EDITORIAL In last October's Editorial I said "it is still hard for me to write up something different" The same applies now'. I asume that most readers like to see many names from the past and so bring back their own memories of times gone by. So, I shall begin with a list of those attending the White Swan (near Highbury Corner) from midday on Thursday 17th September Chris Broom-Smith, Steve Dickens, Glen Edwards, Dave Fairhurst, Roger Glover, Dennis Laing, Stan Mitchelt, John Neil, John Reynolds, Roy Thurgood, Harry Vincent, Geoff Wigley, Hedley Warner. I was there from midday to 2.15p.m. The next meet-up is on Thurs 17th Dec. As is my tradition, I shall now come to your letters. Ian Torrance ... MAIL ON THE MOVE This year I went to visit again the Shropshire hills along with Ironbridge and the Victorian model town of Blists Hill. At Bridgnorth, on the River Severn, is the Steam railway line going to Kidderminster, and for those who like travelling on these old Steam lines, the S.V.R. - Severn Valley Railway - is a good route for nost- algia of bygone days. Along the route is Highley Station now perfectly restored and a good place to alight and browse around the vast building with its large collection of steam locomotives and exhibition and railway memor- abilia. Among the Wagons is a Royal Mail Coach which you can walk through seeing the Sorting Compartments, in the days when mail bags were collected on route from various stations by the moving train. Mailbags or pouches were hung on a retractable steel arm beside the track and as the train passed the pick up point, the bag would be knocked off by a Scoop like net attached to the train. This net would catch one or more leather mail pouches and would then retract automatically with the bags being dumped on to the coach floor. The pouches had a short working life often splitting when deposited on the floor. Within a few years, a network of Night Mail trains was established and the Mail Train became synonymous with speed. Parcel vans were at the front and rear while the centre area was occupied by three letter sorting vans. The system made it possible for most people to receive letters posted in the evening to be delivered the next morning. Each Travelling Post Office pro- vided a red letter slot in which, for an extra stamp, anybody could post a letter when the train was in a station. When road and air transport came into being it took away much of the railway's mail business. Derby replace Crewe as the main air, rail and road interchange. Sorting is still done on T.P.O.s and there is a very good D.V.D. showing the working system at the Visitor Centre. A full timetable is available in a pamphlet with special events taking place during the year. The day I went it was a 1940's weekend with school child- ren dressed in clothes of the period, sporting gas mask boxes. Those interested for futher information call 01299 403816 or www.svr.c.uk The Railway Station, Bewdley, Worcester. DY121BG. Andy Ellen ... Following my retirement, and our move to Norfolk, I was intro- duced to a bowls club and once I had managed to score a few 'shots' I was asked to play in the team. Does this remind you of anyone yet? i.e. John Sutton. After lots of practice I managed to win a few competitions too, but my biggest mistake was to offer to become the Club Secretary, a position I held for 13 years, posing the usual question, was I good at it or, as is probably the case, no one else wanted the job; After a while my gammy leg began to feel the years catching up with me and I had to resort to playing indoor bowls, an altogether easier option. For one good reason you didn't get wet any longer, and you needed less effort to reach the other end of the rinl. However, on moving back to Hertfordshire my knee became more arthritic, and finally this year I underwent the operation for a full knee replacement Reading the article from Ron Cooper, in the last GEN, I also experienced an epidural for my op. feeling no pain, and as if you are intruding into the procedure, especially when a hammer is requested and then the provider is told that "it isn't big enough"' At least you can eat a hearty meal soon after the operation. Like Ron, I was in Harlow Hospital and was discharged after 7 days. So, as I am on the road to recovery I commence bowling in- doors, let's hope the other knee holds up for awhile. Bill Walker ... Years ago I did a lot of sailing, usually on cruising boats- vessels between 25-45 feet in length. The sailing included racing, sometimes in the Bristol Channel, other times in the English Channel - across to Ire- land, France etc. But then one night we had an argument with a series of rather large waves off the North Cornish coast, when we did get home I decid- ed that I would not go sailing again - that is until last May. I