and new design. Among the star attractions of 2012 will be the bombproof bunker containing Fighter Command’s No. 11 Group Operations Room at RAF Uxbridge, which played a pivotal role in the Battle of Britain, and the Kielder Observatory in Northumberland, open to the public for the first time. Other highlights include Star Carr, Scarborough, the most important Mesolithic site in England and where new excavations will be on display, a medieval undercroft beneath the streets of Guildford, and North Lees Hall in Derbyshire, thought to be the inspiration for Thornfield Hall, the home of the tortured Mr Rochester

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Kielder Observatory; 30 St Mary Axe © Grant Smith, VIEW Pictures; Scotstoun © McAteer; Lyveden New Bield © Mark Bradshaw; Llanfyllin Workhouse; Colebrook Estate; Interior of St. Nicholas; Bodelwyddan Castle; St John’s Point Lighthouse; Liberton Tower interior, © Vivat Trust. NEXT PAGE, FROM TOP: Liberton Tower exterior © Vivat Trust Martello Tower, Felixtowe, © Clare Baker.

in Charlotte Bronte’s famous novel Jane Eyre. “Our programme of events will be the perfect way to round off what’s going to be an extraordinary summer in England,” says Loyd Grossman, Patron of Heritage Open Days. “Everyone loves taking a peek behind closed doors and Heritage Open Days offers the chance to discover stories from the past in every city, town and village around the country.” Open House London presents a unique opportunity to get out and under the skin of some of the capital’s amazing architecture. More than 700 buildings – notably 30 St Mary Axe (aka The Gherkin) – will be taking part, alongside a programme of neighbourhood walks, engineering tours (including boat trips to the Thames Barrier), night-time openings, and talks by experts – again all for free. In Wales Open Doors events will take place throughout September and in all 22 local authority areas, meaning no one will be more than half an hour from an activity. According to The Civic Trust for Wales, the initiative offers economic as well as social and cultural benefits, contributing over £840,000 to the local economy in 2011. “These events allow people to re-connect with their local area, creating a sense of pride of place,” says a spokeswoman. “Bringing visitors to an area and providing a range of interesting things to see and do also gives a boost to the local economy with opportunities to shop, eat and stay which benefit the wider community.” Scotland’s Doors Open Days programme, co-ordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust, began in Glasgow and Ayr back in 1990 during the European City of Culture festivities and has grown to involve every area of the country, from the Shetland Islands to the Scottish Borders. This year more than 900 sites will participate, generating over 200,000 visits and boosting the Scottish economy by an estimated £2 million. Venues that will be accessible AUTUMN 2012



range from a gentlemen’s bridge club in Glasgow to the factory in Cumbernauld that produces IRN-BRU, Scotland’s most popular soft drink and one of its most iconic brands. In Northern Ireland, too, hundreds of buildings will be open to the public. Organised by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, the major theme of a weekend of activities will be the province’s maritime history. Exciting additions to the programme include St John’s Lighthouse at the northern tip of Dundrum Bay, which is noteworthy for its individual black and yellow colour scheme, and a walking tour of Comber where Thomas Andrews, designer of the Titanic, once lived. European Heritage Days is an annual festival like no other, providing fun days


Here are just a few more of the places you can visit this September across the UK

England Lyveden New Bield, Northamptonshire

out for all ages and raising awareness of the valuable work taking place to safeguard our heritage for future generations. “Our aim,” says one of the organisers of this year’s events, “is to inspire a new generation of citizens to become involved and play an active role in promoting, preserving and celebrating their community’s environment.”

Building work stopped in 1605, but the unfinished mansion offers a glimpse of Elizabethan architecture and a stunning garden, with spiral mounts, terracing and canals.

Martello towers

See inside one of the 103 towers that were built along the coast from Sussex to Suffolk to protect England from invasion by Napoleon.

Wales Llanfyllin Workhouse, Powys Featured on the BBC’s Restoration in 2004, this is an outstanding example of a Victorian workhouse, designed by Thomas Penson and completed in 1840.

Hut 9 Island Farm Prisoner of War Camp

Located on the outskirts of Bridgend, it was the scene of the largest escape attempt by German POWs in Britain during World War II.

Scotland Scotstoun House, South Queensferry

FURTHER INFORMATION Find out more about events in your area: Heritage Open Days (6-9 September) Tel: 020 3119 3067 Open House London (22-23 September) Tel: 020 7383 2131



Open Doors (throughout September) Tel: 02920 343336 Doors Open Days (every weekend in September) Tel: 0141 221 1466 European Heritage Open Days – Northern Ireland (8-9 September) Tel: 0845 302 0008

A contemporary single-storey structure set within the walled garden of a previously demolished country house. It was listed in 2005.

Liberton Tower, Edinburgh

This structure was built by the Dalmahoy family in the late 15th century and has been hailed as “the most perfect and unspoilt tower within the precincts of Edinburgh”.

Northern Ireland Former Harland and Wolff head office, Belfast

The building’s drawing offices were the birthplace of more than 1,700 ships including Titanic and Olympic.

coffee break Trivia and titbits to keep your mind in gear!

did you KNOW? Some of the world’s most famous landmarks have plenty of quirky statistics associated with them… The Grand Canyon can hold around 900 trillion footballs The Great Wall of China is approximately 6,430 Km long (3,995 miles) The Taj Mahal in India is made entirely out of


have a CHUCKLE Joking Aside

A man said to his friend, a vicar, that he would give him a bottle of cherry brandy if he would thank him for it from the pulpit. The wily priest was happy to agree. On Sunday evening he said, “I should like to thank my friend for the beautiful gift of fruit, not so much for the fruit itself but the spirit in which it was given.”

The Eiffel Tower has 1,792 steps Buckingham Palace has over 600 rooms

A lady was asked by a friend what the secret of her long marriage was. After considering her response she explained, “We go to restaurants and enjoy the fine food, wine, soft lights and sweet music.” Her friend was most impressed by this response until the lady added, “I go Tuesdays and he goes Fridays!” Sent in by Mrs M Hepworth, Ilkley, West Yorkshire

Be careful what you wish for! Our local parish has the services of a fine upstanding member of the clergy who has a fine stallion, the envy of the entire congregation. One morning a usually staid member of his congregation named Henry plucked up enough courage to ask the vicar if he might ‘have a go on his horse’. The vicar readily agreed and made the necessary arrangements. Henry rendezvoused at the stable and on his own mounted the horse after reading a note from the vicar wishing him a good ride. Well Henry just sat there and the horse would not move, so he got on his mobile phone, rang the vicar and was advised to utter the first two words of the Lord’s Prayer. Success, off the horse went at a steady walk.

After a while Henry thought he could do with a bit more speed but did not know what to do; so on the mobile phone again. He was told how to move into a canter and then a gallop. Being a little impatient he tried immediately for the gallop the code word being ‘Hallelujah’ – off he went like the clappers. Regrettably the field where he was exercising is bounded on one side by a sheer cliff and as he got nearer he realised he did not know how to stop. Gallop, gallop and again on the phone got the answer “simply say Amen’’. So Henry summoned all his strength and guts and yelled ’Amen’ and the horse came to a grinding halt right on the edge. ‘Hallelujah’ shouted Henry........

The Eiffel Tower has 2,500,000 rivets There are 7 points on the Statue of Liberty’s crown Niagara Falls could fill 4,000 bathtubs every second There are over 10 million bricks in the Empire State Building There are over 225,000 trees in New York’s Central Park

The Band played on A band are on their way back from a gig south of the border when they are arrested for playing a banjo after dark. The judge quickly sentenced them to death. At dawn the next morning, the band finds themselves looking at the business end of a firing squad. “Ready aim” “Earthquake”, yells the guitar player, which distracts the guards long enough so he can jump over the wall to freedom. “Ready aim” “Flood”, yells the mandolin player who then jumps over the wall to freedom. Now the banjo player is starting to catch on “Ready aim” “Fire” yells the banjo player as loud as he can. Sent in by Sylvia Edgell, Swansea AUTUMN 2012


WORD PUZZLE Fit the British Castles from the list below into the puzzle grid. STARTING CLUE: one down is one of the finest ruined medieval castles in Shropshire.




3 4

Find the ‘classical words’ hidden in the word search.



7 8


10 11 12

13 14 15




Ares Argus Athena Athene Boreas Chaos Charon Chimera Circe Cocytus Cyclopes Daphne Doris

Erato Erebus Eris Eros Euterpe Gaea Gaia Ge Graces Harpy Helen Hestia Hydra

Iapetus ichor Io Laocoon Leda Lethe Maenad Medea Myrmidon naiad Nereid Oedipus

Orpheus Pallas Poseidon Priam Proteus sea nymph Sol Sphinx Stheno Styx Thalia Theseus Titan

Olympic Winners

Congratulations to Mrs Peddlesden from St Leonards on Sea, Mrs Bell from Southwick, Mrs Wood from Whitstable, Mrs John from Winchester and Mrs Ransome from Norwich who were winners of the Olympic book giveaway.
























