Friday, 1 January 2010

What does 2010 hold for us?

At the start of a new year, none of us know what it holds for us.

The world is beset with problems, some of which may become even more dangerous and explosive. At home, there is certain to be a General Election and, despite speculation about an earlier date, my guess is that it will be on Thursday, the 6th of May, which, had he lived, would have been my late father's 105th birthday.

Maybe the election will prove to be 'Independence Day' for South East Cambridgeshire: maybe not. But, in any event, our Government, be it Labour again or Conservative, faces both dangerous and possibly explosive problems abroad and serious ones at home.

I am not a religious man, but I have always been moved by the Christmas message, broadcast on the 25th of December, 1939, by the late King George VI. I was then just over a year and a half old and our Country and Empire had been more than three months into the War. The King concluded his radio address with the following words:

"I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, 'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.' And he replied, 'Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be better than light, and safer than a known way.'"

I wish all of my readers a happy and hopeful 2010.

Here is a link to a recording of His Majesty's actual words in 1939 -


  1. Sue and I enjoy enormously one of the great treats of every first day of January, watching on TV the New Year Concert - 'Das Neujahrskonzert' - from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna.

    Vienna is a city that has suffered grievously in the past, most notably during the occupation period following the second World War, the atmosphere of which was so evocatively captured in the 1949 film 'The Third Man' starring Orson Welles (as Harry Lime, he of the theme) and directed by Carol Reed.

    Vienna has now recovered and, whilst all of the glories of its Hapsburg past are not fully restored, the fine old buildings look wonderful and the interior of the Golden Hall is, as usual, magnificent.

    The New Year Concert epitomises for me the best of European civilisation and culture and is yet another reason why I am not yet attracted to the principal policy preoccupation of UKIP (The United Kingdom Independence Party). There have been no wars between the great powers of Europe since 1945 and that is good cause for rejoicing. We must never go to war with European nations again. The silent memorials in all of our villages and towns tell us this.

    Great Britain is a member of the European Union (though not, thank goodness, using the Euro common currency that will, I believe, soon collapse) and I am pleased that we are so closely allied and tied to most of the rest of the nation states on the continent. However, I do not look to a 'United States of Europe' and I still believe that we British are entitled to secede from the E.U. if and when we should want to. An analogy in history is the belief - which I share - that was held by the Southern States of America prior to the awful 'Civil War' of 1861 - 1865. Those Southern States held that the then Constitution gave them the right to secede from the then United States of America and their view was held by many Northerners as well. When Secession actually came, Abraham Lincoln called an enormous army into the field to defeat the secessionists. By then, it was too late for the Constitution to be upheld and great suffering followed.

    If I were to become convinced that our European friends were moving towards the opinion that nation states could never be permitted to secede from the E.U., I would be with UKIP immediately. In the meantime, I hope and pray that we can all co-operate peacefully and economically and that European civilisation and culture can continue to be enjoyed for many more peaceful decades and centuries.

    As they say in Vienna, 'Prosit Neujahr!'

  2. I have just received a copy of a message sent by a friend to a prominent anti-hunting Conservative politician's wife:

    "Dear ****,

    What can be done to stop the Conservative Party restoring barbarity to our countryside?

    I ask this not as a Labour party person but as one animal campaigner to another.

    We urgently need good, decent Conservatives to come out strongly against David Cameron's plans.

    We are heading for a total disaster for our wildlife and now is the time for all of us to make a stand. A Conservative government will not only see fox hunting legal again but also the chasing down of stags and deer with dogs and the barbarism of hare coursing.

    I do not understand the silence from Conservative Animal Welfare Group and others on this most important matter.

    Please can you and other like-minded Conservatives help with this before it is too late?

    Many thanks

    Best wishes

    C**** G***

  3. This is the New Year's Day news from 'over there' (as reported by The Times):

    UK bomb disposal expert killed in Afghanistan

    Philippe Naughton

    An army bomb disposal expert has died from injuries he received in an explosion while helping to clear roadside bombs in Afghanistan on New Year's Eve.

