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October 2012

Issue 22

www.oddfellows.co.uk

Sport & leisure

Money

Ted’s record breaking round

It costs £395,000 per day to run the RNLI, whose volunteer lifeboat crews routinely put their own lives on the line to save others. The Oddfellows has been supporting the charity for 51 years. Alison Adamson explains the difference this money has made, and how you can help.

Win! In the first of our new series, ‘Extraordinary Oddfellows’ we meet 92 year old Ted, the world’s oldest paperboy.

WIN: A signed copy of Nigel Slater’s new book, The Kitchen Diaries II

Culture club Three centuries and counting To celebrate our 202nd birthday this month, Oddfellows expert Paul Eyre is here to delve into the history books and reveal the Society’s influential past, and how it came to have such an unusual name.

Also featured this month Latest News: A round up of September’s Friendship Month, and Skipton’s award-winning garden display. Health & Wellbeing: Professor Stuart Parker reveals an optimistic blueprint for the future with an aging population

WIN: A dazzling pair of gardening gloves! Send George a question for your chance to win

Around Britain: A guide to visiting Stockport, this month’s town profile, by Branch Secretary Mary Wheeler. Active Travel: Member Robert Rudge writes about a recent cruise, plus our latest holiday offer open exclusively to members. Home & Garden: Our resident gardener George Hill is on hand to solve your gardening problems. Food & Drink: Try your hand at this ambitious seafood dish, created by the Head Chef at one of the UK’s top dining pubs.

(See inside for more details)


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Culture club “I love going to the theatre once in a while, so when I heard my local Oddfellows Branch was arranging a trip I couldn’t pass it up.” Sharon - Manchester

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Building a Society

Each October, members of the Oddfellows celebrate the anniversary of the Society’s official birthday. The history of this 202-year-old organisation has been groundbreaking. Paul Eyre, Branch Secretary from South Yorkshire & North Derbyshire and an Oddfellows expert, shares some lesser known facts from its illustrious past. The early days Lots of people ask me how the Society ended up being called the Oddfellows. Like so much of history, the exact reason has been lost, but historians generally agree that the idea dates back to the medieval trade guilds. Tradesmen – or fellows – tended to group together in guilds, which were like primitive trade unions. These ‘Odd Fellows’ were originally named for being a collection of tradesmen from different industries all working together to improve their living and working conditions.

It was actually organisations like the Oddfellows that first had the ideas behind the NHS and the Welfare State.

The earliest recorded Oddfellows Lodge, known today as a Branch, was in South London in 1730. Meetings were originally held in pubs and many were renamed The Oddfellows Arms to advertise that they held Lodge meetings to attract more members.

On 10 October 1810, a new independent society, The Manchester Unity of Oddfellows, was formed and Lodges across the country quickly joined. Members then embraced their name as a sign of how their values of looking after one another were unusual. Innovators Despite becoming political footballs in recent times, the NHS and the Welfare State remain two of the UK’s greatest achievements. Yet it was actually organisations like the Oddfellows that first had the idea, collectively organising healthcare and insurance schemes for its members. The popularity of schemes like this led to more than 1 million Britons becoming members by the early 20th Century. This also led, ultimately, to the creation of the NHS and the Welfare State after WWII and one of the Society’s most famous Chairmen, Herbert A Andrews, played a pivotal role. He was later honoured with an OBE for his service. Back to the future Today, the organisation is thriving in its third century with around 250,000 members in the UK. For many, Oddfellowship is now more about enjoying the social side of life, however members suffering financial hardship or ill health can still receive help and support. The three links, friendship, love and truth, were the guiding principles that led the first Oddfellows to come together, and they remain at the very heart of the Society today.


Culture club

The Reader’s Review Book: The Geneva Trap by Stella Rimington There can be no better authority on the subject of spies and espionage than the former head of MI5, so you know that any novel by Dame Stella Rimington is going to be something special. The Geneva Trap is actually the seventh book in a series featuring the main character Liz Carlyle; a somewhat neurotic MI5 agent. However as the story is self-contained, you can easily come to the book without any prior knowledge of the previous six. The plot is compelling and moves at a good pace, although the realistic nature of the storyline may put some readers off. It’s not action packed in the James Bond sense. But I enjoyed the insight into the actual workings of the security services that Rimington’s real life experience brings. For a former ‘spook’, Rimington has a relaxed and enjoyable writing style and this is one book that I genuinely found hard to put down. Tony Harrison, Assistant Property Manager Unity Office, Manchester

Win a signed copy of Nigel Slater’s new book: The Kitchen Diaries II Following on from his success with The Kitchen Diaries, food writer and broadcaster Nigel Slater has returned with The Kitchen Diaries II: A Year of Simple Suppers. Slater is famed for shunning TV-chef-style perfection in favour of real, honest home cooking, as he explained in the June edition of Friendscene. Now we’re giving one lucky reader the chance to win a copy of the book, worth £30, signed by the chef himself. For your chance to win simply email ezine@oddfellows.co.uk telling us what your favourite winter meal is and why.