saw an advert for a Wayfarer sailing dinghy and I thought "that sounds in- teresting" I did some research and found out that of all the types of dinghy available, and there are so many you would not believe it, the Wayfarer is one of the most stable (but then I suppose it should be for it is 15ft lOins and weighs nearly 4001bs) After looking at the boat, haggling etc I bought it. I looked around for somewhere to learn to sail my boat and, although I live very close to Burnham-on-Sea I decided that was not the place to learn to sail a dinghy, what with tidal surges you can get in the Bristol Channel. So, I joined a local reservoir sailing club. Did you know that the fees for res- ervoir sailing - and you are restricted to sailing on one evening each week (in the summer only) Saturdays and Sundays range from £460-£130? So there I am, one Saturday in May, having pulled my boat from the dinghy park to the slipway, rigged it and ready for the water, thinking that slope is a bit steep;; However, the other club members were very helpful, offered advice and asked "where is yor crew?" I answered "I'm it" Anyway, I was ass- isted down the slip and into the water, they took care of my launching trail- er and pushed me off with a "Good Luck". Well I have always been of the opin- ion that returning to something is a bit like riding a bike - you don't forget it. Well nearly;; After about one and a half hours I was beginning to get the hang of it(again) but then the wind started to get up and I found that it was a little uncom- fortable and I was determined not to capsize, so I thought "let's go home" Easy innit? No. Because the wind was now offshore - the shore being the slip- way. After about half an hour I finally tacking so that I was heading nicely for the small beach area beside the slip and, very professionally, I thought, just sailed in and ran the bow of the boat on to the gravel and stepped out thinking "well that wasn't too bad" for I was aware that I had an audience. One of the other club members walked down to assist me and asked if I would mind if he offered me some advice, of course I said "no of course I wouldn't" He took me to the other side of my boat, that was still in the water, and showed me the large rock ^that I had just missed, and said "the advice is to get out of the boat whilst it is still floating and gently lead it in, other- wise you might not have a boat to float next time" Since then things have got better and I have got quite adept at missing the racing fleet and coming back to "shore" successfully, Sadly now the reservoir is slowly drying up and "us sailors" are restricted to the middle area of the lake where, hopefully, you wnn't touch the various 2 obstacles that are there - like tree stumps and a bridge; just under the surface I would guess that by the time we have had sufficient rain to raise the water level, it will be too cold to want to sail; Oh well, there is always next year. John Sutton ... JOHN'S JOTTINGS As your readership gets older, may I remind them of the benefits of lawn bowls. This can be a year-round activity indoors during the winter and outdoors for the summer. A sport that is en- joyed by all ages, but especially useful as an activity to be enjoyed for those of advancing years. When football is fatiguing, and you find yourself sinking when swimming, and you are too tired to play tennis, then there is bowls; It can be played at whatever level you wish. Many suffice with a friendly game, but if you are so inclined, you may enter for local district, county, and even natio-nal competitions, or take part in local matches organ- ised by your club. Many clubs in England are able to report of members in their nineties. Moreover, it is a very sociable sport. Time is given, not to just the playing of bowls, but to social events which take a large part in the affairs of the club. Locally, bridge tuition, yoga, painting, as well as the usual pastimes are all to be found. A recent report stressed theneed for people to not only take exercise, but to interact socially with others for the benefit of their mental health. Your local club may be found through Bowls England - tel: 01903 820222 or contact me for any additional information- 01923 263605 Paul Hindell ... OZ SAGA FINAL Well as you can probably tell from the title this is the last part of a long drawn out process. It has been a total of ten years, applying, being rejected, reapplying and finally being accepted on to the scheme and placed in a queue. From then on the only information available as to where we were on that queue was on an Australian government website entering your queue date gives you the number of applicants ahead of you in that queue. No indication, accurate or estimated, as to how long the queue would take to dissipate. Last October we started