    The soldier, from 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), Royal Engineers, died from wounds suffered in the blast near Patrol Base Blenheim, near Sangin, in Helmand Province, yesterday afternoon. His family has been informed although he has not yet been named.

    It is understood he was part of a patrol conducting controlled explosions to help reduce the threat from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) when the incident happened.

    His death took the number of British service personnel who have died since the start of operations in Afghanistan in 2001 to 245, including 108 in 2009 – the bloodiest 12 months for British forces since the 1982 Falklands War.

    He was from the same regiment as Corporal Loren Marlton-Thomas, 28, who died after a roadside bomb exploded while he was clearing a route in Helmand Province on November 15. The Ministry of Defence said that Corporal Marlton-Thomas “epitomised the men of courage and nerve that he led”.

    About three-quarters of the British deaths in Afghanistan last year were thought to have been caused by insurgent IEDs.

    Lieutenant Colonel David Wakefield, spokesman for Task Force Helmand, said: “He was part of the counter-IED taskforce, leading the fight against the improvised explosive device in Helmand. His sacrifice and his courage will not be forgotten.”

    245 dead Brits to date.

    How many more?

    Bring our boys home.

  4. Someone asked me this morning what was the latest with regard to the Fens. Well, the National Trust is still bent on buying up thousands of acres of the finest food-producing farm land in the country for its so-called 'Wicken Vision' and then turning it into a wet and unkempt jungle of thistles and other weeds. This is at a time when we have a population of over sixty-one millions and growing and a world population racing towards nine billions. We, as a nation, can ill afford this and we, as part of a world where starvation is increasing, should not permit it. Our Fen land is needed for food production to boost home-grown supplies that do not cost 'air miles.'

    Quite frankly, I and my friends look upon the Trust's ideas with derision. They represent nothing more than over-ambitious empire-building and silly self-aggrandisement on the part of the Trust's high-up officers. I feel sorry for the locally-based staff at Wicken for they have a thankless and useless task.

    The SaveOurFens E-Petition to 10 Downing Street is doing well, with hundreds of signatures - many or most from local people in South East Cambridgeshire who know well and understand the problem - but we could do with additional supporters signing up, please.

    Go to -

    The saddest aspect of this business is the lack of backing from our present M.P., Mr James Paice. Mr Paice (Jim to his friends, of whom I am one) appears to have paid too much attention to the proponents of the 'Wicken Vision' and too little attention to its opponents. As the Conservatives' 'shadow Minister of Agriculture,' I had hoped that he would be a better supporter of farming and food-growing in his constituency but it appears that he is waiting to see which way the wind of public opinion is blowing. He may be too late now, for the General Election is soon to be upon us and the electors will without doubt take his seeming fence-sitting into consideration at the ballot box.

  5. As part of my family history researches, I have been accumulating quite a large number of newspaper cuttings and I have transcribed quite a few. On the 3rd of January, 1879 (131 years ago to the day), there appeared in The Times the following:

