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A link for members of the former London Test Section who were based on Studd St


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
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

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


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;


For those who might be interested "Dave's GEN" will be reprinted on the LTSSAC website together with some pictures of the past at:-

Dave Fairhurst, 31 Roedean Avenue, Enfield, Middx. EN3 5QJ Tel:020 8804 1959

This site, © LTSSAC