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The Patience Strong Poem

For all who love our green and pleasant land

AUTUMN 2013 Quarterly £4.60

Volume Forty Six Number Three AUTUMN 2013

I love an old shop in an old-fashioned street, where you stand at a window and gaze on all sorts of charming and beautiful things that are rare in these mass-produced days. Jugs, lamps and candlesticks, china and glass, crystal and copper and amber and brass. Things with a history, lovely and old, if they could speak what a tale would be told! If progress so-called swept these old shops away — it would indeed be a very sad day... To all that is left of our treasures hold fast. They’re part of old England — a part of our past. Above: Window shopping near the cathedral in Lincoln.

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Enjoy England Throughout the Year “The pictures are nicer than ever, which is quite an achievement.” — D. E. MOORE, PRIORS MARSTON, SOUTHAM, WARWICKSHIRE.


elebrate the scenic splendour of our green and pleasant land with This England’s Country Calendar 2014. A selection of 15 superb photographs takes you on a marvellous journey across the English counties from Westmorland to Devon and Dorset to Yorkshire. The wonderful views capture the breathtaking beauty of the Actual size when open — 17 " x 11" English countryside amid all the seasons. Each monthly section includes verses of poetry, and details of important events — saints’ days, anniversaries, bank holidays etc. There’s space beside each day for you to jot down your own appointments. Days and dates are printed in contrasting colours enabling you to see the weeks at a glance. For more than 30 years it has been one of the best-selling calendars in Britain, but it is exclusive and only available direct from This England. Next year’s calendar is bound to be a sell-out once again and if you take advantage of our special discount (see below) the price is reduced. This England’s Country Calendar 2014 is the perfect gift to send to anyone who cherishes England, and one which will continue to give pleasure throughout the year. Code: TSD14 Please order early to avoid disappointment.

“Once again you have given us beautiful pictures. I knew I would not be disappointed in the This England calendar, but how do you find so many breathtaking views?” — MRS. HUGHES, BASINGSTOKE, HAMPSHIRE.

The Historic Homes of England Cotehele, St. Dominick, near Saltash, Cornwall


ucked away down the winding lanes of the Tamar Valley, on the west bank of the river, is this mediaeval and Tudor gem, which enchants everyone who visits. The original manor house can be traced back to 1353 when the heiress Hilaria de Cotehele married William Edgcumbe. It became their family home – and that of their descendants – right up until 1947 when it was handed over to the National Trust. Additions and alterations to the house were made in successive centuries, but Cotehele retains the atmosphere of a place that has been completely untouched. It is as if time has stood still here. There are particularly impressive collections of tapestries, textiles and armour, together with antique oak furniture, brass and pewter. Cotehele’s stunning garden was planted in the 1860s and slopes down the sheltered valley. The terraces are filled with a profusion of plants and flowers, a dovecote and a mediaeval stewpond. Two orchards yield historic varieties of fruit. On the surrounding estate, visitors can enjoy exploring Cotehele Quay, with its restored sailing barge, and the Tamar Valley Discovery Centre. There is also a working mill and several traditional craft workshops. The estate is open from March until November. For further information on visiting and special events throughout the year telephone 01579 351346 or go to .

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Autumn 2013 . . . is a quarterly journal published in Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, for all who love our green and pleasant land. Annual subscription rates: (4 quarterly editions, inc. postage and packing): U.K. addresses £18.40; Overseas addresses £25.50 (by Airmail) Personal dollar cheques accepted from USA at $48 per subscription; Canada $48; Australia $53; New Zealand $63. Next four UK Publication Dates (approx): Winter 2013: 6th Nov.; Spring 2014: 19th Feb.; Summer 2014: 21st May; Autumn 2014: 20th Aug. Editor: Stephen Garnett Deputy Editor: Angeline Wilcox Assistant Editors:Susan Kelleher, Peter Worsley Media: Edmund Whitehouse Production: Ann Augur, Keren Bowers Music Editor: Percy Bickerdyke Recording Engineer: Eric Holmes Advertising: Bryn Piper Despatch: Helen Whitman Editorial Secretary: Christine Freeman Head of Publishing: Neil O’Brien Operations Manager: Lisa Grayson

Sales/Subscriptions: This England, PO Box 26862, Kirkcaldy, KY2 9BT. Telephone: UK 0844 824 2068 Overseas +44 (0) 844 824 2068 Fax: 0844 824 0054 E-mail: Internet: Editorial: This England, The Lypiatts, Lansdown Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2JA. Telephone: UK 01242 225780 Overseas +44 (0) 1242 225780 E-mail: Articles and photographs submitted for publication must be accompanied by a stamped addressed e­ nvelope for return if unsuitable. Whilst all reasonable care will be taken, the Publishers do not accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to material sent in for consideration. Address all submissions to the Editor at This England’s Editorial Office.

Bright summer colours have dissolved into gentle autumn shades at Derwentwater in the Lake District. ADRIAN BAKER

Page Contents


12 The Historic Homes of England: Cotehele, St. Dominick, Cornwall 14 A Sussex Harvest 10 The Editor’s Letter 12 A Royal History of England: King Richard II 15 Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess 16 In England — Now!: The Amazings 18 Thackeray: An anniversary tribute

Roy J. Westlake Anthony Burton Stephen Garnett Paul James Stephen Garnett Jack Jakeman John Blake/ William Barker Wendy Lloyd

22 24

Portrait of a Village: Ockham among the Oaks Voyage Across the Airwaves: ‘And now the Shipping Forecast...’ 26 Nelson’s Column: Keeping an eye on the nation 28 English Excursions: The Historical Roots of the Black Country 31 Travels Through a Road Atlas 32 Notes from a Cottage Garden 34 History’s Action Man: Dan Snow 36 Poets’ Corner 38 Take Seven Girls: Land Girls who kept the country 42 Post Box: Letters to the Editor 43 Silver Cross of St. George: Diane Williams 48 Forget-Me-Nots: Number 53 49 Sandwich Board

Angeline Wilcox George Nelson


Robert Aston Ann Barnes Rosemary Pettigrew Bernard Bale Susan Kelleher Richard Holdsworth —

