11 months ago

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.


‘POST BOX’ (continued) This England’s New Festival of Britain! In the autumn issue, the Editor’s Letter recalled the 1951 Festival of Britain and suggested that, as the UK prepares to leave the EU, we should consider calling for a new Festival celebrating all that the UK has to offer. We have been inundated by your responses, so thank you to everyone who has replied. We include a few snippets from some of your letters and emails below and will publish more in the spring 2018 issue. Keep watching this space and the Blog section of our website ( for more news. You can also register your online support at . I have just taken out a subscription for This England and was overwhelmed by the fervour for a Festival. I am all in favour. We keep reading negative reports about how the UK will manage once we rid ourselves of the control of the EU. Your editorial was a joy to read! — SUSAN PRESTON, BY EMAIL. I enjoyed your Festival of Britain article. I was 22 years old, living in London and working with the newly formed National Assistance Board where we were busy taking in from Communist Poland all the dependants of Polish armed forces who had fought our common enemy. London was where I got to see concerts in the Albert Hall, and there were the theatres too. But the icing on the cake was that 1951 Festival which, I do hope will be resurrected in a modern form, to delight us all again. — MRS. G. SALLIS, LANCING, SUSSEX. What an excellent idea to have a Festival to look forward to when all the fuss about Brexit has calmed down. To start working towards it now might be the solution to a lot of the present miseries and give a boost to everyone who looks forward to a great future outside the EU. — KENNETH LACEY, BY EMAIL. What a wonderful idea which I heartily endorse. I visited the Festival of Britain and remember the Dome of Discovery, the Skylon and the fascinating Shot Tower. And now you seek to instigate a modern-day revival. Brilliant! Best wishes for the success of your endeavour. — TREVOR JOHNSON, CHURCH STRETTON, SHROPSHIRE. I would like to have my support noted for the United Kingdom Festival in 2019. I’ve shared details with a Jacob Rees- Mogg group that I’m a member of on Facebook and everyone so far is very much in favour. — LYNN TICKLE, BY EMAIL. I am voicing my strong support for a Festival to take place when Brexit has finally been implemented. This should be accompanied by a Bank Holiday Monday which would give Britain the opportunity for a yearly celebration. — MATTHIAS GENTET, CHIPPING NORTON, OXON. I remember the Festival of Britain as the grammar school I was attending took a party of us to London for five days and we attended a ballet at the Royal Festival Hall. What a marvellous idea to celebrate our freedom from the shackles of the European Union! — JEAN FLACK, BY EMAIL. May I congratulate you on proposing the staging of an event to promote Great Britain along the lines of the Festival of Britain of 1951. As you so rightly say, this would be the time to proclaim our independence as a great nation, what we stand for, what we can do and what we can achieve and to show our unique heritage to the world. The Festival of Britain of 1951 did all those things and was visited by more than eight million people. The new “Festival of Great Britain” would exceed that figure with ease; the world is not coming out of a world war and travel is much more popular and our islands attract millions of visitors each year — think what an added attraction this would be, and what a boost to our country’s coffers at the crucial time of leaving the European Union. We have so much to be proud of, here is a golden opportunity to show the world! — RICHARD HOLDSWORTH, MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA. How wonderful to celebrate a release from the European Union. There are so many people looking on the black side when we have so much to offer the whole world. — MRS. VALERIE MITCHELL, HALIFAX, YORKSHIRE. My wife and I heartily support your proposal for a Festival of the United Kingdom. It’s a really splendid idea, which we hope will materialise. — PETER & ESTHER ISAAC, LOOE, CORNWALL. I very much support your proposal for an exhibition to celebrate our freedom from the EU. There should be a hall for all the UK inventions, discoveries and innovations without which the modern world would not exist, plus details of those great men and women from these islands who have led the way in so many fields. As far as culture is concerned we have had artists such as Turner, novelists like Jane Austen and Dickens, great actors and actresses and, of course, William Shakespeare. The sports we have given to the world include football, cricket, rugby, golf, tennis, squash and badminton while organisations range from the Royal Society, the Scouts and Guides to the Mother of Parliaments. The ideals of trial by jury and habeas corpus were also conceived in this country. When one realises that, in addition to all the above, the Industrial Revolution began in the British Isles, British explorers opened up the world, the British Empire was the greatest the world has ever seen and the English language is spoken by one in five people on the planet, we can see that only fools can regard this country as being other than perhaps the greatest nation that has ever existed. — COLIN BULLEN, TONBRIDGE, KENT. You ask about interest in a Festival of the UK. I suggest that a narrow majority of four per cent on a very serious issue such as leaving the EU hardly justifies a celebration. It was reckless to even ask the bland question in a national referendum. Now the UK faces its biggest political disaster since the Second World War. I can only hope that we will exit Brexit, or perhaps hold another referendum, or best of all that the UK will rejoin the EU as soon as possible. We have had two world wars. The EU is all about unity and peace in Europe. — JAMES KELLY, WOODBRIDGE, SUFFOLK. Your idea for a Festival in two years’ time is just fantastic and I for one am completely for it! — IRIS FALCONE, WALPOLE, MASSACHUSETTS, USA. I heartily concur with your call for a Festival when we have regained our national independence. I can just remember my visits to the 1951 Festival of Britain sites. You posed the question, what happened to the Skylon? My father worked at the time as an electrician for George Cohen and Sons’ metal recovery plant in West Ham, London. Scrap metal was sorted, tin cans detinned and the metal smelted for the booming construction and manufacturing industries at the time. Dad told me that George Cohen’s Wood Lane plant dismantled the Skylon and recovered the aluminium, much in demand for aircraft manufacture. — BRIAN SMITH, KIRBY CANE, NORFOLK. You rekindled perfectly the spirit of England during the war and post-war years. I lived in Bristol, a greatly bombed city and the spirit of “togetherness” was evident. I visited the Festival of Britain, a much-welcomed event and have clear recollections of it. I voted to come out of the European Union (as did most folk I know) as we believed — and still do — it to be the only option to provide the country with the opportunity to become the independent nation it once was. We despair of the downward trends today. I plan to print off your letter and circulate it to my friends. A new Festival is a brilliant idea. — GWEN BURMAN, BY EMAIL. 46 THIS ENGLAND, Winter, 2017