Try this ‘medium level’ grid

Prize Crossword Enjoy the wonderful world of e-books. Complete the crossword and you could win an Amazon Kindle.


1 Full of vigor (6) 4 First part of name for parallels of Latitude (6) 9 Acknowledge (4) 10 Countless, innumerable (10) 11 Pendulous fold of skin under the throat of bovine animal (6) 12 Idleness, inertia (8) 13 Wheat or cotton grown for sale? (4,4) 15 A black carbonaceous substance produced during incomplete combustion of coal (4) 16 Past tense of moving in water (4) 17 Neither entertaining or diverting (9) 21 Blue or violet climbing shrub (8) 22 Embracing a lack of clothes (6) 24 A trouble or struggle (10) 25 A thought, concept or notion (4) 26 In abundance; in plentiful amounts (6) 27 Religious season prior to Christmas (6)


1 A resort area along the Mediterranean coast (7) 2 Part of the intestine (5) 3 To prevent from happening or succeeding (7) 5 More than one Cuban originating dance (6) 6 Copious, abundant or fruitful (9) 7 A cigar with both ends cut squarely (7) 8 Absolutely necessary or essential (13) 14 Wholesome; salutary (9) 16 Fabric used for men’s business attire (7) 18 Rich, affluent, prosperous (7) 19 Beginning to exist or develop (7) 20 A stimulating drink (6) 23 Hit a golf ball; convey in a vehicle (5)

Solution to Summer Prize Crossword








8 9

10 10










20 21







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: 30 September 2012 NAME: ADDRESS:

POSTCODE: EMAIL: Please tick if you do not wish to receive our e-newsletter AUTUMN 2012



POSTbag MILITARY TRAVELS Dear Postbag, I have just read the summer issue including the letter in postbag under Army Service and your note. I joined the Civil Service in 1946 employed with the then Ministry of Pensions in Elm Grove, Southsea. The department changed its name over the years but eventually became Ministry of Health – Artificial Limb and Appliance Centre, St Mary’s Hospital, Portsmouth and has altered since my retirement. I have sent in a picture from an office party at Elm Grove taken about 1947-48. I am third from bottom right - the then manager was Mr Kennedy and Sir David Clive (Chief Medical


If you are finding it difficult to read the magazine, you might consider our free audio 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 copy of avanti is simple – just contact Fellowship Office and you’ll be added to the mailing list.



Officer) are both at the top extreme right whilst some of the contractors of artificial limbs staff are in the white coats at the back. They were happy times. Alf Paffett, Portsmouth, Hampshire Dear Postbag, I read with interest Joe Yates letter (Army Service) in the summer 2012 issue. It made me dig out some information I had put together several years ago about my travels during my army service. It was over a lot longer period than Joe’s account covered but it amazes me what I did at the time. In 17 different troop ships and in 12 different aircraft I travelled approximately 60,000 miles to and from different theatres of operation. All this travel took me to 16 different countries. I have not included any mileage made while in the various countries merely that mileage covered to get to them, between them and return to the UK. I crossed the Equator 4 times by troop ship and countless times in East Africa at a Bar in Nanyuki where the dartboard was on one side of the equator and the ochi was on the other. So to retrieve your darts you had to cross the equator! John Eveleigh, Corstorphine, Edinburgh

RECONNECTING Dear Postbag, I’m Chairman of the Stubbington group and you printed my letter about Norcross in the Autumn 2011 issue asking whether anybody remembered the place. Well three people did. You very kindly sent me their addresses (with their permission) and we all made contact with each other. We have since met up and enjoyed a lovely lunch and afternoon tea. So thanks to

Your letters and opinions

Dear Postbag, The email from Joe Yates brought back many memories for me. In June 1946 I was called up into the Army and after 6 weeks at Colchester with the Ox & Bucks Light Infantry, a similar period at Cirencester with the Clerical Training Unit in the RASC I was sent to a Training Camp near Thetford prior to posting. We did not mind where we were going as long as it wasn’t Palestine. We were taken by train to Dover and similar to Joe Yates I spent a night in a warehouse, as the sea was too rough. Next day things were better and off we went to Calais where we embarked on the “Red Train” which Joe Yates may remember as a Medloc C. It took 3 days to get to Villach in Austria and my sleeping arrangements were a very uncomfortable luggage rack. After a week or so in the Transit Camp where conditions were dreadful I was posted to No.2 Quartering Office in Klagenfurt where I spent the rest of my service. After almost a year I was given UK leave so there was another 3 days on the Medloc C plus the time taken from Dover to Bristol. Fortunately the travelling time was not included in leave period. Gordon Lee, Bristol

my enquiry and you for printing it everybody had wonderful day. Tilly Holloway, Fareham, Hampshire

Ed’s Note: If you’d like to try and reconnect with former friends and colleagues write in with your requests using the usual contact information. We do not forward names and addresses without permission

ROYAL MEMORIES Dear Postbag, You asked for accounts of others who travelled around during the war. I would be interested to know if there are any others who travelled the same route that I did. I was called up in December 1939 while dealing with evacuees for the Ministry of Labour. My travels started in June 1942 when I was on a draft to Egypt via Freetown (W.Africa), Capetown and Aden. In October 1942 I became part of the Eighth Army at Alamein and stayed with them via Tunis, Malta and Sicily; then became attached to the American Fifth Army at Salerno, Italy. From Italy my unit (23rd Armoured Brigade) went on rest to Egypt and Palestine and then to Greece. I was discharged in May 1946 and returned to UK via Italy, Switzerland and France. I have to say that I didn’t stay anywhere in those travels to compare favourably with England for scenery or weather. D A Green, Cheam, Surrey

Ed’s Note – did anybody do the same route as Mr Green? Or perhaps you did an alternative, equally long journey during the War. Write in and share your experiences using the contact information at the front of the magazine. Would you like to make contact with another member who has similar wartime experiences? Write in to us and we will do the rest – all personal information will be kept strictly confidential and not passed on without both parties permission


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.

Dear Postbag, The guys are not the only ones to have interesting and fun experiences whilst in the Army. I joined the Women’s Royal Army Corps, in 1950, aged 18, with the intention of seeing as much of the world as I could. Fifteen months later, on a snowy January day, I boarded HMT Empire Windrush bound for the Far East. What a journey. Going on deck on the first morning, we could see rocky outcrops off the port side. “Is that Gibraltar?” asked one of the ‘squaddies’. “No, it’s the Channel Islands” a crewman retorted, “we broke down in the night”. This set the theme for the whole trip. After our second breakdown, halfway across a thankfully calm Bay of Biscay, one bright spark decided to ‘run a book’ on how many more we would endure. In total, there were seven. We were scheduled to take on water at Algiers, but could not cross the harbour bar, so fresh water was rationed until we reached Port Said, breaking down yet again en route. We finally arrived in Singapore on February 21st 1952 seven weeks and two days after leaving Southampton on January 8th – the other troopships took an average of 28 days for the trip. After nearly 2 happy eventful years at the GHQ Far ELF and Far East Defence Secretariat; meeting my future husband, I returned to the UK by air, in 1953. Madge D Evans, Luton, Bedfordshire

Ed’s Note – well ladies, Madge has thrown down the gauntlet on your behalf. Are there any other ladies who recall interesting experiences during military service – write in and tell me all about it, using the usual address

talk tous 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.

Dear Postbag, I have been reading the letters about Royal Memories with great interest. I would like to offer my humble contribution to the conversation if I may. I am afraid that I do not have any photos to send you but the memories are still vivid in my mind today. It was when I was living in Berlin in 1965. My then husband (now late) was a sergeant in the 1st Green Jackets Regiment. We had recently been stationed in Penang, Malaysia and in April of 1965 the Regiment was posted to the Berlin Infantry Brigade. The occasion was the first Royal visit ever to Berlin, which don’t forget, at that time was behind the Iron Curtain and we were not on very friendly terms with the Russians. The Queen was going to take the salute from the British forces stationed in Berlin at that time. On the day, Her Majesty was to take the salute and inspect the men at the Maifeld Stadium, which was part of the remaining complex. We, that is the wives, were all dressed in our best including hats and sitting in great expectation on the spectators seats at the Stadium. The sun was shining and there were thousands of spectators there to see Her Majesty. The Berlin population had gone overboard in their enthusiasm for the visit. As she entered the stadium, standing up in a specially adapted long wheel based Landrover, the sun shone on her and there she was as if in a spotlight. She was wearing a beautiful singing yellow ensemble, with a hat that seemed to be made of flower petals giving the effect of a halo. When she left it was like a light had been turned off. From there she was driven through Berlin followed at every turn by excited Germans who ran through the back streets to catch up with the cavalcade again for another chance to see her and cheer. I felt so proud that day. Thanks for the interesting magazine that you produce. I always pass it on to friends who were not civil servants and they thoroughly enjoy reading it. Diane Smith, Sidcup, Kent (by email) AUTUMN 2012


group news

GROUPFOCUS News from around the group and branch network, reporting from David Tickner (DT), Tony Hazeldine (TH), Sylvia Edgell (SE), Ray Flanigan (RF) and Keith Sullens (KS)