    Cambridgeshire Election. - In pursuance of a Requisition, signed by

    Harold Archer, Ely
    Charles Bidwell, Ely
    Robert C. Catling, Needham-hall, Wisbech
    Henry F. Dobede, Exning-house, Newmarket
    The Hon. Octavius Duncombe, Waresley-park, St. Neots
    J. Carbery Evans, Hatley-park
    E.P. Frost, West Wratting-hall, Cambridge
    Edward Gittus, Snailwell
    E. Hicks, Wilbraham Temple
    Henry Hurrell, Madingley-hall, Cambridge
    Arthur Hall, Ely
    Edward H. Jackson, Wisbech
    John Linton, Westwick
    Herbert J. Little, Coldham-hall, Wisbech
    John H. Little, Littleport
    William Little, Littleport
    William Little, Stag's-holt, March
    H. Tansley Luddington, Ely,
    James Luddington, Littleport
    J. Little Luddington, Littleport
    William Luddington, Littleport
    Joseph Marten, Littleport
    William Marten, Little Downham, Ely
    E.J. Mortlock, Abington-lodge
    S. Charles Newton, The Downs, St. Neots
    T. O'Connor, March
    Martin Pate, Ely St. Mary
    William Pate, Ely St. Mary
    Samuel Peed, Cambridge
    O.C. Pell, Wilburton Manor, Ely
    C.R. Pemberton, Newton
    Hugh Porter, Haddenham, Ely
    Lancelot Reed, Elm, Wisbech
    Thomas Richards, Wimblington
    A.H. Ruston, Chatteris
    John Seaber, Prickwillow, Ely
    Arthur Sperling, Lattenbury-hill, St. Ives
    William Tharp, Chippenham-park
    George Townsend, Fordham
    T.M. Vipan, Sutton-house, Ely
    Hale Wortham, Royston
    B.H. Wortham, Kneesworth, and
    James Neale York, Newmarket,

    I hereby call a General Meeting of the Conservative Electors of Cambridgeshire, at the Red Lion Hotel, Cambridge, on Saturday, the 11th of January next, at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, to consider and decide what steps shall be taken by the Conservative Party with regard to the Election of a Member to fill the vacancy caused by the death of the Hon. Eliot Constantine Yorke.

    The first business of such a meeting to be the election of a chairman to preside at such meeting.

    E. Wayman, General Conservative Agent for the County of Cambridge.

    December 30, 1878.

  6. And on the 3rd of January, 1951 (59 years ago to the day), there appeared in the Newmarket Journal the following:

    Death Of Mrs R.A. Jones

    Much-Loved Figure

    The death of Mrs Helen Doris Jones, wife of Mr R.A. Jones, the trainer and former jockey, of Ellesmere House, Newmarket, took place in the London National Hospital, on Friday morning.

    Mrs Jones, whose illness had been of short duration, was a much-loved figure. Her cheerful disposition had earned her a host of friends, and never a call was made on her to assist any good cause without receiving her willing response.

    Aged only 46 years, she came from a well-known local family, being the daughter of the late Joseph Dawson and Elizabeth Cartwright. Her birthday was on December 16th, and she celebrated her silver wedding on December 3rd. Her two daughters are Mrs Betty Ridley-Forster and Miss Sylvia Jones.

    The funeral took place yesterday, and a full report will appear next week.

    Helen Doris (Nellie) Jones (née Cartwright), the wife of Bob or Bobby Jones, the famous jockey and racehorse trainer, was my wife Sue's second cousin once removed.

  7. The full report of the funeral duly appeared in the Newmarket Journal the following week:

    Last Tributes To A Much Loved Figure

    Church Filled For Funeral Of Mrs H.D. Jones

    Representatives of all walks of life and particularly the racing industry attended at All Saints' Church, Newmarket, on Tuesday of last week, to pay last tributes to a most popular and well loved figure, Mrs Helen Doris Jones, whose death, after a short illness, occurred on the previous Friday.

    The service, which preceded interment at the Newmarket cemetery, was conducted by the Ven. T.R. Browne and the Rev. R.S. Wingfield Digby.

    The church was filled to capacity when the service began. There was a profusion of beautiful floral tributes.

    The immediate mourners were: Mr R.A. Jones (husband); Miss Sylvia Jones (daughter); Mr and Mrs Ridley-Forster (son-in-law and daughter); Messrs. Matt, John and Joe Cartwright (brothers); Mesdames Lily and Violet Cartwright (sisters-in-law); Mr Ken Cartwright (nephew); Mrs E. Whiting (aunt); Miss V. Gaskin (cousin).