Angeline Wilcox Sylvia Duncan

50 The Apple Tree 51 Lantern Magic 52 Colchester’s Gourmet Delights: The Oyster Farmer’s Harvest 54 Mind Your Language! 56 Keeping England Green and Pleasant: The Countryside Restoration Trust 59 Exploring English Surnames 60 Read All About It!: West Auckland — Champions of the World 62 A Refreshing Walk at Hengistbury Head 64 England’s Unsung Composers: The Richard Hickox Legacy 66 Cornucopia 70 English Books 74 English Diary 84 I Love an Old Shop in an Old-Fashioned Street

Bruce Mawdesley Peter Gaston Julian Claxton Adam Jacot de Boinod Gerry Hanson Thomas Bartholomew Navdeep Rehill Mel Hannaghan Peter Worsley — — —

Patience Strong

This England — read by two million patriots all over the World! Printed in England by Webmart Ltd, OX26 4UL Distributed by Marketforce, The Blue Fin Building,110 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0SU. © 2013 This England Publishing Ltd.

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illiam Makepeace Thackeray was possibly, apart from Charles Dickens, the best-known novelist of the 19th century. Born on 18th July 1811 in Calcutta, where his father Richmond Thackeray was a secretary of the Board of Trade, he died at the early age of 52 exactly 150 years ago. There is a story that William’s mother Anne was dominated by her grandmother Ann Becher. The old lady was so determined to obtain an appropriate suitor for her daughter that she told Anne that the man she loved, Henry CarmichaelSmyth, had died. This proved not to be the case when Richmond unwittingly invited the supposedly dead CarmichaelSmyth to dinner one evening. When Richmond died in 1815, Anne was able to marry her true love. Brought up in great luxury, following the death of his father, William, aged just five, was sent back to England to be looked after by an aunt and uncle whilst his mother remained in India. On the journey home the ship called at St. Helena where a servant pointed out the island’s famous prisoner, Napoleon Bonaparte. His education took place at schools in Southampton, Chiswick and finally at Charterhouse School. He was quite a timid boy and because he was near-sighted was unable to participate in many games and was frequently bullied. He later

wrote that Charterhouse should be called “Slaughterhouse”. He continued his education at Trinity College, Cambridge, where his earliest writings appeared in two publications, The Snob and The Gownsman, but left in 1830 after just one year. The temptations of gambling and partying proved too much for him so he began his life without the benefit of a formal degree. He started travelling on the Continent, visiting Paris and Germany. It was during one of these trips that he met the writer and philosopher, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. All the time he was reading and gaining a knowledge of literature that he had failed to obtain when he was at university. Back in England, in 1831 he began to study law at the Middle Temple but that proved to be yet another infatuation. He all too easily reverted to his easy lifestyle, drinking, gambling and encounters with a variety of women. The fact that he came into his inheritance of £17,000 gave him little incentive to find work, although much of the money was squandered paying off gambling debts and by the purchase of an unsuccessful newspaper, The National Standard. The rest of his fortune was lost after a bank failure. He returned to Paris to study painting, and some years later recalled his existence at that time: “I was as poor as Job, and sketched away most abominably, but pretty contented, and we used to meet in each other’s little rooms and talk about art and smoke pipes and drink brandy and water.” It was while he was in Paris that William met and fell in love with Isabella Gethin Shawe.


On the 150th anniversary of his death, a tribute to one of the greatest writers in the history of English literature

The novelist suffered two false starts in his life: at Trinity College, Cambridge (left) and at Middle Temple, one of the Inns of Court in London.


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Thackeray stayed at the Ship Inn (now the Old Ship Hotel) in Brighton and included it in “Vanity Fair”.

Isabella threw herself into the sea in an attempt at suicide. She William’s stepfather had become the financial backer of a new was rescued but continued with ever deepening depression, at political periodical, The Constitutional, and employed William times completely withdrawing from the world around her. as the Paris correspondent. The regular income enabled They both travelled frequently between England and France, William to marry Isabella, on 20th August 1836. with William determined to find a cure for his wife’s state of The couple moved back to London and he began “writing for mind. Eventually she ended up in an institution near Paris his life”, as he described it, finding his true niche in journalism. where she remained until 1893, outliving her husband by 30 His pace of writing increased each time his wife gave birth to years. one of their three daughters: Anne Isabella (1837), Jane (1838, Thackeray never formed another serious relationship after who died before she was a year old) and Harriet Marian (1840). she was sent away, living the life of a bachelor in London. As a prolific contributor of art and literary criticism, topical He now had his daughters and grandmother living with him articles and fiction to numerous newspapers and journals, although this didn’t stop him from seeing other women from including The Times, Fraser’s Magazine and, perhaps most time to time. He became involved with a Mrs. Jane Brookfield, successfully of all, Punch, Thackeray became a close friend of the wife of an old friend of his from Cambridge. Eventually Charles Dickens. For Fraser’s he wrote The Yellowplush Papers the relationship became known to Jane’s husband who forbade (1837-38), Catherine (1839-40), A Shabby Genteel Story (1840), Thackeray from ever seeing his wife again. Samuel Titmarsh and the Great Hoggarty Diamond (1841) and Serialisation of Thackeray’s masterpiece, Vanity Fair, began Barry Lyndon (1844); for Punch he gained notoriety with The in Punch in January 1847, with the author receiving £60 for each Snobs of England (1846-1847). instalment. In Makers of Nineteenth Century Culture: Volume II His first book, The Paris Sketch Book, was published in 1840 (Routledge, 2001), author Jonathan Keats wrote: “Like several and gave him a good financial return. Publishers now became more interested in his work and, determined to write in a quiet other great 19th-century English novels, such as Middlemarch environment, he often spent and Great Expectations, the In 1935 Thackeray’s famous heroine became the basis for a Hollywood long intervals away at his book enjoys a carefully worked film. “Becky Sharp”, with Miriam Hopkins in the title role, also starred London clubs; the Reform out historical perspective Frances Dee and Cedric Hardwicke. Club, of which he was a longin a past which could easily time member, still has a literary be recalled by Thackeray’s section entitled the Thackeray older readers, and part of its Society who hold monthly theme is an exploration of the meetings in his memory. Regency atmosphere which He was also frequently will mingle a wistful nostalgia absent through foreign travel, with a shudder of retrospective so only gradually became cynicism. Thus, while figures aware that Isabella had like Sir Pitt Crawley and Lord become a victim of depression, Steyne are made positively precipitated by the birth of grotesque and satanic, the their third child. Her condition character of Becky Sharp was not helped by William’s herself is held up to our ironic grandmother, who Isabella admiration precisely through called “a pestering old body”. those qualities of guile, He tried to spend more time resilience and resourcefulness with his wife and took her on which place her outside the a journey to Ireland to see her preserve of the traditional mother. During the crossing Victorian heroine.” F