New beginnings

Yorkshire Dales branch 17 May

The Yorkshire Dales branch can trace its origins back to 1971 when the then Harrogate group was formed. AGM business was concluded fairly swiftly which allowed the main focus of the meeting to pay tribute to the outgoing branch chairman Martin Brook. With a career in the Civil Service that spanned 39 years, Martin worked for no less than 8 ministries and departments. He has been a stalwart of the Yorkshire Dales branch for the past 10 years holding the offices of Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Treasurer and it was very clear from the warmth at the meeting he is much loved and a very deserving recipient of a Certificate of Merit. (DT)

Celebrating Literature

Westcliff-on-Sea group 23 May A day by the sea is always best when the weather is nice and my wish was certainly granted as it was positively scorching when I arrived at Southend railway station to visit the Westcliff-onSea group. They meet monthly at the Balmoral Community centre within easy access of Southend town centre and well served by bus routes. Members enjoy the benefits of an active and

Whitley Bay group

varied speaker programme with the occasional trip out. My talk was mainly about my role as avanti editor but I also involved members in an impromptu talking heads session that was focused on books. You can see their responses on page 11. I had a wonderful afternoon in the company of some lovely members who all proved collectively that age is just a number, not a state of mind! (DT)


I was guest at the Diamond Jubilee party held by the Whitley Bay group in June and was delighted to meet so many happy and loyal members of the Fellowship. After delivering a short presentation about the plans ahead for the Fellowship I was very pleased to present certificates of merit to sisters Mary and Ann Edwardson who have been members of the group for over 30 years. After enjoying a superb buffet tea, I proposed the loyal toast and then members were entertained by a singer whose repertoire featured a range of popular song. The meeting concluded with members delivering a robust rendition of the National Anthem. (TH) AUTUMN 2012


group news

Caerphilly group 5 July The group is based outside Cardiff and is extremely well organised with a strong committee including Barbara Caddy (group secretary) and Gwion Lewis (treasurer) responsible for arranging the group’s activities. Members are extremely supportive and appreciative of the work carried out by Fellowship Office and ensure that all bulletins and news that is circulated from headquarters is made available to all attending meetings. During the course of my visit I was able to discuss the work being carried out by the Board and headquarters in member recruitment and fundraising and answer any questions. (SE)

Maidstone group 9 JULY I was struck by the friendly togetherness of group members during my visit which was helped by the chairman’s friendly and welcoming attitude. Like many groups, Maidstone faces the ongoing challenge of how to combat their decline in numbers (largely due to age) but despite this they still manage to run a busy programme of activities. Their annual boat trip to the pub for lunch remains a popular pull for members. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to such a happy group of Fellowship people. (KS)

Worcester group 11 JULY The Queen was officially opening the new library the day I visited and so the town was bustling. The Worcester group are predominantly made up of retired Inland Revenue staff who enjoy the social side of activities. I was given a very warm welcome (not to mention won a raffle prize) and we had a lively Q&A session for members about the plans ahead for the Fellowship. (SE)



Dumfries & Kirkcudbright group 4 JULY The Cairndale Hotel in Dumfries was the location for the group’s Diamond Jubilee lunch that was attended by over 60 group members. As the guest speaker I delivered a short presentation on the future plans for the Fellowship and was able to congratulate the group on their

recent Awards for All Scotland grant. The lunch ended with a raffle and loyal toast, delivered by group chairman John Walker. Half the proceeds raised from the raffle were donated to the Fellowship Office sponsored walk. (TH)

Banbury group


A bright sunny day in Banbury was matched by a very sunny welcome from members of the Banbury group throughout my visit there last week. In addition to the superb teas, coffee and homemade brownies served up by their dedicated catering team we were treated to an excellent talk from their guest speaker, Nick Brazil. Nick talked about the life and times of ‘Billy Biscuit’ (aka Sir William Curtis) and provided a fascinating insight into the London and Great Britain of Regency times. Banbury is a lovely, lively group who are always keen to welcome new members. (RF)

news in brief Mersey Award

in pictures

The Birkenhead/Wirral group are pleased to report they have received a grant of £100 from Merseytravel to help their group coach trips. The grant will make a positive difference to their ability to support members who want to participate on future trips.


Awards for All grants Don’t forget that if your group is interested in applying to the Big Lottery Fund for an Awards for All grant that Fellowship Office can help you with the application process. A successful grant application can make a huge difference to the range of activities your group is able to afford and this has proven to be a helpful way to attract new members along. For more information contact Belinda Stalker on 020 8469 9194 or email:


2 1. Princetown group and the Tavistock group (Tamar/Tavy) celebrated St George’s Day at the East Dart Hotel, Postbridge on Dartmoor where they all enjoyed a 3-course luncheon and a few wets! 2. Members of the Lisburn group enjoyed a visit to the newly opened Titanic Experience in Belfast. 3. Chairman John Barker at Dulwich & Norwood group

5 certificates of merit If you’d like to single out a particular member for recognition of their service to The CSRF then why not request a free Certificate of Merit or Appreciation. The request should normally come from a Branch or Group committee and be sent to Kam Bedi at Fellowship Office. There are no forms to fill out either! For more information contact Kam Bedi on 020 8691 7411 or email:

4 4. Members of the Ynys Mon (Anglesey) group enjoying their annual Strawberry Tea. 5. Sutton group having lunch at the Clink Restaurant, High Down Prison in Sutton. 6. The Hertford group enjoyed their holiday at the Royal Faulkner Hotel in Sidmouth.

6 AUTUMN 2012


jubilee celebrations

With the whole country getting into the Jubilee spirit in June a number of our groups held their own special tributes…



TROWBRIDGE Bernard and Dolly Lovell cut the jubilee cake (it was Bernard’s 90th birthday)






Pictured: left to right - Margaret Flory (Assistant Chair), Betty Chudd (oldest member), Chris Hughes from TV’s Eggheads, and Grace Harding (Chair).


BLAYDON Beth Pearson, group secretary (pictured right) and the group’s oldest member Nora Dobson (93).


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. 05/09/12 Coach trip to Bolton Castle, North Yorkshire 03/10/12 Coach trip to Callender and The Trossachs

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

East Neuk Nigel Thomas CHAIRMAN 01333 311902

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 (Oct to Apr) at 2.00pm. We run walks throughout the year, meet at Lakeland, George Street at 1.30pm on the first Friday of each month. We meet at St. Johns Church, Lothian Road for coffee/tea at 2pm from May-Sep (incl). 04/09/12 Summer Lunch at Zucca at 12.30pm, next to Usher Hall in Grindley Street (ring Liz Beedie if you want to attend, cost £5 per head) 07/09/12 Summer Walk 12/09/12 Full Day Outing to Kelso. Meet at 9.30am, Stance C in the Bus Station (ring Jean Robertson on 0131 661 8760 if you want to attend) 25/09/12 Coffee/tea at St. Johns Café at the West End - 2.00pm 23/10/12 Talk on The Quakers (please note change of date from 16/10/12)

Edinburgh (Corstorphine) Mr V Burchell SECRETARY 0131 334 5781 Martin Shields Hall, St. Ninian’s Church, Corstorphine, Edinburgh. Please note that during the summer months - May-September inclusive - we meet at St. Johns Church, Lothian Road for coffee/tea at 2pm on the last Tuesday of the month and on the Thursday of each month October-April at 10.30-11.45am. We run walks throughout the year, meet at Lakeland, George Street at 1.30pm on the first Friday of each month. 04/09/12 Summer Lunch at Zucca at 12.30pm, next to Usher Hall in Grindley Street (ring Liz Beedie if you want to attend, cost £5 per head) 18/10/12 Coffee Morning 15/11/12 Coffee Morning

Edinburgh (Craiglockhart) Liz Beedie SECRETARY 0131 229 7422 Craiglockhart Parish Church Hall, Craiglockhart Drive North, Edinburgh. Please note that during the summer months - May-September inclusive - we meet at St. Johns Church, Lothian Road for coffee/tea at 2pm on the last Tuesday of the month. Second Wednesday of each month October-April at 2pm. Also there are walks throughout the year, meet at Lakeland, George Street at 1.30pm on the first Friday of each month.



AUTUMN 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?