    Large Attendance

    Among those present at the church were: Mrs Allen Newport (also representing Mr Newport), Mr C. Long, Mr D. Taylor, Miss N. Robinson (also representing Mr J. Manser), Miss F. Robinson, Mrs J. Waugh (also representing Mr Jack Waugh), Miss Susan Ramsden, Mr and Mrs Balls, Mrs W. Webb, Mr George Archibald (also representing Mr and Mrs J.F. Emery), Mr and Mrs E.S. Harris (also representing the Royal Worlington and Newmarket Golf Clubs and Air Vice Marshall A. Hesketh), Mr J. Sadler (also representing Mrs Harry Sadler and Mr Basil Jarvis), Mrs E. Brayley Reynolds (also representing Mr Brayley Reynolds), Mr and Mrs Stafford Smith, Mrs Claydon, Mr E. Claydon (also representing Mr Claydon), Mrs Spalding, Mr and Mrs D. Smith (also representing the Winter family), Mr W. Tindall (also representing Mrs Tindall and the Marlborough Club), Mr S.P. Whittaker (also representing Mrs Whittaker and the Newmarket Corn, Coal and Forage Co.), Mrs A.S. Waugh (also representing Mr A.S. Waugh), Mr and Mrs H.B. Leach, Mrs W.T. Evans, Miss Olga Barrett, Mr W.E. Ashford, Mr Don Whisker, Miss Starling, Mrs H.R. Buck (also representing Mr H.R. Buck), Mr and Mrs W. Taylor, Mrs F.R. Langley (also representing Mrs Hill), Mr Fred Day (also representing Mr Reg Day), Mrs Jones (also representing Mrs Moody), Miss Tasker, Mr Fred Agar, Mr Dolf, Mrs Halliwell (also representing Mr Steve Leader and Mr Gordon Sadler), Mr and Mrs H. Wragg, Mrs Vera Leach (also representing Mr and Mrs Robert Leach, Miss Elizabeth Leach & Mrs Ella Leach), Mr John Walker, Mr Laurie Wallis (also representing Mr Dick Gaskell), Mrs William Watson (also representing Mrs Ida Leader and Mr Sonny Johnson, Malaya), Mr P.A. Lancaster (also representing Mrs Lancaster, the Craven Club, Mr R.C. Long and Mr and Mrs L. Lucas, Northampton), Mr Percy Lane (also representing the Newmarket Conservative Club and Mr and Mrs Jack Lane), Mrs R.J. Bartholomew, Mrs Symonds, Miss Alice Sturgess, Mrs Ruby Vojtek, Mr J. Lawson, Mr J. Thompson, Mrs Denniss, Mrs Allisson, Mrs R.W. Cawston, Mrs D.A. East, Mr H. Morris, Mr F. Fowler, Mr E. Banham, Mr W. Butcher, Mr F.C. Field (also representing Mr E.D. Moore and Messrs. J,W. Carr's), Mr W. Barker (also representing the Nomads), Mr H. Fenn (also representing Mrs Fenn.

  8. (continued)