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he leaves are appearing on the oak trees that live in and around Ockham, Surrey’s “oak hamlet”, a unique little village and a tranquil oasis barely 35 miles from the centre of London. The village is listed in William the Conqueror’s Domesday Book (1086) as “a habitation with a Manor House and a Church and a plentiful supply of Oak Trees”. Today the population is not a great deal bigger than it has been over the centuries, with around 400 inhabitants. Once it boasted shops and a post office, sadly, now long gone. However, All Saints Church remains, its list of rectors going back to 1160 although the present building dates from about 1220: a truly beautiful church, famous for its mediaeval seven lancet east window located above the altar, one of only two in the country. It depicts the Risen Lord with saints and children. Visitors come from far and wide to see it, together with the glorious King Chapel memorial by Rysbrach.

landlady, refused to accommodate Viscountess Harberton, President of the Western Rational Dress Society, in the coffee room. The viscountess was “guilty” of wearing the infamous zouave, or knickerbockers, costume. Lady Harberton took her to court but lost her case in 1899 and skirts reigned supreme at the Hautboy inn! Sadly the Hautboy is no longer an inn. It has long been traditional for English cricket grounds to adjoin an inn and it is unlikely that the Ockham cricket ground has ever moved far from its present location next to the Hautboy. The earliest records of the cricket club are dated at around 1888 though the exact date of the first game on Hautboy Meadow is not known. Little is known of their achievements at that time, or even their names. In his book, The Oak Hamlet, published in 1900, Mr. Hick Bashall refers to the Ockham Cricket Club saying: “The club knows how to render a good account of itself and the members consider themselves quite as good as their neighbours.” The late Len Elliott, an original Ockham resident, recalled playing cricket at Ockham in the 1920s: “There was no such thing as a pavilion to change in, we had to pitch a tent and before the

Ockham among the Oaks


Many are surprised to learn that William of Occam, one of the greatest mediaeval philosophers and theologians, was born in the village in 1285. Ockham’s favourite son, William was a Franciscan friar and Oxford lecturer who was at the centre of many major intellectual and religious controversies during the 14th century. Following his disagreements with the Pope he was tried in Avignon for heresy and subsequently excommunicated. His most noted philosophy is known as “Occam’s Razor”, meaning “don’t adopt a more complicated explanation if a simpler one will do”. His teaching subsequently inspired Martin Luther, the father of the Reformation. In more modern times, another attraction which brought visitors to Ockham was the Hautboy inn, built in 1864 by the first Earl of Lovelace with the famous Ockham bricks baked in the local brickyards off Long Reach. It was a popular stopping place for cyclists and became notorious in 1898 when Mrs. Martha Sprague, the


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Surrey and Northants in 1920. He scored 113 in 42 minutes! Today, Ockham remains an oasis which we fight to keep as a tranquil refuge. Sitting beside Wisley airfield, the M25 and the A3, it is a miracle that we can still find peace in which to enjoy the lovely surroundings. It is a joy to turn off the road into the leafy lanes (dodging the tractors as they lumber up and down!) and know that Ockham, rich in history and oak trees, is still the lovely village that we enjoy. Plenty happens here and our parish room is well used by the various meetings and activities. We are also lucky to have some residents living here who can tell us lovely stories about life in this glorious hamlet over the years. It may have changed but we have a great deal to be thankful for.

LEAFY LANES A leafy lane adorned with trees Brings back such lovely memories Of sycamores by fields of corn One fragrant, fine September morn Far away from worldly pressure Where the air was softer, fresher.



game could be played the boys had to go round the outfield with their home-made barrows picking up the cowpats!� Another claim to fame was made by two England players who graced the Ockham turf around this time, one being Percy Chapman who was regarded as the epitome of the English amateur cricketer; he played in 26 Test matches between 1924 and 1931. In 1926 he captained England at the Oval winning back the Ashes, the first four Tests having been drawn. He also captained England on their successful tour to Australia (1928/29). The other great name gracing our turf was Percy Fender who captained Surrey from 1921 to 1931 but was never invited to lead England. He appeared in only five Tests but his name will be long remembered for his famous century made in 35 minutes in the match between

Now summer came and summer’s gone But life, in essence, still goes on In noble arms of oak and larch That lean across the lane and arch So gracefully enrobed in green They add such beauty to the scene. The lane meanders and I yearn One day for ever to return For in my soul my heart believes Amidst the majesty of leaves The call of home will still remain Whilst strolling down a leafy lane. LINDA FRENCH THIS ENGLAND, Autumn, 2013