Competition terms and conditions 1) Only one entry allowed per person. 2) The deadline for entries is 11.59pm on Wednesday 31 October – any entries received after this time will not be counted. 3) The winning entry will be chosen at random from all entries by the Oddfellows and the winner will be notified within three weeks. 4) By entering this competition, you are giving permission for your name and entry to be used by the Oddfellows in published material, both online and in print. 5) This prize cannot be exchanged for another option and the Oddfellows reserves the right to cancel, or change the details of, this competition without prior notice. The Oddfellows cannot take responsibility for any injury or disappointment caused by this competition. For full competition details please contact ezine@oddfellows.co.uk.


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Food & drink “My favourite thing about the Oddfellows is that all the events are aimed at foodies like me. We even went on a tour of an English vineyard recently – I’ll drink to that!” George - Brighton

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Roasted Hake with spinach risotto Served with a mussel and saffron velouté This ambitious dish was created by Head Chef Alyn Jones at the Dysart Arms, in Bunbury. Synchronise each of the parts carefully using the timings below, or prepare the risotto and velouté in advance. Ingredients (Serves four) Hake 4 fresh hake fillets Olive oil Risotto 600g of risotto rice ½ large onion (diced) 2 cloves of garlic (diced) 300ml of dry white wine 600ml of quality fish stock 1 bag of spinach Vegetable stock Butter

Velouté ½ large onion (diced) 1 clove of garlic (diced) 2 sticks of celery (diced) 2 diced carrots 500ml of white wine Pinch of saffron 500ml of double cream 1 fish stock cube 12 fresh mussels 12 pieces of mussel meat

Method Risotto (22 minutes): Put the spinach in a food processor, cover with vegetable stock and blitz for 2 minutes. Then cook the onions and garlic in a frying pan on a medium heat. After a few minutes, add the wine and increase the heat until the liquid reduces almost completely. Turn down the heat and add the rice. Stir it well, add a small amount of fish stock and stir again. Once the stock has been absorbed by the rice, repeat the process until the rice is plump and almost creamy. Stir in the spinach stock when the rice is cooked. Velouté (22 minutes): First, cook the vegetables in a medium sized pan on a medium heat. Add the wine and reduce it by half before adding the cream and saffron. Add the stock cube and reduce it all until it has the consistency of double cream. Pour the sauce through a sieve into a pan and place it on the stove to simmer. With 2 minutes to go, add the mussels and cook until the shells open.

An award-winning English country pub, The Dysart Arms in Bunbury, Lancashire, has been recommended by the Good Pub Guide for the past 14 years. It was named County dining pub of the year in 2012. www.brunningandprice.co.uk/dysart/

Hake (10 minutes): Season the fish with salt and pepper before pan-frying in oil on a medium heat for 2 minutes skin side down. Then repeat the process on the other side. Next, put the hake on a grease proof tray and place it in the oven for 7 minutes. To serve, put the risotto in the middle of a bowl, add the hake on top and the velouté around the outside.


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Latest news “I’ve promised myself I’ll try new things, and I can do that thanks to the Oddfellows. My friends never thought I’d try paragliding, but it was of the best things I’ve ever done!” Karen - Nottingham

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Latest news Friendship Month finishes in style The Oddfellow’s second annual Friendship Month took place in September, with thousands getting involved across the country and online. Branches organised a special diary of events to mark it while on Facebook, members had the chance to win a brand new digital camera worth £100. Events included friendship walks, wine tasting evenings, dinner cruises and picnics. Existing members were invited to bring along a friend to show them what the Society is all about. Friendship Month first took place last year, and was designed to create a lasting legacy after the 2010 Bicentennial celebrations. The month-long celebration is a good excuse for people to get together and have fun, however there is a serious message behind it. A growing body of research shows people with more good friends are likely to be healthier and live for longer than those without. Click here to watch some of our members explain what friendship means to them, or visit our social media sites via the icons above and share your photos and stories.

