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This England

This England is the quarterly magazine for all who love our green and pleasant land and are unashamedly proud of their English roots. Published since 1968 the magazine has now become one of England’s best loved magazines and has a readership of over 115,000 people from around the world. As well as being popular in England it outsells all other British heritage magazines in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and is sent to readers in every country of the world. Published in Cheltenham, in the heart of picturesque Gloucestershire, the magazine is edited, printed and despatched direct from England. Subscribe today and celebrate all that is best about England and the English way of life.

The Editor is always

The Editor is always pleased to receive letters or emails from readers, which must contain the writer’s name and full address, not necessarily for publication, but regrets that he is unable to acknowledge or reply individually to letters received, except by way of occasional comment in these columns. The right is also reserved to abbreviate letters intended for publication, unless correspondents specifically request otherwise. Please address your letters to “Post Box”, This England, The Lypiatts, Lansdown Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2JA. Email: editor@thisengland.co.uk Website: www.thisengland.co.uk James Herriot Sir: “Askrigg and the Yorkshire Dales” (“English Excursions”, Autumn 2017) brought back pleasant memories. In 1983 my wife and I started watching All Creatures Great and Small on our local public television channel. We loved the series and bought the books. We decided to visit Yorkshire to see if we could find Alf Wight. In Thirsk we found Skeldale House and saw Mr. Wight leaving, on his way to treat a sick cow, but he graciously waited while my wife took our picture. He also invited us to see him later after surgery. About a dozen of us — mainly Americans — waited for him and he invited us in where we had a pleasant time taking photographs and getting books signed. He was a very kind and unassuming man. Two years later, we went back to Yorkshire and we returned to Skeldale House to see Mr. Wight. There were about 15 of us in his surgery, and when it came to my wife’s turn to have a book signed, he looked up at her and said: “You’ve been here before.” Wow! We have made 15 trips to Britain, exploring your wonderful country from Land’s End to Inverness. As lovers of English literature, we have visited the former homes of Jane Austen, William Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter, Thomas Hardy and the Brontë sisters. For me, though, visiting “James Herriot” in his surgery in Thirsk was the biggest thrill of all. — DAVID ROBERTSON, KERRVILLE, TEXAS, USA. 42 THIS ENGLAND, Winter, 2017 Day of Prayer Sir: The film Dunkirk is creating great interest. There is, however, one major fact not mentioned in the film. The situation was so desperate, King George VI called for a National Day of Prayer on 26th May 1940. In a broadcast he asked the people of Britain to pray for God’s help. Thousands of special services were held across the country. The fascinating photograph (below) shows the extraordinary scene outside Westminster Abbey as frightened people queued to pray, a scene replicated across the nation. Two significant events followed. Firstly, a violent storm arose over the Dunkirk region grounding the Luftwaffe, which had been killing thousands on the beaches. Secondly, a great calm descended on the Channel, the like of which hadn’t occurred for a generation, enabling the hundreds of tiny boats to rescue 338,000 soldiers, rather than the estimated 30,000. It was the timing of these events immediately after the Prayer Day which led people to speak of “the Miracle of Dunkirk” and Sunday 9th June was officially appointed as a Day of National Thanksgiving. Looking back at this and other events the Bishop of Chelmsford wrote: “If ever a great nation was on the point of supreme and final disaster, and yet was saved and reinstated it was ourselves…it does not require an exceptionally religious mind to detect in all this the Hand of God.” At the end of 1942, after the tide had turned in the war, Churchill was moved to say, “I sometimes have a feeling of interference, I want to stress that. I have a feeling sometimes that some Guiding Hand has interfered.” To coincide with the film, details of various Wartime Miracles are being sent to thousands of churches across the UK to give congregations People queuing outside Westminster Abbey for the National Day of Prayer in 1940. See letter above. hope and reassurance, much needed in our unsettling times. If anyone would like this uplifting information directly by email, then they are welcome to contact: strengthenthefaithful@ gmail.com, clearly putting Wartime Miracles in the subject box. Thank you. — REV. J. WILLANS, LEIGH, SURREY. Back to Butlin’s Sir: I enjoyed “See You at Butlin’s” (Summer 2017). On 20th August 1966, my wife and I were married in Southampton and went to the new Chichester Motel en route to the Butlin’s Hotel in Brighton for our honeymoon. Driving my old Austin A35 with “Just married” painted upon it and dressed in our wedding outfits, I asked for directions from a local bobby on foot patrol. He gave us the directions to the motel and announced in a loud voice and with a smile on his face, “Good night, sir!” Not sure what today’s married couples would make of a week at Butlin’s, but we did meet some really nice people from many parts of England and enjoyed all the activities while there. — LES PAYNE, CAMBRIDGE, ONTARIO, CANADA. English Travels Sir: I purchased the Summer 2017 issue to read the article on Poldark and I felt I had to write about my experiences in the south of England in the autumn of 2015. My mum and I were on a six-day tour of Devon and Cornwall. It was some of