receiving new forms to complete, asking us for updates to all information. Sponsor's name and address, our agent's details, etc. They can't contact you directly, they have to go through an in-between. Then in November our daughter, who is our nominated agent, received the requ- est for us to attend medicals and get new police checks done, English and Australian, plus five new forms of a magnitude of pages of questions taking us almost a week to gather the information and complete them All went well the police checks came back quite quickly and we even got a compliment from the immigration office for the efficiency. Old habits die hard (QA training) just the medicals were outstanding. Again as before mine came back obese hut nothing else. Beryl however was reported to have high blood pressure and was referred to her local doctor to examine further and report. This led to a series ofblood tests, ultrasounds and scans to disprove any serious problems causing the high blood pressure. That was in December/January which went on to heart, kidney and liver checks with specialists 24 hour monitoring etc. Then in April, after all that and losing some of the reports, we receive notification that were in. We have been approved for Residency. I have to apply for a new passport before returning to England as mine runs out in October. There are problems getting travel documents on a passport with less than six months left when intending to stay, outside the term of that pass- port. Then when in England visit the Embassy in London to get our passports stamped and return to OZ before the 4th November (our deadline) to officially become "Residents of Australia" Then in another four years we can apply to become Australian Citizens but at least we don't have to travel back and forth to the UK every year unless we want to. More important we now have a home a^d a future. I can't help feeling that if the UK were as vigilant with their immigration and border issues we may not have been so keen to leave. (Rubbish the weather and way of life had more to do with it) I have labelled this the Final. What I mean is it's the end of the saga but I'm sure I can rustle up some stories from OZ for future copy. I've not talked about the fires because it was world news and plus everyone here was affected in some way, we were involved in support of the fire- fighters, one of whome is our son-in-law. However, there have been lots of 3 events arranged for us volunteers since Black Saturday. Days out at the races, meeting Leo Sayer and other special guests, Corporate marquee all food and drink free plus free $20 bets throughout the day, free entry to a top footie match at the MCG. It's really nice to be appreciated. There is even talk about striking up a special pin for all volunteers. It is just unfort- unate that it turns out that a volunteer fire-fighter is believed to have been responsible for the big one. Dave F ... In the Editorial I wrote that "it is still hard for me to write up something different" I have always preferred your original writings. I do not like taking articles straight out of books or magazines, partly because there might be some copywright involved. Mike Faulkner sent me -an interssting article on electric cars in London. while Cliff Bourne sent me a page on Inheritance Tax including "Giving away property is not easy for IHT" which again is informative but not suitable to directly print from. Ron Cooper has sent me his photo so I had better include it.
I have recently aquired a catalogue for Magnetic Therapy Ltd. It lists numerous devices that can be worn on the body. There are over 50 different types of brace- lets which are for Joint problems cramp, stress, circulation. There is a version with a lot of copper in it.There are magnetic supports for the back and shoulders etc. For feet a magnetic insole is embedded with 65 magnets, Pets are not left out. There is a magnetic dog collar and a magnetic under- lay for the dog basket. On another page are magnetic water products. A glass of water can be stood on a magnetic base taking 20 minutes to energise. Or a mag- netic spindle can be placed in the water taking 10 minutes to activ- ate (ionise) the water. Well, I seem to have run out of short articles to fill this remaining space, and there is no room for longer articles that will have to be kept for the next issue . I hope to publish the next "Dave's GEN" in February 2010 so you have plenty of time to write me an article. I do not like using previously printed articles from magazines. So, get writing; 4
For those who might be interested "Dave's GEN" will be reprinted on the LTSSAC website together with some pictures of the past at:- www.ltssac.org
Dave Fairhurst, 31 Roedean Avenue, Enfield, Middx. EN3 5QJ Tel:020 8804 1959
This site, http://www.ltssac.org/ © LTSSAC