District’s flourishing display takes bronze Members of Skipton Oddfellows have been celebrating after winning an award in the annual Skipton in Bloom gardening competition. The Branch took third place in the category for Best Business or Statutory Body Display at the awards ceremony, held in the Town Hall on 20 September. A result of hard work by two members in particular, David Brookfield and Colin Turner, the display adorned the front of the District’s Three Links Club this summer. Colin Turner was also awarded bronze for the town’s best front garden. Oddfellows have a decorated history in the competition, with the Three Links Club taking gold twice in the last five years. This year’s competition was the largest ever in the town, despite the weather creating some of the most challenging gardening conditions for a decade.

Congratulations! Well done to Katie Schofield from Holmfirth, who has won a two-night trip to the Britain’s friendliest B&B in Yorkshire, worth £168! Thank you to everyone else who entered; keep reading Friendscene every month for more chances to win prizes.


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Around Britain “These days we take ‘staycations’ in the UK to keep costs down. But wherever we go there are always Oddfellows events to entertain us.” Lesley - South Yorkshire

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Stockport In keeping with this heritage, Stockport’s Oddfellows present the Chairman of the Society with a hat of his or her choosing every year. I can trace this tradition back at least as far as the 1930s. Current Chairman Charles Vaughan opted for a Panama, while bowler hats, wedding hats and even a Tam o’ Shanter, the Scottish tartan hat, have been chosen over the years. Brick by brick The Stockport viaduct, built with 11 million bricks, was the largest in the world when it was completed in 1840. Then you’ve got the motorway and the river too, all criss-crossing through the town centre underneath the flight path for Manchester Airport. So you can actually stand by the river and see boats, cars, trains and planes all at the same time. According to folk law, the Stockport viaduct was built under the agreement that all trains carrying passengers would have to stop in the town. True or not, anyone stopping in Stockport today would be spoilt for choice with ways to entertain themselves, as local District Secretary, Mary Wheeler explains.

You’re near enough to the coast here, but you’re not too far from the countryside either. Derbyshire, Yorkshire and the Pennines are right on your doorstep.

Hats off! I’ve lived here almost all of my life. It’s an interesting place with plenty of history, art galleries and heritage sites to enjoy. Take the hat museum for example, built in an old hat making factory to celebrate the history of the town that once exported more than six million hats each year.

Mary Wheeler (far right) with members The District Oddfellows have had a strong presence in Stockport since the early 1800s. Today, our social scene is one of the strongest around, with members from Stockport, Cheadle Hulme, Manchester and beyond travelling to enjoy our varied events. Over the next few months we’re going to Chill Factore, the indoor snow sports centre, to a concert and tour at Chetham’s School of Music and to the panto at the fantastic Stockport Plaza theatre. All of our upcoming events can be found by clicking here


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Active Travel “I love the Oddfellows’ Active Travel Club. My friends and I go on active and culture trips, weekends away and holidays abroad. It lets me meet new people, and it was free to join!” Roger, London

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Ruby Cruise

Photo above - Black Watch cruise liner (photo courtesy of Fred. Olsen Cruises). Photo below right: Shiela Milner, Lyn Smithbone, Pauline Hayward, Ann and Trevor Dakin, Pam and Robert Rudge. Robert and Pam Rudge, members of Ipswich District, recently celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary with a Fred. Olsen cruise. Here's an extract from Robert's diary of the trip. We set sail from Southampton aboard Fred. Olsen's Black Watch boat. As we had recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary so the crew gave us a complementary package of flowers and champagne - a really nice touch. The food on board was excellent, as was the entertainment. We visited Gibraltar first and Barcelona last, where we took a tourist bus around the city to see the sights. The sun shone during our visit to Toulon; a charming place with friendly people. This is the second cruise we've been on with Fred. Olsen and it went so smoothly. The whole crew put lots of effort into everything they did, we both thoroughly enjoyed it. We celebrated our anniversary back home with a party for friends and family. During the last forty years it's been a rollercoaster ride, but Pam and I always knew we were meant to be together.

Active Travel Club Summer Holiday Norton Grange Coastal Village (Isle of Wight) 1st July 2013 (4 nights, 5 days) Join us for a relaxing trip to Norton Grange Coastal Village on the Isle of Wight

Offer only available to Oddfellows members. Click here to find out more about becoming a member.