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Voyage Across the Airwaves

“And now the Shipping Forecast…”


o matter where you are in the world, hearing those five words instantly brings you home. The power of that phrase and the broadcast that follows — shine out like a beacon, radiating a clear, welcoming light across stormy seas, beckoning you to a safe harbour. Echoing above crashing waves, driving rain and howling gales, the Shipping Forecast is the lighthouse that guides you homeward, back to English shores. You don’t have to be from a seafaring community, you might never have set sail in your life, but the chances are that at some point you will have heard the Shipping Forecast. Whether this was by chance as you idly retuned your radio, or you rely upon the familiar incantation to lull you into a peaceful sleep every night, it is a reassuring comfort in life’s often choppy waters — a metaphorical and audible anchor. For those at sea, of course, it serves a much

more important purpose — conveying vital weather information in some of the most dangerous working conditions. It is a lifeline for mariners. Whatever the Shipping Forecast means to you, it has become an icon; an anthem of the airwaves that is enshrined in the national identity. It reminds us of our island status, our illustrious maritime heritage and proud seafaring traditions. That sense of tradition, heritage and our characteristic preoccupation with the weather perhaps explains something of our affection for this beloved broadcast. Over the decades, it has provided guidance to sailors and inspiration to artists, writers, musicians and poets. It even featured in Danny Boyle’s superbly uplifting Opening Ceremony at the 2012 London Olympics. Broadcast daily on BBC Radio 4 (FM and LW) at 12.48am, 5.20am, 12.01pm (LW only), and 5.54pm (LW only) the bulletin also seems to symbolise the beginning and end of the day. Introducing the final forecast at 12.48am is Ronald Binge’s mellifluous melody Sailing By and, once the broadcast has finished, the National Anthem brings the day to a close in a thoroughly fitting and traditionally British way. We might not understand the peculiar phrases used to describe the weather conditions in the forecast, or know the exact location of the 31 sea areas mentioned, yet they resonate within our hearts, stirring patriotic yearnings. Resembling a mystical mantra, or a soothing lullaby, the Shipping Forecast is perfect poetry loved by seasoned sailors, sleepless souls and landlubbers alike. Romance and iconic status apart let’s navigate a course through the history and background of the Shipping Forecast. Captaining our voyage is its most significant figure, Vice Admiral Robert FitzRoy (1805-1865), who is probably bestknown as the captain of HMS Beagle, which took Charles Darwin on his famous expedition. During his time at sea, FitzRoy became concerned at the number of ships and sailors lost due to bad weather. In the 1850s when the government decided to invest money in weather research and predictions, FitzRoy was put in charge of the new Meteorological Office. He set to work immediately, issuing captains with improved nautical instruments and establishing weather stations around the country to collect the necessary information for producing what FitzRoy called “weather forecasts”. By 1861 a telegraphic warning system of approaching bad weather had been introduced and warning cones were flown at major ports when a storm was expected. The first transmission of weather alerts to ships occurred in 1911, when gale warnings were sent by Morse code to vessels in the North Atlantic. The Shipping Forecast, or Weather Shipping as it was then known, made its radio debut on the National Programme in 1924. These daily bulletins, covering the original 13 sea areas, were broadcast from the Air Ministry at 8am and 9pm. Although the bulletins were silenced during the war, normal service was resumed soon after on the Light Programme and by 1949 the number of sea areas had increased.

‘It reminds us of our island status’

The sea areas covered by the Shipping Forecast.


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Today’s listeners will be familiar with the following names: Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire, Forties, Cromarty, Forth, Tyne, Dogger, Fisher, German Bight, Humber, Thames, Dover, Wight, Portland, Plymouth, Biscay, Trafalgar, FitzRoy, Sole, Lundy, Fastnet, Irish Sea, Shannon, Rockall, Malin, Hebrides, Bailey, Fair Isle, Faeroes and South-east Iceland. They surround the British coastline to form a maritime mosaic; a tightly interlocking framework of tidal territories. Since 1949 this nautical map has hardly altered apart from a few additions and name changes. In 1956 Fisher, Viking and Trafalgar first appeared, while German Bight replaced Heligoland. North and South Utsire were spotted on the horizon in 1984 and 11 years ago the former Finisterre was renamed FitzRoy — a fine tribute to the founding father of the forecast. Those who tune in are fascinated by the terminology and the rhythm of the broadcast. It seems to reflect the ebb-and-flow of the tide, and although it sounds beautiful — it can be slightly alarming when you hear “severe gale 9”, “storm 10” or “violent storm 11”. As you listen at home — all dry, warm and snug — your thoughts turn to the fishermen and sailors braving the storm-tossed seas. To the uninitiated listener the Shipping Forecast might appear an enigma-coded message. Truthfully, though, no cryptographers are needed to decipher the broadcast as it follows a strict pattern. Each bulletin is written by staff at the Met Office and sent to the BBC. A 350-word limit (extended to 370 late at night when the Trafalgar area is included) is essential to fit in with on-air timing constraints. The familiar introduction is followed by any gale warnings (winds greater than force 8) and the general synopsis of incoming weather including the millibar pressure. Forecasts for the individual sea areas are then issued beginning with Viking and moving round clockwise to South-east Iceland. Each one covers the wind direction (“veering” means clockwise, “backing” is anticlockwise) and strength on the Beaufort scale; the weather and the visibility. The forecast lexicon features words such as “occasional”, “good”, “moderate”, “poor”, “deepening”, “slight”, “variable”, “cyclonic”, and my particular favourite “squally” — the wonderfully alliterative adjective that’s applied to showers. Although it’s all about sailing conditions, the fact that this is radio means that the broadcaster’s voice and vocal delivery are important. From a personal point of view I have to admit that no one has surpassed the velvet-voiced, Peter Jefferson, who read the Shipping Forecast for 40 years until 2009, but Charlotte Green’s supremely modulated tones were always a pleasure to hear. For a voyage that has lasted an incredible 90 years, there have been a few instances when the forecast has drifted slightly off-course. On several occasions an earlier forecast was broadcast by mistake, but, thankfully, any danger was averted and corrections were swiftly issued. As with so many programmes, the Shipping Forecast inspires tremendous loyalty among listeners. In 1993, when the BBC stopped using Sailing By as the theme to the 12.48am weekday broadcast, audiences launched a wave of protest. First used on the broadcast in 1967 this slow waltz was an intrinsic element of the much-loved bulletin. Apart from its melodic quality it was chosen to help identify the broadcast for anyone trying to tune in. Fortunately, Ronald Binge’s lilting composition was later reinstated. Similarly any suggestion that the times of the bulletins might alter is

greeted with outrage, and, although it wasn’t the BBC’s decision, the renaming of the sea area Finisterre as FitzRoy, saw storm clouds gathering. Interestingly, the majority of these protests came from landlubbers, which shows just how much the Shipping Forecast means to the nation — and how its appeal has widened. Inevitably with technological advances, satellites and the instant availability of weather forecasts on computers, some might think that mariners no longer depend on the radio broadcast. However, this is certainly not the case and tuning-in to the bulletin is still essential for many of those preparing to set sail. It is also a crucial back-up should all the high-tech equipment on board fail. Besides, can you imagine the public outcry if it wasn’t broadcast? BBC executives would, quite rightly, be forced to walk the plank and there would be a “hurricane force 12” heading towards Broadcasting House! The Shipping Forecast is one of the treasures of “our sceptr’d isle” and long may she continue safely sailing by on her voyage across the airwaves. ANGELINE WILCOX