    Mrs T.R. Browne, Mrs W. Browning, Mr E. Drake, Mr F. O'Brien (also representing Mr and Mrs Marcus Marsh, Mr and Mrs Frank Butters and Mr Fred Butters), Mrs Tibbs, Mr T. Salmon, Mr and Mrs E. Hales, Mrs Edwards, Mr H. Challoner (also representing Mrs and Miss Meacock), Mr and Mrs T. Lowrey, Mr and Mrs R. Perryman, Sub-Lieut. John Perryman (also representing Dr and Mrs Hardy), Mr L.A. Edwards (also representing G. Watson and Co.), Mr J.G. Taylor (also representing Mrs Taylor), Mr Merrick Griffiths, Mr S.L. Golding (also representing Mrs Golding), Mrs J.G. Linford (also representing Mr J.G. Linford and Miss Gould), Dr and Mrs J. Davis, Mrs Colling (also representing Mr Geo. Colling), Mr T. Simpson, Mrs G.W. Westrope (also representing Mr Westrope), Mr Molyneaux (headman, Ellesmere House), Mrs Geldard, Mr E. Sayers (also representing Mrs Sayers), Mr Sandy Short (also representing Mr F. Armstrong), Supt. R.J.H. Lummis and P.-Sgt. C.D. Bruce (West Suffolk Police), Mr A. Wormald, Mr C. Stevens (also representing Mr T. Stevens), Mr P. Hogg, Miss Rose Leader, Mr and Mrs H. Jelliss (also representing Mr and Mrs S. Smallwood), Mrs C. Cairns (also representing Mr Cairns), Mrs E. Rogers (also representing Mr Rogers), Mr C.H. Jelliss (also representing Mr and Mrs J.L. Jarvis and Miss V. Jarvis), Mr E. Langley (also representing Mr H. Hamshaw), Mr T. Waters (also representing Mr Cyril Croger), Mr C. Lawrence, Mr H. Southey, senr. (also representing Mr Fred Hogg), Mrs C. Halsey (also representing Mr C. Halsey and Mr J.F. Watts), Mr R. Jewitt (also representing Mr and Mrs Eph. Smith), Mr A. Hodgkins, Mr and Mrs E. Morris, Mr Powney (also representing Mrs Powney and Miss Powney), Mr Roe, Mr Geoffrey Leader (also representing Mrs G. Leader and Mr and Mrs T.E. Leader), Mr C. Heckford, Mr Alex Waugh, Mr J.L. Halliwell (also representing Mrs Halliwell), Mr C. Pudney (also representing Mr P. Maher), Mr D.H. Lloyd (also representing Mr Richard Lane), Mr Kettlewell, Mr F. Hansell, Mr T. Waugh, Mr W. Green, Mr D. Sleath, Miss Compodonico, Mrs Peter Taylor (also representing the Newmarket Links Golf Club), Mr and Mrs Williams, Mrs Edgar Britt, Mrs Young (also representing Mr A. Young and Mrs Harris), Miss Hayhoe, Mr L.W. Hallen (also representing the Links Golf Club).

  9. (continued)