04/09/12 Summer Lunch at Zucca at 12.30pm, next to Usher Hall in Grindley Street (ring Liz Beedie if you want to attend, cost £5 per head) 10/10/12 First Meeting of the Winter Season. Speaker from Boots the Chemist 14/11/12 Second Meeting of the Winter Season. Speaker from Museums & Galleries

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. Walk and Lunch on the Friday 9 days after monthly meeting. Sept Visit to Eden Court Theatre (date tbc)

Rosneath William Lauchlan SECRETARY 01436 842723 The Howie Pavillion, Rosneath First Monday of the month at 1.30pm 03/09/12 Barber Shop Quartet 01/10/12 Robert Thom of Canna & Barremann talk by Richard Reeve 05/11/12 Helensburgh & Lomond Carers - talk by Ann-Susan Preston

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 10/09/12 Lunch at the Stretton Hotel on the Promenade 08/10/12 Floral Arrangements - Demonstrations 12/11/12 Talk by Care & Repair

Bolton Eileen Nelson SECRETARY 01204 595246 St. Andrews & St. Georges Church, St. Georges Road, Bolton First Tuesday of the month at 2pm

Bury Gerald Beadling CHAIRMAN 01706 633674 The Mosses Community Centre, Cecil Street Each Wednesday at 2.15pm (except events listed below) 12/09/12 Lunch at Hatties Restaurant



Mrs C F Hanratty CHAIR 01244 520929 Christian Aid Centre, Queen Street, Chester Third Tuesday of each month at 2.15pm 18/09/12 Talk by Pearl Evans 16/10/12 Talk by Hazel Edwards



Brian Shields CHAIRPERSON 028 9443 2615 Crown Buildings, 20 Castle Street, Antrim Second Wednesday of each month at 2.30pm

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

Banbridge Margaret Stevenson CHAIRPERSON 028 4062 2950 1st Floor, Old Tech Building, Downshire Road First Wednesday of each month at 2pm

Bangor Isabel McKnight SECRETARY 028 9186 3410 Hamilton House, Hamilton Road, Bangor Second Wednesday of the month at 2.30pm

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 Birkenhead Land Registry Office, Rosebrae Court, Woodside Ferry Approach, Birkenhead CH41 6DU First Tuesday of the month at 2.00pm as well as trips listed below 20/09/12 Coach Trip to Jodrell Bank

Crewe Miss Grace Harding CHAIRMAN 01270 250677 Wells Green Methodist Church Hall, Brooklands Avenue, Wistaston, Crewe First Tuesday of each month at 2pm 04/09/12 The Big Shop - illustrated talk by Michael Murphy about the history of Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges etc. 02/10/12 Nantwich in Tudor Times - presentation by Dr Graham Dodd 06/11/12 Western Australia - presentation by Dr Ray Buss

Lancaster & Morecambe Mrs V Pritchard CHAIRMAN 01524 32733 Torrisholme Methodist Church, Longton Drive, Torrisholme, Morecambe Second Tuesday of the month at 2.15pm 11/09/12 Tales of an Adventurer - talk by Pat Ashcroft 09/10/12 Hot Pot Lunch with Quiz or Beetle Drive 13/11/12 Christmas Fair and Quiz

Lisburn Helen Fletcher SECRETARY 028 9261 1604 Bridge Community Centre, 50 Railway Street, Lisburn Second Monday of each month at 2.30pm 10/09/12 Talk by Chaplain to the Deaf 08/10/12 Tour of City Hall, Belfast 12/11/12 Meeting to finalise Christmas Party and programme for early 2013

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 for 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 06/09/12 My Life in Jazz So Far - talk by Martin Rodger 04/10/12 Alaister’s Videos - Alaister Macrae 23/10/12 Coach Trip: ‘Stream in the Sky’ and Llangollen 01/11/12 Expedition to Antactica - talk by Peter Broadbent

Waterloo (Merseyside) Mrs Joyce Nicholls SECRETARY 0151 924 1433 Mersey Road Methodist Church, Mersey Road, Crosby, Liverpool Second Tuesday of each month at 10.30am 11/09/12 Coffee Morning, Bring & Buy and Raffle 09/10/12 Coffee Morning followed by Bingo 13/11/12 Coffee Morning followed by Bingo


First Monday of each month at 2-4pm 03/09/12 Open Meeting 01/10/12 Mary, Queen of Scots - talk by Mr J Derry 05/11/12 Open Meeting

Durham Richard Wood SECRETARY 0191 384 2628 Newton Hall Community Centre, Ryelands Way, Durham First Thursday of each month at 2pm

Gateshead Mrs J Scott SOCIAL SECRETARY 0191 268 7935 Whitehall Road Methodist Church, Gateshead First Thursday of the month from 10am - 12 noon

Harrogate & Ripon Margaret Terry SECRETARY 01423 885297 Wesley Chapel (Lower Hall), Oxford Street Third Thursday of each month at 2.15pm 20/09/12 Wildlife - illustrated talk by Whitfield Benson 18/10/12 The RNIB - talk by Collette Lain 15/11/12 Christmas Theme

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

Hull Colin Bielby SECRETARY 01482 782930 Age UK Healthy Living Centre, Porter Street, Hull Third Tuesday of the 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. 03/09/12 Northumbria Video Society - Film Show 01/10/12 Auction to raise money for Xmas 05/11/12 ‘Call my Bluff’ Adventure


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

Lilian Lloyd SECRETARY 01642 315439 St. Marys Centre, 82-90 Corporation Road, Middlesbrough Last Tuesday of the month at 2pm 25/09/12 Mary - Cinnamon Trust 30/10/12 Visit by Russell Brown, National ViceChairman of CSRF

Boston Spa/Wetherby

Newcastle West

Mrs Janet Walker RECORDS SECRETARY 01937 842216 Deepdale Community Centre, Deepdale Lane, Boston Spa, Wetherby Second Tuesday of the month at 2.00pm 11/09/12 Upstairs Downstairs - talk by Mrs B Nicholson 09/10/12 Buffet Lunch (pre-booking essential) 13/11/12 Hand Made Soaps - Mrs A Everett

Mrs E Jackson CHAIRMAN 0191 267 4728 Bentinck Social Club, Bentinck Road, Newcastle upon Tyne Second Wednesday of each month at 10am - 12 Noon


Bradford Mr N Griffiths SECRETARY 01274 586410 Conference Room, Centenary Court, St Blaise Way Third Tuesday of each month at 2pm 18/09/12 Music of the 1950s - talk by Robert Bashforth 16/10/12 Paddle your own Canoe - talk by Mrs Pam James

Chester-Le-Street Brian Dawson SECRETARY 0191 388 8608 St Mary & St Cuthbert Parish Centre, Church Chare, Chester-Le-Street

Redcar & Cleveland Myrtle Fishlock CHAIRMAN 01287 641153 Main Ground Floor Lounge, Redcar Youth Centre, Coatham Road, Redcar Third Monday of each month at 2pm

Scarborough Mrs P Mawson SECRETARY 01723 512778 Small Room, 1st Floor, Scarborough Library, Vernon Road, Scarborough First Tuesday of the month at 10.15am

Sunderland & Washington Ivan Bell SECRETARY 0191 549 4130 Age Concern, Bradbury House, Stockton Road, Sunderland (1st Floor Room) First Monday of each month 2.00-3.30pm

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

WALES & WELSH BORDERS Caerphilly Mr Gwion Lewis TREASURER 029 2086 8643 Windsor Road Church Hall, Windsor Street, Caerphilly Second Tuesday of the month at 10.15am 11/09/12 Talk by Mr Jeff Cuthbert AM (if his duties allow him the time) 09/10/12 Bring & Buy

Church Stretton John Brewer SECRETARY 01694 722965 Mayfair Community Centre, Easthope Road, Church Stretton First Friday of the month at 2.30pm 07/09/12 Heather viewing on the Long Mynd and Lunch at the Bridges Inn 05/10/12 Energy Efficiency, Fuel Poverty and Questions - talk by John Cooke from Stretton Climate Care 02/11/12 Pictures in Harmony - illustrated talk by Ian Templeton

Llandudno Mrs H Davis CHAIRMAN 01492 545436 Queen’s Hotel, The Promenade, Llandudno First Tuesday of each month at 10.30am

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 26/09/12 Harvest Tea 27/09/12 Visit to Taliesin Theatre Swansea to see The Mikado 31/10/12 Carisbrooke Castle - talk by Phil Bowen

Oswestry Anne Wilson CHAIRMAN 01691 650419 The Wynnstay Hotel, Church Street, Oswestry First Tuesday of each month at 10.30am 04/09/12 Chairman’s Quiz 02/10/12 The History of Colour - talk by Sarah Evans 06/11/12 My Working Life in the Bank - talk by Glenys Wheeler

Penylan (Cardiff) Alfred Ford CHAIRMAN 029 2073 2942 St. Andrews United Reformed Church Hall (corner of Penylan and Marlborough Road) Last Tuesday of each month at 2.00pm

Swansea Mrs Sylvia Edgell CHAIRMAN/SECRETARY 01792 851125 The Vestry Hall, St Mary’s Church, Swansea Last Friday of each month at 2pm 28/09/12 Talk from Age Concern 26/10/12 The Monks of Caldey - talk by Mrs J John AUTUMN 2012


Whitchurch (Cardiff) Mrs Mary Minty SECRETARY 029 2061 4445 Ararat Baptist Church, Plas Treoda, Whitchurch, Cardiff Second Wednesday of the month at 10am 12/09/12 Comic Postcards - talk by David Salter 10/10/12 Magistrates - talk by Margaret Salisbury (follow up visit) 14/11/12 Chairman’s Contribution

Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard


Mrs Janet Bliss SECRETARY 01582 661795 Scout HQ, Grovebury Road, Leighton Buzzard First Wednesday of the month at 2pm 05/09/12 House Plants Made Easy - talk by Chris Day. Raffle and Book Table. 03/10/12 Mercers Troop at Waterloo - illustrated talk by Gordon Bell. Raffle and Book Table. 07/11/12 A Victorian Magic Lantern Show presented by Gordon Casbeard and Tony Brown. Bring & Buy, Raffle and Book Table.