‘Inspires tremendous loyalty among listeners’

Stormy seas off Trevose Head in Cornwall. JULIE HILLIARD THIS ENGLAND, Autumn, 2013

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Notes from a Cottage Garden by Rosemary Pettigrew


hen I was a child I could never understand why my father spent so much of his spare time carefully tending our garden. I shook my head in wonder that someone should get so concerned about whether the potatoes had blight, if the weather was right for planting seeds or whether dahlias would make a better display in the border this year rather than annuals. Now that my family have fledged and flown and we’ve just downsized to a smaller house, I’ve had a late flowering interest in gardening – and now I understand! I am looking forward to spending much of my retirement in the new garden but I’m worried. The house may be smaller than my last one but the garden isn’t – it is a garden that has been carefully planned and loved. So while I am thrilled to be looking after it, I’m a bit intimidated too. Just like the responsibility of looking after a child, I feel I must give it the best possible care. The trouble is that although I have plenty of enthusiasm, I’m lacking in knowledge and experience. So I’m reading books, trying things out and taking advice – and I’m going to write this column letting you know how I’m getting on. I may not be a Carol Klein, Rachel de Thame or Christine Walkden – but I aspire to be in their league one day! First things first Everyone tells me that I must wait a year to see what comes up in the garden before I decide on any drastic changes or spend a great deal of money on plants. They also advise against making any design changes and so although I would like to add some things to the garden (such as a water feature and a herb garden), I think this is sound advice as the garden already has a definite, although simple, design. Patience is not one of my strengths but I’m going to try and resist temptation to change things too quickly. Instead I plan to catalogue the garden in the different seasons and see what comes up when. This task has been really helped by the previous owners of the house who kindly left some notes about what had been done to the garden and what was in it. Really useful and not something you usually think about when you are selling your house – I certainly left notes 32

Plant of the Season Crab Apple (Malus) This is a definite for my garden – small, hardy, with not too invasive roots, masses of flowers, and fruit that you can make jelly from. A native plant to Britain, the crab apple is descended from the wild apple and has been popular for many centuries. It was a holy tree for the Celts and Druids; an important ingredient of the wassail that was traditionally drunk to ensure a good harvest; and was mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays. There are lots of different varieties to choose from with flowers that range from deepest pink to white, and fruits with hues of red, pink and yellow. I’m tempted with M. Golden Hornet because of the profusion of golden yellow fruit that often last all winter as the birds don’t seem to like them. However, other possibilities include M. Harry Baker which has large fruit that apparently make the best jelly; M. Royal Beauty because it is a weeping tree with purply-red leaves and fruit or M. Pink Glow which has distinctive pink fruit. about the bin collection day, where the mains water tap came in and the foibles of the hot water system but didn’t think about putting down anything about the garden. My new garden is divided into sections. The small front garden is planted with hot colours while the border to the side of the house is soft pinks and blues. The back

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garden is mainly shrubs and perennials with an area right at the bottom of the garden for vegetables and a few sickly looking fruit trees which have apparently defied all attempts to get them to crop. At this time of year the garden is starting to light up with shades of pink, crimson and gold as the nights shorten and the air cools. It’s a lovely time of year and a good time to get to know a new garden. So down to business – I can’t wait to get my hands dirty. I know I’m going to have highs and lows, successes and failures but I hope you’ll share these with me. I’d love to hear from you about techniques, plants etc. that have worked well for you because, although I have books to read and the internet to surf, nothing beats the advice from green-fingered fellow gardeners.

Testing, te sting, testin g…

Apparently it’s a good idea to do a soil Ph te when you mo st ve to a new ga rden. So I inve in one (not a st e d huge investme nt it has to be as it was only said about £3) – b ut I was rathe disappointed th r at all it was w as a small plast tube. The trou ic ble is that I do n’t know whe to take the so re il sample from – the soils in my garden loo k different as some areas hav been manured e or top dressed over the years Presumably I ta . ke the sample from somewh where it looks ere untouched so I’ll have a go a let you know nd how I get on.


orne C e h astrop


Next time...

winter jobs, getting to grips with ve I’ s e k a pruning, sorting out the t mist the firs a geum for f o e greenhouse and ordering n O taking s is e v m a is le seeds for next year. t the made though d with I . d e e aw t wee like tha rs (don’t d e k o lo we llow flo hat I small ye t it’s c alled) t us ha know w ith in a previo w d my hot due to my lt wrestle u s e r As a uded garden. s bec ome den . It was only g ha border usiastic weedin c ame to drop h t er over-en previous own tic ed that I’d no he when t ost that she p e off som the geums! ed t eradic a

Things to do in Autumn ❁ Clear up fallen leaves and put them on the compost. My compost bin is a simple dustbin at the moment but I hope to have a triple bin eventually to have compost in three stages of decay. ❁ Plant deciduous trees, shrubs and climbers. There’s a space where an old damson tree used to be in the garden. Much as I love damsons, I think I’ll put in a crab apple instead – in case there was any damson disease that caused the tree to die. I love rambling roses and clematis so I want to put in some of those too to cover my bare fence panels. ❁ Plant daffodils, hyacinths, tulips etc. As I don’t know how many bulbs there are in the garden I’ll have to wait to Spring to see. But just in case there aren’t many, I’m going to plant up some tubs with bulbs and then I can put them in the garden in appropriate places later. ❁ Scarify the lawn, aerate and give an autumn feed. The lawn does look a bit weedy, mossy and speckled with dark green areas where the previous owners’ dogs have left their mark! So a bit of vigorous exercise is called for raking out the moss, sticking the garden fork tines in at regular intervals and applying a lawn fertiliser/weedkiller. ❁ Prune Oh dear! Where do I begin? I have things I recognise and things that are listed in the notes left by the previous owners, but there’s still a lot that I can’t name so I don’t know whether to cut them back hard, slightly – or not at all. I’ll give the shrubs a light prune and see what happens next year – and I think I’ll leave everything, including the fruit trees, well alone until I’m more confident. ❁ Plan and plant herbaceous border. I have a place I’d like to make a herbaceous border but I’m trying to curb my enthusiasm until I get to know the garden. But I will make a plan and get a rough idea of what plants I’d like in it.  THIS ENGLAND, Autumn, 2013