    Floral tributes were received from: Bob; Betty and John; Sylvia; Matt and Ken; John, Lily, Bob and Jill; Joe and Violet; Dada; auntie Dalman, George, Hilda and little Maurice; Iris Ridsdel; uncle Will, Vera and Barbara; aunt Emmison and family; aunt Claude and family; Chubb, Lilly, Bill and Felicity Leach; Mr and Mrs E.S. Harris; Jack and Mildred Waugh; employees Ellesmere House; Dolly and Dick Perryman; June and Brian Hardy; Mr and Mrs K. Robertson; Miss Harker; Mrs Beedle; Violet Dean; Sid, Renee, Dadie and Pal; Mr and Mrs Laddie Sheppard; Mr and Mrs Norman Hodgkinson (Worlington); Mrs Meacock, Hilda and Muriel; Nan and John; Mr Jimmy Simpson; Members of Craven Club; Mr and Mrs F. Leach, Jack and Gillian; Mr and Mrs H. Hamshaw; Percy and Madge; Mrs Alfred Sadler; Kath and "Shorty" Hallen; Jell and Gladys; Mr and Mrs Chamberlain and Betty; Harry and Marjorie Wragg; Tommy and Iris Lowrey; Wendy and Marcus Marsh; Mr and Mrs Geoff Littlewood; A. Griffiths, Son and Humph; Mrs Bartholomew (Rous Road); N.O.M.A.D.S.; Floey and Nellie Robinson; Mr and Mrs Fawdon; Elijah Moore; John and Edna Moore; Grace and Billie Cole; Marlborough Club; Tom Perryman and Richard; Mrs F. Senior (Leeds); Mrs Lewis (Rutland Arms); Jean and Ted Bergen, Doug and Pat Smith; The Winter family; E. and E.D. Moore and Mrs Fawcett; Queenie and Frank; Pat and Bill Evans; Council and Members of the Worlington Golf Club; Mr and Mrs J.F. Emery; Mr and Mrs Gordon Emery; John Perryman; Tibby and Edgar Britt and family; Derby and Gillie; Eph. and Doreen Smith; Mr and Mrs F.W. Hogg; Members of the Hockey Club; Bob and Hilda Rodrigo; Win and Joe Davis; Agnes and Phil King; Wally and Dot Taylor (Worlington); Mr and Mrs Stanley Smallwood; Mr and Mrs Stephen Player; Mr and Mrs Cecil Wigg; George Blackwell; Mrs Brinkley and family (Bury St. Edmunds); Mrs Watts (Sefton Lodge); Joan and Harry Jelliss; Emma; Employees, Cartwright Bros.; Dudley and Queenie Green; Alice and Charlie Smirke; Mr King (Bentleys); Bentley Boys; Mr and Mrs John Sharp; Daisy Hyamns and Alice McNaughton; Florrie and Fred Lane; Walter and Dulcie Ashford; Ted and Bubs Saltmarsh; Mr and Mrs Martin Benson; Dora, Peter, Jack and Jill; Geordie and Kitty Younger; Capt. and Mrs Ingram (Bletchley); Mr and Mrs Norman Bertie; Mr and Mrs J.G. Linford; Mr Alec Waugh and Boys; Mavis and Joel Blackwell; Mrs Fred Fox; The Dines family; Allen and Margery Newport and all at Walton House (Fordham); Alice and Marjorie Sturgess; Mr and Mrs V. Smith and family; Millie and Sam Wragg; Mr and Mrs F.H. Staples (Harrogate); Joy and George Digby; Mr and Mrs P. Bartholomew: Bill and the Chadwick family; Mollie and Mrs Mitson; Mummy and Pam Faulkes; Mr Tom Best; Members Links Golf Club; Mr and Mrs Laurie Wallis; Jack and Thelma Sadler; Air Vice-Marshall A. Hesketh; Harry, Joan and Anne Carr; Mr Oliver and Mrs Willesden.

  10. (continued)

    Uncle Tom Davis; Fred and Peggy; Mr and Mrs T. Salmon; Gladys and Claude Halsey; Uncle Reg; Billy Griggs; Dolly, John and Michael; Bud and Curley Flanagan; Chesney and Anita Allen; Fred and Maureen Armstrong; Mr and Mrs J. Thompson and family; Percy and Anne Thompson; C.O. Dagnall; Ruby Vojtek; Mr and Mrs E. Hales; Mr and Mrs H. Callow; Louis, Ted, Viv and Jack Drake; Jack and Jill Halliwell; H. Gilbert and family; Bert Few (Cambridge); Mrs Powney, Margaret and John; Tom Waters; Pop and Nellie Langley; Vera and Harold (Kentford); Geoff and Doris Leader; Mr and Mrs A.P. Hammond and Anne; Mr A. Hodgkins; Mr and Mrs Tom Claydon; George and Angela Archibald; Mr and Mrs C. Button; Mr and Mrs S. Button; Nellie Jones; Mr and Mrs Galley and Betty; Cyril; Mr and Mrs Evans, Pauline and Owen; Charles and Emmie Savory; Jerry and Mrs Horswill; Mr and Mrs J. Brennan (Marlborough); Gert and Charles Heckford; Mr and Mrs L. Golding, Sheila and Peter; Kathleen, Phil and Patricia; Anne and Lukie; R.E. Long ("Augur"); Mr and Mrs C. Pudney; Peter and Winifred Maher; Mr and Mrs Frank Butters; Jack, Ethel and Vivian Jarvis; All at Derby House and Ella Leach; Alf and Isabel Walters; Muriel Wagg; Mr and Mrs F. Holloway; Bill, Bridg and Squiff; Gordon and Margaret Richards; Bill and Greta; Vanda Willis.

    The funeral arrangements were carried out by F. Hammond and Son.


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