Jim Campbell CHAIRMAN 01494 722558 The Community Centre, Chiltern Avenue, Amersham First Wednesday of the month at 2.30pm 05/09/12 Not in Front of the Servants - talk by Mrs Jane Dunsterville 03/10/12 What’s Up Lass? - talk by Mrs Joan Dark 07/11/12 Dickens and his World - talk by Colin Oakes

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.



Anne Garton SECRETARY 01295 750151 Hanwell Fields Community Centre, Rotary Way, Banbury Second Tuesday of each month at 2.15 - 4.15pm 11/09/12 It’s a Girl’s Life in the Army - amusing talk by Gillian Cane. Raffle 09/10/12 The Cutty Sark - talk by Martin Woodgett 13/11/12 Mary, Queen of Scots - talk by Dr Gillian White. Raffle

Mr Maurice Whincup CHAIRMAN 01476 572425 Church of the Ascension Hall, Edinburgh Road, Grantham First Wednesday every month at 10.00am - noon 05/09/12 Meeting followed by lunch 07/11/12 Meeting followed by lunch

Ynys Mon (Anglesey) Mr Eric Maynard CHAIRMAN 01407 720146 For venue details, please contact the Chairman Second Tuesday of each month at 12.30pm for lunch

Bedford Patricia Waters SECRETARY 01234 347443 Bunyan Meeting, Mill Street, Bedford First Tuesday of each month at 10am 04/09/12 Biblelands - talk by Sue McClellan, coffee/ tea etc. 02/10/12 Coffee Morning and Harvest Singsong with John Hartup 06/11/12 Coffee Morning and visit by CSRF Board Member Tony Hazledine

Birmingham June Oakley CHAIRMAN 01952 604922 Five Ways House, Islington Road, Five Ways, Edgbaston Third Wednesday of each month at 11.00am

Bromsgrove 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.

Cheltenham John Kennett CHAIRMAN 01242 603443 St. Luke’s Church Hall, St. Lukes Place, Cheltenham Third Wednesday of the month at 2.30pm 19/09/12 Garden Lore - talk 17/10/12 Images of Vietnam - digital presentation

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

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

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



Hucclecote Mrs B Arnold SECRETARY 01452 618069 Evangelical Church, Colwell Avenue, Hucclecote, Gloucester First Thursday of the month at 2.00pm 06/09/12 Adults First Aid - talk 04/10/12 Hidden Gloucester Part 1 - illustrated talk 01/11/12 “You can choose your friend but!!” talk

Kidderminster Pam Hussey LIAISON OFFICER 01562 755632 Various venues Third Wednesday of each month at 11am (except when lunching out) 26/09/12 Stone Manor Hotel, Stone 17/10/12 Coffee Morning

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 05/09/12 Coffee Morning 03/10/12 Coffee Morning and Bring & Buy 07/11/12 Coffee Morning

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

Luton John Barrett SECRETARY 01582 519886 The Chaul End Centre, 515 Dunstable Road, Luton First Monday of every month at 2.00pm (except Bank Holidays) 03/09/12 Zena Skinner will entertain us with a talk on ‘Wrens to Retirement’ 01/10/12 A day in a Victorian School with Angela Hillyard 05/11/12 A talk on the Parkinson’s Society by Doris Wellstead

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 Jim Ford 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) 03/09/12 Quiz followed by Black Feathers to Black Knickers - talk by Kevin Varly 01/10/12 Quiz followed by Pennine Way - talk by Michael Welling 05/11/12 Quiz then Peter Ballantyne asks ‘Are older people a burden to Society?’

Northampton Mr Geoff Morris CHAIRMAN 01604 719677 Holy Sepulchre Church Rooms, Church Lane, Northampton Alternate Thursday mornings at 10.00am

Nottingham Pam Bradley SECRETARY 0115 938 4676 The Nottingham Mechanics, 3 North Sherwood Street, Nottingham Second Wednesday of each month at 10.15am - 12 noon 12/09/12 Ancient Woodlands - talk by Gerald Price of The Woodlands Trust 19/09/12 Visit to the National Memorial Arboretum (please ring Pam for more details) 10/10/12 Making Greeting Cards - Barbara Swann 14/11/12 Witchcraft in Nottinghamshire - talk by Christine Davies

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

Royal Forest Val Collett CHAIRMAN 01594 562442 Baptist School Rooms, Parkend, Lydney Second Wednesday of the month at 2.00pm

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

Shefford Eileen Devereux CHAIRMAN 01462 814765 Community Hall, Ampthill Road, Shefford Third Tuesday of the month at 10am - 12 noon 18/09/12 Have a Bet - Newmarket 16/10/12 Maurice’s Musical Quiz

Skegness Ray Morris SECRETARY 01754 762060 Phillip Grove Community Rooms, Church Road South, Skegness First Thursday of each month from 10.00am - 12 noon

Sleaford & Ancaster 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

Solihull Margaret Smith SECRETARY 0121 744 6150 John Palmer Hall, Union 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 27/09/12 Wartime Memories 25/10/12 Carnival Glass - talk by Pat Jessop

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) 10/09/12 The Work of the Laura Centre - talk by Mrs Gail Moore 24/09/12 Railways in Leicestershire - talk by Mr Alvin Grimley 08/10/12 Carnival Glass - talk by Miss Pat Jessop 22/10/12 Bring & Buy 12/11/12 Across the USA Part 3 - talk by Mr Mike Leonard

Worcester Leigh Watkins SECRETARY 01905 774034 Perdiswell Young Peoples Leisure Centre, (A38) Droitwich Road (opp. Checketts Lane) Second Wednesday of each month at 1pm

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 20/09/12 Cheese and non-Wine Morning 18/10/12 TBA 15/11/12 Quiz

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) 10/09/12 Woodland Trust 27/09/12 Cromer Pier Show 08/10/12 Dragon Hall 12/11/12 DIY

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 12/09/12 De-cluttering your Home - talk by Gillian Beckett 10/10/12 Pilgrimages to Santiago in Spain - talk by Miriam Fife 14/11/12 Snap out of it! - talk by Christopher & Janet South

Colchester Joan Gomer SECRETARY 01206 794656 St Margaret’s Anglican Church Hall, Stansted Road, Colchester Third Tuesday of each month at 2pm 18/09/12 Fred Pearce Entertains and a Bring & Buy Sale 16/10/12 Speaker, Mike Logan-Wood on 50 Years as an Auctioneer

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

Dereham Robert Jackson CHAIRMAN 01362 693977 Toftwood Village Hall, 47 Shipdham Road, Toftwood, Dereham Second Friday of each month at 10.00am - 12 noon 14/09/12 Chairman’s Quiz 12/10/12 Old Dereham - Gordon Olly (illustrated talk) 09/11/12 Nostalgic Memories - Keith Thomas, Singer/Entertainer on Electric Organ

Drayton - Norfolk Derek Heffer CHAIRMAN 01603 861554 Please contact the Chairman for further details

Third Monday of the month at 1.30pm 17/09/12 Financial Planning in Retirement - talk by Rebecca Hillman 15/10/12 My Life as a Salvation Army Officer - talk by Major Marion Henderson

Ipswich Eva Stevens SECRETARY 01473 688040 Museum Street Methodist Church Hall, Blackhorse Lane, Ipswich First Wednesday of each month at 2pm 05/09/12 Life upon the ‘Wicked’ Stage - Joyce Kimber 12/09/12 Luncheon at Peak Lodge 03/10/12 Musical Afternoon: Chris Finbow 07/11/12 Coastguard Watch - Peter Creasey

Loughton Eric Adams CHAIRMAN 020 8508 7207 Jazz Archive Room, Loughton Library, Traps Hill, Loughton Third Monday of each month at 2pm 17/09/12 Review of Summer Events 15/10/12 Is insurance of household goods good value for money? - discussion