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ilking cows, making hay and dodging Buzz Bombs! These are just some of the daily tasks of the brave young girls of the Women’s Land Army in the last war when we, as a nation, depended upon their efforts for the food on our plates. I’ve been fortunate enough to sit them down and listen to their tales. Although in their eighties, and in some cases nineties, their memories are as sharp as ever and what tales they tell! Almost without exception they say it was the time of their lives. “Wouldn’t have missed it for all the world — doing my bit for our ultimate victory.” And it was that victory that Churchill feared would never come had the U-boat menace prevailed and the Merchant Navy fleet been consigned to the bottom of the sea. U-boat successes rose sharply from the day war was declared on Germany — some 400 Allied ships with a gross tonnage of 1.3 million tons going down in the first seven months of hostilities, rising to nearly 900 ships of 3 million tons in the remaining nine months of 1940. Worse was to come — 1,300 ships of 4 million tons in 1941 to peak at 1,600 ships and 7 million tons in 1942. Altogether, 2,426 British merchant ships alone with a gross

Richard Holdsworth meets seven Land Girls who worked the farms and kept the country fed during the Second World War

Above: Home again! Seven girls who were billeted at Brenzett in Kent during the Second World War return for the annual reunion in August 2012. Left to right: Diane Fisher, Muriel Bailey, Betty Hollingdale, Stella Masters, Evelyn Light and Ivy Goodall with Alice Racher seated at the front.


tonnage of over 11 million tons were sent to the bottom during the Second World War. With carnage on this scale, it was not surprising that supplies getting through to Britain slowed to a trickle. I was six when I was bundled off with Mum and older sister to a little village in deepest Berkshire and while I don’t think we were ever on the brink of starvation, I do remember my mum struggling to put food on the table. Dad got a transfer from the Midland Bank in London and became the assistant manager in a little branch office in the village and was soon known as the Overdraft Man as butchers, bakers and candlestick-makers sought funds to keep their businesses running. Mum thought Dad could use his position to secure us a few extra rashers of bacon to eke out the rations, but as far as I know it never happened and it was down to Land Girls — plus Dad’s modest effort to Dig for Victory — to keep us fed.

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Even before the war started the Government encouraged women to come onto the land but by December 1941 encouragement alone was not enough and the National Service Act was introduced to bring the fair sex into vital war duties — including taking to the land. Ivy Goodall was one girl who heeded the Government’s exhortations and signed up a year before war broke out and was “rewarded” by being called up on 4th September 1939, the day after war was declared! Ivy was sent to Reaseheath Agricultural College for two months’ training then onto a farm at Arley near Coventry. So close, in fact, that she watched as Coventry went up in flames on that infamous night of 14th November 1940. Ivy tended to the cows and usual farm duties, including potato picking, during the day…and put out incendiaries at night. A varied life! At first only single women between 20 and 30 were called upon, but later the age limit was expanded and women between 19 and 43 were included…and even younger or older if they were keen so that by 1943 more than 80,000 — now nicknamed Land Girls — were working on farms and market gardens, and a further 6,000 employed in what was known as the Timber Corps helping run saw mills producing vitally needed timber for the war effort. All worked long hours, especially during the summer, mostly outdoors and often in cold and rain. Just hear what ex-Land Girl Peggy Pickerill has to say: “I was put to work cutting kale and at other times muck spreading…this was out in the fields and in all weathers.”

Evelyn Light tackles a compost heap.

‘Farmers were initially sceptical about employing young women’ The girls came from a wide variety of backgrounds with more than one-third from London and other large cities. Some were homesick and it didn’t help that farmers were initially sceptical about employing young women although they soon came to realise what an asset they had in filling the boots of the men who had gone off to fight. There was an official Land Army uniform consisting of green jumper, brown breeches or dungarees, brown felt hat and khaki overcoat. There was also an official magazine, The Land Girl, and a song designed to keep their spirits up: Back to the land, we must all lend a hand, To the farms and fields we must go, There’s a job to be done Though we can’t fire a gun We can still do our bit with the hoe.

Second World War memorabilia, with guidance about how to get the most from limited resources in the kitchen. STEVE BRYANT

Peggy, who now lives in Sussex, was first sent to Cheshire and as a consequence of working when soaked through suffered from rheumatism and in such great pain she was sent to Manchester Royal Infirmary for treatment. So much for the healthy outdoor life! But Peggy still says she loved working on the farms and stayed for most of the war and helped set up the local WLA group and even found time to become treasurer. Even in summer — and especially harvest time — the hours were long. I can testify to that as the Holdsworth family stayed on after the war and I worked at Home Farm in Upper Basildon and it was a start at seven and we were still there after nine o’clock gathering in the harvest — or when the sun went down. Peggy remembers the tea being brought out to the fields in an open bucket. “Flies and all!”