Mystery Poet Sir: The poem “The English Language” was published in your spring 2017 issue (“This Sceptred Isle”) and credited Anon. I immediately recognised it as one written by a close friend C. M. (Mike) Bent. He died 10 years ago, but his wife, Viola, confirmed that the poem was his work, although he titled it “English as a Second Language” which has a subtlety that was typical of him. Mike had many abilities and chief among these was what he called being a “verbal prankster”. As he has written: “This is perhaps as good a name as any to describe my lifelong romance with verbal dexterity and I fully admit to paronomasia. People say they are sorry to hear that I’ve got it and hope that I will get better soon. Personally I am delighted to have it, thank you. It’s from the Greek and just means wordplay. In no other language can so much fun be had as in English. However much you dislike the pun as a plaything it is the vehicle supreme of the double entendre. Light verse is my delight. Nothing serious.” — GERALD ATKINSON, INKPEN, HUNGERFORD, BERKSHIRE. V2 Flying Bomb Sir: I have read with interest the item from Adrian Cooper about his experience with a V1 on Waterloo Bridge (“Forget-Me-Nots”, Autumn 2017) and thought you might be interested in my “brush” with a V2. During the war, my parents lived in Hampstead in London and we lived on a road called Broadhurst Gardens. On 8th January 1945, when I was nearly seven, my mother and I were walking along the road in the late afternoon. As I recall, it was not yet fully dark when we saw a glow in the sky above us travelling west on a descending trajectory and then it disappeared from view. Very soon after there was a loud explosion and we later learned that it was a V2, which had struck about a mile away hitting houses at 112 – 116 Iverson Road and killing two people. I have looked on Google Earth at the impact site and to this day the site of the houses and two or three to either side have not been rebuilt and it is still a vacant area. — DAVID FRANCIS, WAKEFIELD, YORKSHIRE. Newburgh Priory Sir: Mention of Newburgh Priory (“Post Box”, Autumn 2017) brought back memories. I was a boarder at Lindisfarne College, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, in the 1930s. In 1939 we were evacuated, first to Burnham-on-Crouch, before we amalgamated with Pannel Ash College from Harrogate, which had moved to Newburgh Priory. This caused great excitement among the boys as we had to hire a train to take us, and a lot of gear, to Coxwold from where we walked 3 ⁄4 mile and suddenly saw this great lake below the priory. It was understood that all or part of Cromwell’s body was buried in a vault at the top of a staircase. Sometime after I left there was a fire which destroyed the chapel and library. Subsequently the school, which was now known as Newburgh Priory School, moved to Wynnstay near Wrexham, but did not survive for many years. — BRIAN SNELLGROVE, TOTLAND, ISLE OF WIGHT. Wartime Song Sir: My father joined the 2nd East Kent Regiment on the outbreak of the First World War. He fought at France and Gallipoli. He used to sing a song to my sister and me that no one has ever heard of, but I wondered if any of your readers had come across it or might have any information? The words are: A maid she came to the camp one day And met a soldier on her way, “Tell me, tell me, is it true That a lover of mine still rides with you?” And he up and he loosed his collar tight And thus spake he, “On a far, far hill Where the grass once grew Stand 12 wooden crosses Bright and new. The first on the left as a man rides through Reads, ‘Sgt. Johnnie Ludlow, 912’.” — MRS. JEAN FLOWER, WALLASEY, WIRRAL, CHESHIRE. Shades of spring in a buttercup meadow, Stiperstones, Shropshire. MIKE HAYWARD Coming in the Spring 2018 issue of THIS ENGLAND 50 YEARS OF THIS ENGLAND It all began in 1968...we celebrate our golden milestone with recollections and stories from readers and contributors from England and worldwide. IN ENGLAND —NOW! Founded over 500 years ago during the reign of Henry VIII, R. J. Balson, a traditional butchers at Bridport in Dorset, is the oldest family business in Britain. Twenty-six generations after Robert Balson set up shop in 1515, we meet the current proprietor. LITERARY LANDSCAPES OF ENGLAND Although he will forever be associated with the county of Dorset, Cornwall also played an important part in the life of Thomas Hardy. We look at these lesser-known connections. FROM BONFIRES AND BLOSSOM TO MAYPOLES AND MUMMERS A fascinating look at the merriest month and some of the historical traditions and customs associated with May Day. ENGLAND’S LAST CAVALRYMAN A personal memory of Albert ‘Smiler’ Marshall, a veteran of the First World War who survived the battles of Ypres, Loos, the Somme, Arras and Cambrai and lived to the ripe old age of 108. THE FRATERNITY OF ST. GEORGE Armed with longbows and quivers of arrows, a group of men and women from all walks of life and from every corner of England are keeping an ancient tradition alive. NOEL COWARD AND THE ACTORS’ ORPHANAGE The story of the great playwright and the role he played in bringing some much-needed happiness to the lives of destitute children. Plus... regular features including Post Box, Cornucopia, Notes from a Cottage Garden, London Pride, A Royal History of England, Nelson’s Column, etc. Publication date: 7th February ORDER YOUR SUBSCRIPTION NOW. SEE PAGE 98 THIS ENGLAND, Winter, 2017 47

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