This fantastic break is for 4 nights half board, en-suite accommodation plus an entertainment programme and optional excursions. Booking code 67GPB. To book contact Barbara Flood on 0800 072 0772 Price - £214pp (based on two sharing)


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Home & garden “Sorting out the garden is how I like to relax. An expert gave a talk at my local Oddfellows branch – it helped me no end.” Christine - Derbyshire

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Ask George Is your garden giving you grief? Well, fear not, because George Hill is here to solve your gardening problems. Send your question to George by emailing ezine@oddfellows.co.uk. If we publish your question we’ll send you a brand new pair of dazzling gardening gloves absolutely free, thanks to Joe’s Garden. Q: “My husband recently got an allotment. Can you give him some tips on what to plant and do over the next few months?” Alison, Sale A: Now is the ideal time to start an allotment. He should work his ground, digging it over with as much organic matter as possible to get it ready for next spring. If he wants to grow broad beans though, tell him to leave at least one area free from manure. Vegetable wise, he can plant Japanese onion sets now that produce good cooking onions next June. Leave 4 inches between plants and 12 inches between rows. Another nice money-saving vegetable is spring cabbage. Plant it now, leaving 15 inches between plants and 18 inches between rows, and it should be ready next April or May.

Q: “I recently bought an unlabelled rose in a pot. It has gold coloured flowers and looks like a standard or a climber. Should I plant it in the garden now or wait until next spring?” Mary, Manchester A: I would plant it in the garden now, working organic matter down 18 inches first before planting it with some fresh soil and a sprinkling of blood bone and fish on top. Firm it well and then attach a strong stake to it. By next year you’ll know whether it’s a standard or a climber. A climber will branch out with strong lateral growth, while a standard will grow up to four or five feet of bare stem before flowers and growth appear at the top.

George’s focus Members with green fingers Oddfellows members are eligible to receive a special 10% discount on anything at www.suttons.co.uk, from seeds and bulbs to gardening equipment and greenhouses. To take advantage of this exclusive offer, click here*. *You will need to be signed in as a member to access the Members' Benefits page.

This month remove all the dead crops that have finished cropping and put them on the compost heap to prevent the spread of disease. Finish harvesting your crops too, like carrots, beetroots and kidney beans, and freeze the surplus to keep you going through the winter. Remember! If we publish your question we’ll send you a brand new pair of dazzling gardening gloves absolutely free, thanks to Joe’s Garden.


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Sport & leisure “I’ve never really been ‘sporty’, but I try to keep fit. My local Oddfellows branch now hosts a walking club. It’s great to get some fresh air, and we always have a good time.” Diana - Essex

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Extraordinary members: Ted Ingram

The so-called ‘job for life’ has become a rare thing these days, but try telling that to Ted Ingram who, at 92 years old, is the oldest and longest serving paper boy in the world. Ted, a member of the Hand in Hand Branch in Dorset, has delivered his local newspaper for more than 60 years. Every year since 1942, Ted has delivered the Dorset Echo newspaper six days a week, whatever the weather. When news of his record-breaking round recently made headlines across the world, the staff from the Guinness Book of World Records got in touch to inform him of his achievements. He first took on the paper round to earn some extra money during WWII.

It gives me something to do and lets me meet new people. It takes me half an hour each day, depending on who I bump into on the way of course!

“It was a big round back then,” says Ted, who worked at a nearby farm for 51 years. “The money on the farm wasn’t good and there was plenty of overtime to be done to help the war effort, so my wife Betty used to help me out on occasion.” These days, despite his age, he still delivers papers daily to 17 houses in Winterborne Monkton; the small hamlet of near Dorchester where he lives. “It gives me something to do and lets me meet new people. It takes me half an hour each day, depending on who I bump into on the way of course!” Ted was signed up to the Oddfellows decades ago by the father of his Branch’s Welfare Officer, Norma Howard, who still regularly visits him today. She, and the rest of his friends and family, are extremely proud of what he does, as he explains. “They all love that I still do it, and hope that I carry on doing it for as long as I can.”


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Health & wellbeing “The Oddfellows give so much. I wish more people knew about the great services they have to offer.” Paul - London

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Fathoming out the future Professor Stuart Parker is, by his own admission, an eternal optimist. For the last thirty years, the Professor of Health Care for Older People at the Sheffield Institute for Studies on Ageing (SISA) has been calling for a change in the way we view the ageing process. Forget all the talk of pension deficits and physical decline, for him growing old is nothing short of a triumph for human endeavour. The real challenge now, he admits, is to convince the rest of us. “Wherever you look, ageing populations are still seen as a burden...but with so many people surviving to a healthy old age, it can only be a good thing.” Parker, 55, first became interested in the study of ageing as a junior doctor working in geriatrics. “At medical school I learnt about how medicine used to be, but it seemed clear to me even then that the population was changing and that geriatric medicine would be the future. “Now here we are, and the future is arriving.” Today, as a consultant geriatrician and Professor at SISA, University of Sheffield, he specialises in helping the health service adapt to meet the changing needs of the people it serves. “At the moment we’re working with a healthcare system that wasn’t designed for older people. We still think of the health service in terms of acute, immediate care in hospital settings, even though the majority of people in hospital now are older people with chronic, long-term diseases.