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


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

Mr Martin Claridge SECRETARY 01842 810096 Mildenhall Social Club, Recreation Way First Tuesday of each month at 2pm 04/09/12 Beekeeping - talk by Sylvia Pettitt 02/10/12 Historic Churches Sponsored Bike Ride 2011 - talk by Alan Benton 06/11/12 Bunches and Bows - Flower Arranging



Mr Tony Thomson GROUP REPRESENTATIVE 01582 713250

Les Beament CHAIRMAN 01638 744005 St. John Training Centre, Newmarket Hospital, Exning Road Second Wednesday of each month at 2.15pm 12/09/12 Talk by Dr Patrick Thompson, a former Royal Butler 10/10/12 Talk by the local Standard Bearer for the Royal British Legion 14/11/12 Talk by David Webb on being a Freeman of the City of London


Hemel Hempstead Miss Joan Ibbett SECRETARY 01442 259674 Methodist Church Hall, The Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead Second Wednesday of each month at 10.30am

Hertford Mrs Olive Smith CHAIRMAN 01992 550753 Methodist Church Hall, Ware Road, Hertford First Monday of each month at 2-4pm (except Bank Holidays) 03/09/12 Mrs Sarah Knight - Age UK, Hertfordshire 12/09/12 Lea Valley Boat Trip with Fish & Chips 01/10/12 Graphology - talk by Ms Liz Evans 10/10/12 Bell Inn Lunch - Visit to Letchworth 05/11/12 Bits & Pieces about Hertfordshire - Mr Peter Ruffles

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 27/09/12 Dogs for the Disabled - talk by Andy Lee (and Henry) 25/10/12 Safety and Security in the Home - talk by Steve Price from The Bobby Scheme

Ilford Mrs Sylvia Green SOCIAL SECRETARY 020 8594 5284 St. Andrew’s Church Hall, The Drive, Ilford

Norwich Mary Weatherhead SECRETARY 01603 410821 Reading Room, Doughty’s Hospital, Golden Dog Lane Second Monday of each month at 10am for 10.30am 10/09/12 Beside the Seaside - talk by Mr & Mrs Worton 08/10/12 Autumn in the Appalachians - talk by Mr M Smith 12/11/12 Family Life in 1900s in a Norfolk Village talk by Mrs C Humphries

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 06/09/12 Canals 2 - Bob Delgarno 04/10/12 Switzerland (slide show) - Tony Curtis 01/11/12 Going to the Pictures - Heather Glyn AUTUMN 2012


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 15/09/12 Canals 2 - Bob Delgarno 20/10/12 Golden West (slide show) - Tony Curtis

Last Tuesday of each month at 10.30am 11/09/12 Visit to Kentwell House 30/10/12 Annual Carvery Lunch at The New Times Carvery, Tiptree


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.

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

Shoeburyness Mrs F Cohen SOCIAL SECRETARY 01702 342426 Thorpdene Community Centre, Delaware Road, Shoeburyness First Tuesday of each month from 2.00-4.00pm 04/09/12 Canals 1 - Bob Delgarno 02/10/12 Talk (TBA) - Heather Glyn 06/11/12 Bruce Bellringer Mystery Readings

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 06/09/12 Stevenage Kadoma Project - talk by Jan Addison 12/09/12 Visit to the Houses of Parliament (limit on numbers) 20/09/12 Local Walk (4 miles) with Pub Lunch 04/10/12 A Pattern of Islands - talk by David Garner 18/10/12 Local Walk (4 miles) with Pub Lunch 01/11/12 North West Passage - talk by Duncan Hector

Swaffham Mrs June Finch SECRETARY 01760 720728 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 11/09/12 Readings of Favourite Poems

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 26/09/12 Games we played in our Youth - Heather Glyn 24/10/12 PALS - Lesley, Southend Hospital Trust

Wickford Peter Blake CHAIRMAN & SECRETARY 01268 583060 Christchurch Hall, R/O 44 High Street, Wickford Second Thursday each month 1.30 - 3.30pm 13/09/12 Unusual Essex - Powerpoint Show 11/10/12 Switzerland - Slide Show 08/11/12 Quizzes

Witham David Longhurst COMMITTEE MEMBER 01376 513629 Methodist Church Hall, Guithavon Street



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 12/09/12 My Experiences as a Welfare Officer 10/10/12 Chris Quizz 14/11/12 Tax, Care and Toy Boys - Long-term Care Fees

Ascot & Sunningdale John Cook CHAIRMAN 01344 429391 De Vere Venues, Sunningdale Park, Larch Avenue, Ascot Third Friday of each month at 12 noon 04/09/12 Coach Trip to Osborne House, Isle of Wight 21/09/12 Life as a Beefeater - talk by Tony Strafford 19/10/12 Quiz Afternoon - John and Beryl Bailes

Basingstoke Janette Davies CHAIRMAN 01256 321471 Brookvale Village Hall, Lower Brook Street, Basingstoke First Wednesday of each month at 10.00am 05/09/12 Exciting Ecuador and Gorgeous Galapagos - Gwen Barton 13/09/12 Outing to Chiswick House and Fullers Brewery 03/10/12 Doorstep Crime and Scams - Julie Gallagher and Jane Gulliver 18/10/12 Outing to Sherborne Castle 07/11/12 Wills, Probate and Power of Attorney Sue Squires of Lamb Brooks

Bexhill Hilary Markham SECRETARY 01424 210985 Bexhill Sailing Club, Marina, Bexhill-on-Sea Fourth Tuesday of each month at 10am 13/09/12 Mystery Coach Trip (including coffee and lunch) 25/09/12 Coffee Morning, Entertainer “Hutch” 23/10/12 Coffee Morning 13/11/12 Lunch at the Brickwall Hotel, Sedlescombe

Bournemouth - Boscombe & Southbourne Paul Tabor CHAIRMAN 01202 422493 St Katherine’s Church Hall, Church Road, Southbourne First Wednesday of each month at 10am 05/09/12 Music at the Movies - Mr J Symonds 03/10/12 Memories of the BBC - Mrs H Warner 07/11/12 The Teeming Streets with Steaming Treats - Mr E Watson

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) 11/09/12 Christchurch and the New Forest, Now and Then - John Lewis 09/10/12 Spineless Friends and Foes - Bryan Pinchen 13/11/12 Cool of the Greenhouse - Ray Prior

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 07/09/12 Upton Heath, Dorset Wildlife Trust - Noel Bergin 25/09/12 Pub Lunch at Tyrrell’s Ford Hotel 05/10/12 Spice Up Your Life, Part 2 of the Trilogy Ron Taylor 23/10/12 Pub Lunch at Inn on the Furlong, Ringwood 02/11/12 Brownsea Island, Flora and Fauna Gordon Furnell

Bournemouth - Swanage Mrs Irene Greenway 01929 423394

Bournemouth - Wimborne & Ferndown Eric Basire SECRETARY 01202 897158 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.

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

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

Chandlers Ford Ken Willcocks CHAIRMAN 023 8076 0102 Chandlers Ford Community Centre, Hursley Road, Chandlers Ford First Friday of the month at 10am 07/09/12 The Wrong Side of the Blanket - talk by Mr P Redmond 05/10/12 Round the World with the Weird and Wonderful - talk by Mr A Negus 10/10/12 Skittles and Lunch at Wellow Golf Club 02/11/12 Annual Cheese and Wine Event at the Meeting Hall

Chichester Norman Gubbey CHAIRMAN 01243 787135

Crawley Jim Piercey CHAIRMAN 01293 409332 Bill Buck Room, Crawley Library, Southgate Avenue, Crawley Fourth Friday of the month at 2pm 28/09/12 Quiz 26/10/12 Beetle Drive


Portsmouth North

Audrey Fewtrell CHAIRMAN/SECRETARY 01323 730570 St. Saviour’s Church Hall, South Street, Eastbourne Third Wednesday of the month at 10am

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

Emsworth & Havant Ralph Whitehouse CHAIRMAN 01243 374081 Emsworth Community Centre, Church Path, Emsworth First Friday of each month at 10am 07/09/12 Tax, Care and Toy Boys - talk (very interesting!) 05/10/12 Manners, Mother and the Milkman’s Horse - talk by Steve Harris about life in Sussex in the 30s 02/11/12 Annual Bring & Buy Sale followed by Fish & Chips Lunch

Fleet Dorothy Brookman CHAIRMAN 01252 684368 Baptist Church Hall, 115 Clarence Road, Fleet Third Tuesday of each month at 2.15pm 18/09/12 Welcome Back Cream Tea followed by short informal meeting 16/10/12 Claude Monet, Father of French Impressionism - talk by Dr Elizabeth Philpot

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 11/09/12 Bring & Buy 09/10/12 The Community Bus Service - talk by John Bishop 13/11/12 How Green was my Greenland? - talk by Graham Albon