Initially, the official wage for a Land Girl was £1 17s 0d for a minimum of a 50-hour week. In 1944 wages were increased to £2 17s 0d. But as these were paid by the farmer rather than directly by the State, it was difficult to ensure that they got what was due to them. Alice Racher (maiden name Bright) who now lives in Eastbourne remembers the hard work: “When I joined up I was sent to Holbeach in Lincolnshire working on a market garden and I can still remember the row upon row of plants as far as the eye could see.” She was given a hoe and told, “Start at one end Miss Bright and don’t stop until you get to the other!” Just like Peggy Pickerill, Alice remembers it was in sun, rain, wind and even snow. But Alice was told by the farmer she had green fingers and the crops prospered under her! “I felt really proud of what I was doing, my little bit for the war effort.” Alice was one of three sisters and they all signed up to be Land Girls. Sybil was sent to Cumberland doing general farm duties and dairying. Sybil says, “If I had a pound for every cow I milked I’d have been rich by the end of the war!” Alice’s second sister, Doreen Bright, was billeted in a Land Army hostel in Lincoln not far from Alice but they rarely saw F

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Keeping England Green and Pleasant For 20 years the Countryside Restoration Trust has been doing just that


he Countryside Restoration Trust was launched in 1993 in response to growing fears about intensive and industrialised farming which was threatening the habitats and biodiversity of the countryside. It was established by current Chairman, Robin Page (of One Man and His Dog fame), the late Sir Laurens van der Post, and the late artist and conservationist, Gordon Beningfield. The CRT’s initial aim was to purchase land which had been intensively farmed, in order to restore it to a living countryside. The CRT promotes a working countryside using sensitive and sympathetic farming practices that encourage and protect wildlife, to produce quality food. As the CRT has grown its aims have broadened to encompass purchasing farmland and woodland where traditional farming methods, wildlife habitat and biodiversity are under threat. The strategic aims of the CRT are: To protect and restore Britain’s countryside with wildlife-friendly and sustainable agriculture; To establish demonstration farms which, using sensitive farming methods, will demonstrate how to protect wildlife,


produce quality food and preserve our countryside for future generations; To promote the importance of a living and working countryside through education, demonstration and community involvement. In its first 20 years the priority of the CRT has been to manage farmland in a manner that helps wildlife, as well as producing high-quality arable and livestock products. To achieve this, both productive land and semi-natural habitats have been managed and improved by farm tenants working alongside teams of volunteers responsible for conservation work and wildlife monitoring. Wildlife is monitored on an annual or periodic basis to determine trends in populations. When the farms are acquired by the CRT, the land and wildlife are monitored in the first year to produce a base line from which all future wildlife trends can be measured. Acquired in 1998, Lark Rise Farm near Cambridge has been transformed from cereal monoculture into small fields bordered by hedges and grass margins with a wide range of crops grown. Features such as Weston’s horse and dray, sheep at Mayfields Farm, bluebells in Margaret Wood and (above) Lark Rise Farm, Cambridgeshire.

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beetle banks, conservation headlands, nectar and flower strips, well-managed stubbles and bare fallow are used to increase opportunities for birds such as yellowhammers and grey partridges, but also for bats, hares, bees and butterflies. The mix of spring and winter crops has also dramatically increased the number of skylarks and linnets and helped to maintain the numbers of corn bunting, all of which are in decline nationally. Meadows have been restored along the Bourn Brook. These not only provide a reservoir of flood water but include over 100 species of wild flowers and buffer the river from pesticides, fertiliser and soil erosion. Monitoring the farm has shown that: farmland birds that are decreasing elsewhere have increased dramatically; barn owls have reappeared to breed; mammals range from the badger to the rare harvest mouse; brown hares are back to 1950s numbers; butterfly species have increased from 14 to 22 and include the rare white-letter hairstreak; over 250 plant species have been recorded, including rare arable weeds which make the land “nationally important” for plant conservation. Bats and bumble bees have increased dramatically and the CRT believes all these increases are down to farming all the land in a wildlife-friendly way. In autumn 2010 a project was begun on the Bourn Brook, Jersey cows and the new dairy at Pierrepont Farm, Surrey, and (above) Robin Page, CRT Chairman, with barn owl chicks.

working with neighbouring landowners and other charities, to eliminate mink and enable the existing water voles to breed and flourish. Water voles are Britain’s fastest declining mammal and are exceptionally vulnerable to predation by mink due to their shared environment. Lark Rise is the flagship of the CRT and it is hoped that the other properties in the Trust will have similar successes in future years. There are three signed walks for visitors to Lark Rise. Turnastone Court Farm in Herefordshire was purchased by the Trust in 2002 to save ancient meadows. The farmland extends to 247 acres with the majority being permanent pasture. Bordering the River Dore, some of the fields form a unique area of water meadows which have remained unploughed for 400 years and include Elizabethan drainage systems. The Game Conservancy Trust reintroduced water voles to the farm in 2006 and surveys suggest that their numbers have been maintained. The tenants have continued many of the traditional and sympathetic farming methods, stocking local and traditional breeds, managing hedges, and preserving both the rich biodiversity and the historic landscape of the farm. The traditional management of the wet grassland has recently been rewarded by the arrival of breeding curlews and lapwing in contrast to the more familiar pattern of localised extinctions. A large area of trees has also been planted to recreate the original wood pasture. A major restoration programme is about to be started with the old disused farm buildings. Planning permission has been obtained for an Education Centre, Farm Shop, Residential Accommodation and workshops to teach local rural skills and crafts. Also in Herefordshire, Awnells Farm with its closed herd of traditional Hereford Cattle was given to the CRT in 2003 by David Powell. Hedges and trees have been improved under Countryside Stewardship and the monitoring team have been helped in bird recording since the farm became part of the RSPB Farmer and Volunteer Alliance Project. The traditional organic orchard of apples and perry pears has been improved and is used by lesser spotted woodpeckers, little and tawny owls and redstarts. Indeed, in 2011 Awnells won the “Best Orchard for Wildlife” award organised by the Herefordshire Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group. Pierrepont Farm, a 200-acre dairy farm in Surrey, was given to the Trust in 2006 by Jo Baker. The sandy soil means that the Jersey cattle can stay on pasture all the year round as well as allowing a rich abundance of heathland wildlife. The wildlife 

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obby Moore lifting the Jules Rimet Trophy on Saturday 30th July 1966 at Wembley Stadium is rightly remembered as one of the greatest days in the history of English football. But this wasn’t the first time that England won the World Cup. In 1909 and 1911, a team largely made up of coal miners from the north east of England exceeded all expectations by winning football’s first and second World Cup in Italy. After the Italian government honoured him with the Grand Order of the Crown of Italy in 1904, millionaire sporting enthusiast and philanthropist Sir Thomas Lipton decided to organise a football competition between the leading clubs of Europe. Sir Thomas, who had made his wealth in the grocery business and tea industry, didn’t have problems persuading the football authorities of Italy, Germany and Switzerland to take part in the competition. The English