Active ageing is about people being empowered to live a healthy active life and to participate in society.

“They are the main consumers of healthcare and we need to rethink the way the NHS caters for them. The task ahead is daunting to say the least. Over the next 50 years the percentage of the EU population aged 65 or over is expected to reach 30 per cent. Add to that the fact that 85

per cent of those over 75 currently have at least one longstanding health issue, and the scale of the challenge facing policymakers is clear. Professor Parker and the team at SISA have been leading the creation of a roadmap for future European research into ageing that they hope will shape policy here. FuturAge was a two year project commissioned by the EU and led by Alan Walker from the University’s Sociological Studies Department. It was one of the most comprehensive studies on the subject ever undertaken, involving more than 700 contributors from 14 countries. The finished report set out an agenda for ageing research within the EU over the next 15 years. Its seven research themes covered a wide range of the physical, mental, and social impacts of ageing on the individual and society. “It’s clear now,” Parker adds, “that the underlying principle of FuturAge, this idea of ‘active ageing’, has become a key priority for the EU too. “Active ageing is about empowering people to live a healthy active life and to participate in society. The challenge for governments will be to redefine their societies to make these recommendations the reality. “Most importantly of all, we need to realise that an ageing population can be a positive thing.” Parker and his fellow SISA contributors are continuing to push for funding, and are optimistic that the research recommendations will be taken on board. “There are some difficult concepts to communicate, but those can all be bonuses for society. People will be able to be active until much later in life than ever before. So I’m positive about the future, and of the prospect of an ageing population.”


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Money “When I had money worries the Oddfellows put me in touch with the right people who could help. They were with me every step of the way.” Pam - Cambridgeshire

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Help on the high seas

For almost two hundred years people across the UK have owed a debt to the crews of the RNLI; who master their fears to respond courageously to life or death situations at sea every day. The Oddfellows Society has been raising money for the charity since 1961. It donated £28,500 that year – more than £500,000 in today’s money – to buy a new lifeboat for the Sheringham Lifeboat station in Norfolk. The Society’s Chairman at the time, Henry West, was coxswain of the new boat. A 37-foot long ‘Oakley Class’ vessel, it could turn itself upright in just seven seconds in the event of a capsizing. The boat, called The Manchester Unity of Oddfellows ON960, went on to save 134 lives during its 29 years ‘on station’. Every year since then donations have flowed in from generous members and Branches nationwide. Secretary for Capital of the Fens District, Alison Adamson, saw the first boat arrive at Sheringham 51 years ago. She now looks after the Society’s donations of almost £5,000 per year on behalf of the East Anglia Group Conference, that administers the funds. “I remember the day it launched like it was yesterday. Since then we’ve received donations from anyone who can and wants to contribute and our Lifeboat Fund just keeps going.” The money has paid for repairs to the lifeboat station and the smaller, faster Atlantic-class rigid inflatable lifeboats that have been used since 1994.

The Manchester Unity of Oddfellows B702, an Atlantic 75, was replaced by the newer Atlantic 85, Oddfellow B818, in 2008. Following a £55,000 refit in 2011, paid for again by the Lifeboat Fund, the current boat is capable of reaching speeds in excess of 45mph.

I remember the day it launched like it was yesterday. Since then we’ve received donations from anyone who can and wants to contribute.

Courage, Mark Twain once wrote, “Is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it.”

“Once decommissioned, the old Atlantic 75s can be sold by the RNLI for £15,000,” explains Alison. “So we’re now trying to raise that much to buy the boat and return it to The Mo Lifeboat Museum in Sheringham. “We’ve collected more than £5,000 already, so with any luck we’ll get there.” RNLI in numbers • The charity costs £385,000 per day to run • RNLI lifeboats were launched 8,905 times in 2011 • Each Atlantic 85 costs £2,000 per launch • On average, 22 people are rescued by the charity every day • More than 139,000 lives have been saved since the RNLI launched in 1824. To donate, cheques should be made payable to the East Anglia Group Conference and sent to Mrs A Adamson, Acacia House, 1 Kings Road, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire PE13 2PF. The RNLI is an independent charity, funded entirely by voluntary donations. Visit www.rnli.org to find out more.


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