Hassocks Dennis Miles CHAIRMAN 01273 845693 Adastra Hall, 31 Keymer Road, Hassocks First Thursday of each month at 10.30am

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 16/10/12 Slideshow and talk by the ever popular Michael Head

Horley Arnold Ullmann MBE TREASURER 01293 783590 Horley & District Constitutional Club, 1 Albert Road, Horley (unless otherwise stated) Fourth Wednesday of the month at 10.45am (unless otherwise stated) 26/09/12 Coffee Morning and talk by David Tickner, Editor of avanti 24/10/12 Coffee Morning and talk by a Group member on a recent trip overseas

Newbury Roger Walker CHAIRMAN 01635 44575 St. Johns Church Room, Newtown Road, Newbury Second Monday of the month at 2.15pm 10/09/12 Financial Health Check for Retired - talk by Jolyon Barton 18/09/12 Visit to Milestones, Basingstoke 27/09/12 Skittles Evening at Thatcham FC 08/10/12 Benefits of Hynotherapy - talk by Amanda-Jane Harley 11/10/12 Pub Lunch 05/11/12 Committee Meeting - Broadway House 12/11/12 CSRF Review - talk by Tony Hazeldine CBE. Photo Competition - subject: Animals

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

Southsea Mike Barrow CHAIRMAN 023 92 829552 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 12/09/12 Coffee Morning 26/09/12 The Honey Man 10/10/12 Coffee Morning and Autumn Lunch 24/10/12 Tax, Care and Toy Boys 14/11/12 Coffee Morning and Christmas Fayre

Stubbington Mrs Tressie Heather SECRETARY 023 92 580681 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. 13/09/12 Discovery Centre - talk by Angela Gill 11/10/12 60s Music - Rock & Roll - talk by Geoffrey Piper 08/11/12 Gosport Walks & Heritage - talk by Terry Hinkley

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) 06/09/12 Life as a Photographer - talk by Eric Marsh 04/10/12 Tadley Singers making music together 01/11/12 A Geriatric Trip round the World - talk by Richard Tanner

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. 06/09/12 Tea and Quiz

Worthing 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) 18/09/12 Water Aid (TBA) 16/10/12 Talk by CSRF Board Member (TBA)

SOUTH WEST ENGLAND Amesbury Mrs Freda Hedge SECRETARY 01980 590499 Antrobus House, 39 Salisbury Road, Amesbury First Tuesday of each month at 2pm 04/09/12 The Salisbury Rail Disaster - talk by George Fleming 18/09/12 Outing to Worthing 02/10/12 Imber - talk by Rex Sawyer 16/10/12 Outing to Poole 06/11/12 Meeting (Speaker TBC)

Barnstaple Peter Mumby CHAIRMAN 01271 815021 Committee Room, Roundswell Community Centre, Roundswell, Barnstaple Last Friday in the month at 11am Feb, May, Jun, Jul, Oct and Nov and at 10am Mar, Apr and Sep.

Bath Roy Burnett CHAIRMAN 01225 426583 St. John’s Parish Hall, South Parade, Bath Second Thursday of each month at 10.30am for coffee mornings as well as events listed below. 05/11/12 Holiday in Tenby (5-9 Nov) 15/11/12 Autumn Lunch

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 02/09/12 Group Holiday in Newquay (2-8 Sept) 10/09/12 Talk on Crop Circles 08/10/12 Talk and slide show on Hearing Services 17/10/12 Coach Outing to Beaulieu and Bucklers Hard 22/10/12 Skittles at Dog & Fox 12/11/12 Talk on Toys and Games of Yesteryear

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.

Burnham-on-Sea 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

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

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

Crediton Miss M Steer CHAIRMAN 01363 866256 Club Crediton, Searle Street, Crediton 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 AUTUMN 2012


Dawlish Mrs M Carter SECRETARY 01626 888275 The Manor House, Old Town Street Second Friday of each month at 2pm 14/09/12 Boots Chemist - talk 12/10/12 Bosom Pals - talk

Dorchester Mike Rogers SECRETARY 01308 420755 Dorset Youth HQ, Lubbecke Way, Dorchester Third Thursday of the month at 10.15 for 10.30am 3.00pm 20/09/12 Quiz Time 18/10/12 Police Helicopter - talk by Phil Cotterell 15/11/12 Fann Mountains - talk by Richard Collier

19/09/12 Lunch at The Tumbling Weir (12 for 12.30pm) 25/09/12 Skittles and Light Lunch at the RAFA Club, Exmouth (at the invitation of Exmouth Group) 24/10/12 Lunch at Moores Restaurant, Newton Poppleford

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

Tamar/Tavy (Tavistock)

Carol Brett SECRETARY 01395 442671 RAFA Club, Imperial Road, Exmouth First Wednesday of each month at 10am 05/09/12 Coffee Morning 25/09/12 Buffet Lunch and Skittles (12 Noon) 03/10/12 Coffee Morning and visit from John Barker, CSRF National Chairman (tbc) 07/11/12 Coffee Morning and Speaker from Devon Air Ambulance Trust

Mike Fitzpatrick ACTING SECRETARY 01822 890799 Burrator Inn, Princetown Road, Dousland, Yelverton Second Thursday of the month at 12.30pm 12/09/12 Meeting and Lunch 20/09/12 Coach Trip: Totnes and River Dart Cruise to Dartmouth. Lunch at Royal Dart Hotel, Kingswear 11/10/12 Meeting and Lunch. The History of the Olympics - talk by John Howells 18/10/12 Coach Trip: Mystery Tour (including stops for breakfast and dinner) 08/11/12 Meeting and Lunch

Ham (Plymouth)



Veronica Smerdon SECRETARY 01752 318672 The Halcyon Centre, Dingle Road, North Prospect, Plymouth Every Monday at 2.00pm

Liskeard & Pensilva Shirley Waye SECRETARY 01579 346089 Refreshment Rooms, Liskeard Public Hall, West Street, Liskeard Last Wednesday of each month at 10am 12/09/12 Visit to St. Ives 26/09/12 Group Meeting - Fun Morning 17/10/12 Ten Pin Bowling and Lunch at Trethorne Leisure 31/10/12 Christmas Bazaar

Minehead Isabel Dobson 01643 703199 Foxes Hotel, The Esplanade, Minehead Coffee mornings on the last Tuesday of the month at 10.15am


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 14/09/12 Confessions of a Courier - talk by Eddie Dewsnap 12/10/12 Bring & Buy Cakes 09/11/12 Heaven’s Gate - talk by Shirley Garland

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) 05/09/12 Coffee Morning at the Od Manor Hotel 19/09/12 Coach Trip to Isle of Wight - Part II 03/10/12 Coffee Morning at the Od Manor Hotel 17/10/12 Little Sniffers - talk by Mr K Hicketts 07/11/12 Coffee Morning at the Od Manor Hotel

11/09/12 Coach Outing to Exmouth, River & Train Trip* and Tea (subject to suitable timetable) 20/09/12 Coffee Morning 04/10/12 Coffee Morning 09/10/12 Coach Outing to Lynton and Lynmouth 18/10/12 Coffee Morning followed by Committee Meeting 01/11/12 Coffee Morning and Group AGM 13/11/12 Coach Outing to Worcester and Tea

Weymouth Geoff Greenstreet SECRETARY 01305 832432 St. Nicholas Church, Buxton Road, Weymouth Second Thursday of each month at 2.30pm 13/09/12 Portland - talk by Joe Williams 26/09/12 Coffee Morning 07/10/12 Group Holiday to Turkey 08/11/12 Frozen Waves - talk by Jenny Morris

Yate & District Donald Kirkham CHAIRMAN 01454 317242 Yate Parish Hall, Station Road Fourth Tuesday of each month at 2pm 25/09/12 Joyce Grenfell and Monologues - talk by Mrs P Ollevenslow 23/10/12 Tales of Farming and Village Life - talk by Mr Paul Evans

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 25/09/12 Coffee Morning and Quiz 30/10/12 Coffee Morning and Quiz

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

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. Every 2nd Wednesday is a Social Afternoon and Bingo. 05/09/12 Despatches from the Home Front WW2 talk by Chris McCooey 12/09/12 Social Afternoon 19/09/12 The River Cray - talk by Denise Baldwin 03/10/12 Kate Rhodes sings Songs from the 40s and 50s 10/10/12 Social Afternoon 17/10/12 Hidden London Revealed - talk by M C Moore 07/11/12 Autumn Fair 14/11/12 Social Afternoon

Mike Fitzpatrick SECRETARY 01822 890799 Prince of Wales, Tavistock Road, Princetown First Thursday of the month at 12.30pm 20/09/12 Coach Trip: Totnes and River Dart Cruise to Dartmouth. Lunch at Royal Dart Hotel, Kingswear 18/10/12 Coach Trip: Mystery Tour (including stops for breakfast and dinner) 01/11/12 The Work of the Customs & Excise Investigations Division - talk by Barrie Riley