A Silver Cross of St. George for a campaigning English patriot Amongst all the hypocrisy surrounding the European Union, one man has stood out from the crowd. A former business executive, Roger Helmer was elected as a Conservative MEP for the East Midlands in 1999, 2004 and 2009. A Eurosceptic by nature he regularly asked inconvenient questions of the European Parliament and refused to be gagged by the Tory leadership when it came to misrepresenting or hiding the political, social and economic truth. In 2005 he had the party whip withdrawn when he defied instructions on a point of principle and although it was restored the following year he remained Non-Iscrit, a term for those who sit non-aligned in parliament. A member of the ECR (European Conservatives and Reformists), he campaigned vigorously about the injustices and double standards which he perceived all around him and regularly challenged views which he felt were being put forward as facts without any proof. Exasperated by his own party’s failings, in October 2011 he announced his resignation after admitting “Twelve and a half years banging my head against the same brick wall in Brussels is perhaps long enough!”. He Roger Helmer wearing a This England lapel badge expected to be succeeded by fellow Eurosceptic, Rupert Matthews, who was next in the queue from the original Conservative party nominations. However, the party leadership reneged so he promptly withdrew his retirement and switched to UKIP (the United Kingdom Independence Party), for whom he became an outstanding ambassador in the fight to publish the truth about the cumbersome bureaucracy and manipulative political bias of the European Union, as well as the anti-Brexit reasoning shamelessly peddled by the BBC, Guardian, Financial Times, Independent and other media outlets. Working closely with other Eurosceptic politicians, Roger sought to challenge views and ideas which suddenly became fashionable when espoused by powerful lobby groups who persuaded those in authority to accept their radical ideologies without thinking them through first. High on his list were the church abandoning its Biblical stance on various issues; those who hijacked and changed the original meaning of certain words for anti-religious ends and personal gain; how the National Health Service could be run more efficiently; and especially the climate change lobby whom he felt glossed over, ignored or manipulated inconvenient and unproven data about alleged global warming. A key member of the Freedom Association, Roger is a political realist who, in the face of globalism and its faceless tycoons, has championed truth and free speech. If we are to survive the current vindictive restrictions and anti-religious laws created by those in authority then we need more people like him to speak out. The world is in grave danger so, in appreciation of his campaigning career, we are pleased to endow Roger with our Silver Cross of St. George and wish him a long and happy official retirement. CHARLES MEREDITH the most beautiful and magical scenery I had ever seen. Our (originally) German guide Maria was so passionate about this region. She had lived there for 20 years and showed us the best the region had to offer. I will never forget those six days. On that same trip we spent a night in beautiful Cambridge. Our family background is English, so we are very patriotic. We are returning to England this November and will be visiting York, Stratford and London (where we will be seeing two musicals), Greenwich and Chelsea Physic Garden among other things. I cannot wait to be back on English soil. — JAY GOULD, AUSTRALIA. *We’re delighted to hear that you’ll be visiting again. To get a quarterly breath of English air, why not consider taking out a subscription to This England (see page 98)? — Ed. Music Hall Memories Sir: “Let’s All Go To The Music Hall!” (“London Pride”, Summer 2017) brought back many happy memories for me. I was just 14-years-old at the end of 1944 and had returned to London after being evacuated to South Wales. My mother lived in Wellclose Square, near to Grace’s Alley, and for sometime during my teenage years, Wilton’s Music Hall was used as a youth centre, which I attended every evening. We had activities for both boys and girls including: cooking, drama, art, table tennis and on Sunday evenings they held a church service, which we were all encouraged to attend. In those days it was called “The Old Mahogany Bar”, I can only assume this was because of the amount of mahogany that was used on the interior. The balcony was beautiful, THIS ENGLAND, Winter, 2017 43

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