Football Association, however, weren’t so enthusiastic and refused to send a club to Italy. Strangely, they had a sudden change in attitude and chose West Auckland, a lowly amateur side of coal miners from

Another theory for West Auckland’s unexpected entry is that Sir Thomas wanted to send Woolwich Arsenal and wrote a note for his secretary to contact “W.A.” which she mistook for West Auckland. Although West Auckland were honoured to be representing England in this inaugural tournament, they faced many obstacles in just getting to Italy. The low-paid miners had to sell several valuable items to raise some money; they also experienced a difficult Channel crossing and railway journey. When they arrived in Turin there was a huge banner proclaiming “Welcome Woolwich Arsenal”. The Italian authorities were rather shocked when the unknown West Auckland players greeted them. West Auckland, who were allowed to keep their place in the tournament, defeated German side Sportfreunde Stuttgart 2-0 in the semi-final. In the final

West Auckland Champions of the World the Northern League, as a representative for English football. It has been suggested that Sir Thomas, who provided the trophy for the international football contest, had contacts in the Northern League and put out an appeal for a team to take the English spot.

West Auckland in Turin for the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy (right) in 1909. Douglas Crawford is sitting crosslegged next to the player with the flag, behind him is David “Ticer” Thomas whose grandson, also named David Thomas, played over 450 Football League games for Burnley, QPR, Everton, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Middlesbrough and Portsmouth, scoring over 50 goals as well as appearing eight times for England.


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on 12th April 1909 they defeated good enough and in 1994 the FC Winterthur of Switzerland, trophy was stolen while on also 2-0, to take the trophy. display at the West Auckland The triumph surprised Working Men’s Club. Even everyone because West though the police offered a Auckland were bottom of their £2,000 reward the original own Northern League when trophy was never traced. they travelled to Italy. Two The insurance money was years later they again shocked used to produce a replica of everyone by retaining the the original, with a Sheffield trophy. This time, on 17th April silversmith studying videos and 1911, they defeated one of the photographs extensively before major clubs of Italian football, making a new trophy. Today it Juventus, by six goals to one. is securely locked away at the By the rules of the Working Men’s Club. competition, the lowly amateur In 2009, West Auckland side were allowed to keep were asked to take part in the trophy. The celebrations, a centenary game against The West Auckland team that retained their trophy in 1911, beating however, were short lived. Juventus. The players, who Juventus 6-1 in the final. The two successful trips were were still part-timers, travelled responsible for the club having to Turin by coach. Sadly, now wanted £100 plus interest. West financial problems, and the only way of there would be no third triumph in Auckland, who didn’t have any financial avoiding bankruptcy was by pawning Italy: Juventus gained revenge for the problems, were more than happy to meet the trophy to Mrs. Lancaster, landlady defeat in 1911 with a 7-1 victory. her requests. of the Wheatsheaf Hotel which was the The humbled West Auckland The trophy was now displayed in the club’s headquarters. Mrs. Lancaster team returned home to England and club’s new headquarters, the Eden Arms, concentrated on matches against West home of the club secretary. It remained Allotment Celtic and Bishop Auckland. there until 1966 when, concerned by the They can, however, always be proud theft of the Jules Rimet Trophy, officials of that glorious day when their small had the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy English team achieved the ultimate securely locked away. success. NAVDEEP REHILL Unfortunately, the security wasn’t

DAFT about Football!

Born the son of a County Durham miner in 1884, Jack Greenwell “guested” for the West Auckland team in Turin in 1909, having played his early football for Crook Town. Greenwell went on to play for and manage Barcelona, to manage the Peru national side to the 1939 South American Championship, and marry a chorus girl from the Moulin Rouge. Greenwell died in Bogota, Colombia, in October 1942.

agreed to loan the club the required £40 on condition that the trophy remained in her possession until the debt was fully paid. She would keep the trophy until 1960 when a village appeal raised money to return the cup to the club. Officials from West Auckland went to visit her in Liverpool and asked to have their trophy back, but the crafty lady wasn’t prepared to give up the trophy so easily and started making new demands. She

From the incredible exploits of lowly West Auckland, to the giants of Newcastle United and Sunderland in today’s Premier League, the north east of England has long been a hotbed of football, producing some of the greatest players in the history of the national game. Keeping this tradition alive, but with a refreshing emphasis on the lower but no less important levels of the game, is the Durham Amateur Football Trust (DAFT). The aims of the Trust, which was established in 2006 and run by an energetic band of volunteers, are: to record local sporting and social history by establishing an archive of amateur football in County Durham (see illustration); to collect newspaper reports, audio and video footage, vintage newsreels and memorabilia; to organise exhibitions and lectures and maintain their website for the benefit of clubs, schools and community groups; to promote interest in the history of amateur football and non-league football in an effort to get young and old involved in local clubs, playing, helping and supporting. Further details of the Trust are available from DAFT Office, 4 Soho Cottages, Shildon, County Durham, DL4 1PQ. Tel: 01388 772524. E-mail: Website:

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The Patience Strong Poem

For all who love our green and pleasant land

AUTUMN 2013 Quarterly £4.60

Volume Forty Six Number Three AUTUMN 2013

I love an old shop in an old-fashioned street, where you stand at a window and gaze on all sorts of charming and beautiful things that are rare in these mass-produced days. Jugs, lamps and candlesticks, china and glass, crystal and copper and amber and brass. Things with a history, lovely and old, if they could speak what a tale would be told! If progress so-called swept these old shops away — it would indeed be a very sad day... To all that is left of our treasures hold fast. They’re part of old England — a part of our past. Above: Window shopping near the cathedral in Lincoln.

te cov autumn 13 without.indd All Pages


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This England Autumn 2013  
This England Autumn 2013  

This England is the patriotic quarterly magazine for all who love our green and pleasant land.