Westbury (Wiltshire)

Salisbury Plain


Mr Roy German SECRETARY 01980 653446 The Village Hall, High Street, Durrington Third Tuesday of each month at 2.30pm 18/09/12 The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust 25/09/12 Coach Outing to Bognor Regis 16/10/12 Flower Experience and Bring & Buy Sale

Beryl Webb SECRETARY 01454 614451 Studland Court, Henleaze Road, Henleaze First Thursday of each month at 2pm

Jenny Ingoe RECORDS SECRETARY 01483 558152 High Cross Church, Knoll Road, Camberley Fourth Tuesday of each month at 2pm


Edgware & Stanmore

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) 06/09/12 Coffee Morning followed by Committee Meeting

Ray Broom SECRETARY 020 8427 8659 St. Lawrence’s Church Hall, Whitchurch Lane, Edgware Second Monday of each month at 2pm 10/09/12 A-Z of Musicals - Dr Maurice Sobell 08/10/12 More Stores behind the Pictures - Pam Adsley 12/11/12 My Life as a Fleet Street Photo Journalist (continued) - Dennis Hart

Sidmouth Margaret Adams CHAIRMAN 01395 577622 Sidholme Hotel, Elysian Fields, Temple Street Second Wednesday of each month at 10.25am



Ken Holloway CHAIRMAN 01373 864049 Paragon Hall, Haynes Road, Westbury Third Monday of each month at 1.45pm for 2.00pm 17/09/12 Meeting and the Lion’s Club - talk by Dave Firth 19/09/12 Outing to Brecon Beacons 15/10/12 Meeting and Tai Chi - talk by Mrs Tottingham 17/10/12 Autumn Lunch, Portland



London - Edmonton

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) 03/09/12 Do you believe in coincidences? - a humorous talk by Bernard Ecker 01/10/12 The History and Re-siting of Temple bar an illustrated talk by Brenda Brown 05/11/12 “Noel and Ivor”, Film and Music of the two Greats - Geoff Bowden

Mrs Sheila Lamonte CHAIRPERSON 020 8886 7873 Ambassador Room, Millfield House, Silver Street, London Third Monday of each month from 10am - 12 noon 17/09/12 Quiz 15/10/12 Walking Sticks - talk by Rev David Bradburn

Hounslow Roy Woods CHAIRMAN 020 8230 5533 United Reformed Church Hall, 114 Hanworth Road, Hounslow Second Tuesday of each month 1.30-4.00pm 11/09/12 History of Bedfont, Feltham & Hanworth - talk 09/10/12 Sale

Kenton (Middlesex) Daphne Radford SECRETARY 020 8908 4099 St. Anselm’s Church Hall, Uppingham Avenue, Stanmore Occasional Wednesdays at 2pm (contact Secretary for further details) 17/10/12 Sicily - talk by Mr French

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.

Leatherhead Anne Thomson SECRETARY 01372 373258 John Rumble Hall, Fetcham Village Hall, The Street, Fetcham First Friday of each month at 10am

London - Catford & Lewisham Doreen Hughes SECRETARY 020 8461 4800 St. Laurence Church Hall, Bromley Road, Catford Second Tuesday of the month at 10am for coffee mornings

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

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 Mrs Pat Belsey SECRETARY 020 7701 4992 Railway Club, Selhurst Station Approach Fourth Tuesday of each month at 10.30am 25/09/12 Cumbria Flora - illustrated talk by Michael Jennings 23/10/12 Growing African Violets for Markets illustrated talk by Edward Handley

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 13/09/12 Tour of Buckingham Palace 27/09/12 Coffee Morning followed by Life as a Policeman - talk by Alan Coxon 11/10/12 Coach Outing to Leeds Castle for their Autumn Glory Flower Festival 18/10/12 Churchill Theatre, Bromley to see 42nd Street at 2.30pm 25/10/12 Coffee Morning followed by Bring & Buy 12/11/12 Airedales Holiday - Holly & Mistletoe at Bournemouth (12-16 Nov)

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 11/09/12 Beetle Drive - Highest Score/Booby Prizes 09/10/12 My Pick of Potty Poetry - talk by Maggie Stredder 13/11/12 Group AGM (2.15-3.15pm) followed by our annual Bring & Buy Sale (not clothes please)

Maidstone Keith Hunter CHAIRMAN 01622 746792 Methodist Church Centre, Brewer Street, Maidstone Second Monday of the month at 2pm 10/09/12 Articles of Interest and Bingo 08/10/12 Our Man in Whitehall - talk by Wally Walker 12/11/12 Christmas Fayre, Quiz and Raffle

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 25/09/12 RNLI - illustrated talk by Terry Wigington

30/10/12 26th Anniversary Party - Piano and Songs by Tim Gwynne Evans

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

Romney Marsh Mrs Win Owen CHAIR 01797 362598 The Assembly Rooms, Church Approach, New Romney Second Wednesday of each month at 10am 05/09/12 Outing (probably Herstmonceux) 12/09/12 Rapa Nui, Mystery of the Easter Island talk by Eric Spear 10/10/12 Smugglers in Kent - talk by Peter Ewart 14/11/12 Mud and Stones, building a house in France - talk by Terry Wheeler

Sanderstead & Selsdon Ralph Perryman SECRETARY 020 8657 3487 Selsdon Centre for the Retired, 132 Addington Road, Selsdon, South Croydon Second Thursday of the month at 2.30pm 13/09/12 The Role of the Town Crier - talk by Jonathon Jones 11/10/12 Wildlife of the Florida Everglades - talk by D Newland 08/11/12 1947: Snowy Winter, Searing Summer, Daily Life in Harsh Post-War Britain - talk by D Carrigan

South East Middlesex Mrs June Brown SECRETARY 020 8891 4680 Various venues, dates and times 26/09/12 Hampshire’s Hidden History - visit to Silk Mill and guided tour of Sandham Memorial Chapel 07/11/12 Autumn Social with Ploughman’s Lunch

Staines Dorothy Dib SECRETARY 01784 441990 Various restaurants for lunch 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 10/09/12 Freedom Pass Outing to London for a guided walk around Fleet Street and The Temple 24/09/12 A talk by Lorna Maye of Mayfield Lavender 15/10/12 Informal Lunch (venue tbc) 29/10/12 The Crystal Palace Fire Mystery - talk by Barry McKay

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) 03/09/12 Our annual musical treat with Hand Bells plus an entertaining commentary from Sandra Winter 01/10/12 Fashion in the 20s and 30s - talk by Carol Harris 05/11/12 Fund Raising Day - Raffles, Bring & Buy and the ever popular Fun Team Quiz



the last word


favourite things…

Isla Blair’s theatre credits include The History Boys, Stuff Happens, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum and Noises Off all for the National Theatre, Henry IV at the Wyndham’s Theatre and many seasons of work for the Bristol Old Vic Theatre. Her career on film and television is equally as impressive with credits including Law & Order, Casualty, Midsomer Murders, A Touch of Frost, The Final Cut, Mrs Caldicot’s Cabbage Wars and Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade. She has most recently appeared in a stage production of Steel Magnolias, which has just completed a national tour during which she found time to share some of her favourite things…


It would have to be a painting by Sue Campion that I own of 5 girls with jaunty berets that was given to me by my husband Julian for my 50th birthday. It’s full of joy and energy.


Bird by Harper Lee Beautifully observed and written - heartbreaking. I thought my father shared many of the qualities of the main character, Atticus Finch.

  Dvorak Cypresses No 1 My husband Julian and I were doing a poetry/music recital at Stratford when the quartet struck up this piece. We looked up and saw tears in each other’s eyes. I’d like it at my funeral please!




To Kill a Mocking



“Never envy anybody anything - you never know what they have had to pay for it.” Anthony Quayle


 Piece of Music

5 6



Bath Beautiful and elegant, I cannot be alone in imagining I have lived there in past decades. Had I a different job it is the city I would most like to live in.


Violet My mother’s name was Violet and when I went to boarding school aged 6 she said every time I saw a rainbow I was to concentrate on the colour violet and know she was thinking of me. It is the colour I wear most often.


The Goodbye Girl A funny/serious film about the joys and heartaches of the acting profession and about finding love somewhere you least expect it. 62



Cats Cats of all kinds - tigers, panthers etc. My own are two beautiful, black Battersea cats who are friendly and affectionate which cats can be while maintaining an admired independence.

Historical Figure

Arthur Miller For his plays of course, but also for his compassion, intellect, humour and wit. Not to mention his courage in standing out against the House Of Un-American activities.



Wild flowers My main extravagance. I like all flowers apart from carnations, chrysanthemums and gladioli. But my absolute favourite would be Lily of the Valley for their fragrance.

avanti Autumn 2012  

Our brand new issue goes philosophical with a lead feature exploring transhumanism. Inside are also included articles on the care system, he...

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