Saturday 2 December 2023

The Winter Flat Share

The colder weather brought back memories of a flat share with a Scottish friend in student digs in Exeter. Now some Scots are very generous, and this one I am still friends with from my time at Exeter (unless they read this poem!). Careful with money, is I think the word needed, and not mean! This is, after all, a bit tongue in cheek as well.
The Winter Flat Share

This time of year, the frozen earth:
Jack Frost dancing, so full of mirth,
A sheen of ice on storm felled twigs;
And I remember in my student digs,
Back in the seventies, long, long, ago,
In Exeter, and cold enough for snow;
Breath walking on the chilly streets,
A sleeping bag beneath my sheets;
Woolly hat on head, cold did reign;
When I awoke, inside window pane
Condensation, breath become ice;
I was so very cold, it was not nice:
My Scottish friend was use to this,
A hardy breed, saw nothing amiss,
In keeping heating off, save pence,
Scots always good with expense!
I’d have preferred the heating on,
But “Don’t be a Jessie, hoots mon”;
I blame porridge and Robbie Burns,
Highland weather, snow returns,
Braveheart and Scotland the bold,
Highland games however cold;
Arguments just a waste of breath
Almost better to freeze to death!

Friday 1 December 2023

The Jersey Motor Cycle & Light Car Club Annual Dinner in the 1970s

From the early 1970s, Jersey Illustrated had this report on “The Jersey Motor Cycle & Light Car Club”. And afterwards, a few vintage adverts from the same magazine. A sign of the times is the Voisins one - a fur coat from real fur. You can also see some (nowadays) rather old fashioned looking heaters from Jersey Gas, and an advert for the Cortina GLX!

The Jersey Motor Cycle & Light Car Club held their annual dinner and dance at the Hotel de France when just on 200 members and guests spent a most enjoyable evening in the Empire Room.

Mr. D. Cummins, Mrs. and Mr Killmister and Mia Stone.

Mrs. Boxall, Mr. F. Boxall, Mrs. de la Cour and Mr. W. Boxall.

Miss V. Holmes, Mr. J. Pirouet, Mrs. Pirouot, Mr. A. Dix, Mrs. D. Fossey, Miss Paloma and Mr. Minkley.

Mr. Addis, Miss Todd, Miss S. Miles, Mr. P. Stansfield-Huelin, Mr. P. Wilson, Miss 8. Le Couteur, Miss A. Le Gresley and Mr. H. Allen.

Mr. and Mrs. J. Woolley, Mr. and Mrs. B. R. Wilson, Mr. R. Blake, Mrs. Jean, Miss Hopkinson, Mr. H. Ashborn, Mr. Le Fleur and Miss Amy.

Saturday 25 November 2023

Doctor Who at 60

This week, what else could the poem be about. Past and present, as far back as I can remember, a young child of around 6, and Doctor Who was there, so much so that I can even date events in my life by relation to Doctors and stories! My first girlfriend - the year of the Three Doctors. A stay in hospital for observation in case of appendicitis - Castrovalva. And the year my Annie died, perhaps appropriately, the End of Time. Sad days, happy days, always part of the tapestry of my life, entwined in my memories.

Doctor Who at 60

An adventure in Time and Space
Black and white flickering screen
Grandstand ending, and I am keen
On swirling patterns, emergent face

Daleks cry exterminate and chase
Then Cybermen, such scary scene
An adventure in Time and Space
Black and white flickering screen

Such joyful memories, just so ace
From a six year old to older teen
Doctor Who, my lifetime has seen
So many changes, each new face
An adventure in Time and Space

Friday 24 November 2023

The Coronation Year 70 Years Ago - November 1953 Part 2

By a curious coincidence of dates, the coronation year 2023 will be 70 years after the coronation date in 1953. I thought it would be of interest to look back during this year of some of the events taking place before, during and after the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Coronation Year 70 Years Ago - November 1953 Part 2

17.—The International Court at The Hague gives judgment in the Minquiers—Ecréhous case, the judges deciding unanimously that sovereignty over the islets belonged exclusively to the United Kingdom.

18. —Inner Wheel charter anniversary dinner, the Lieut.-Governor and the Bailiff being guests. .

19.—Annual dinner of Jersey Civil Service Association.

20.—Annual dinner of United Services Club, His Excellency becoming an honorary president. -

21.-—At today’s sitting of the Royal Court, Frederick Sleigh Roberts (38), of North Wales, described as an habitual criminal, was sentenced to 12 months’ hard labour for obtaining £222 by means of a forged cheque. Thick fog over the Island causes cancellation of all air services.

23.—Annual dinner of Old Victorians’ Association held at College Hall. Jersey Blind Society annual meeting at West Park Pavilion.

24.—His Excellency and Lady Nicholson pay official visit to the States Experimental Farm and later pay visit to a farm to see cider-making in progress.

25.—-Fourth Jersey Trades Exhibition at Springfield oflicially opened by His Excellency the Lieut-Governor.'

26. The States: Estimates for 1954 presented, these showing an estimated increase in revenue of £54,000 and an estimated. Decrease in expenditure of £57,000 ; this year’s surplus is listed as £350,000 ; before the Estimates were taken tributes were paid to H.M. Attorney-General for his part in the successful outcome of the Minquiers—Ecréhous case at The Hague and a resolution to this eflect passed unanimously; pertinent questions on the salary of the Public Health Engineer were asked and answered; milk subsidy figures were substantially reduced. St. Helier Yacht Club annual dinner.

27. Debate on the Estimates concluded : The Housing Committee’s request for £150,000 and the Public Works item of £22,000 for fluorescent lighting along Victoria Avenue were deleted and the

Estimates finally adopted; the House then sat in camera, when a new States Treasurer was appointed, he being Mr. F. N. Padgham. Jersey’s traffic problems discussed by Debating Club.

28.—Before the Royal Court, sentence on Margaret Mary Vasse, charged with embezzlement, was deferred, whilst Ernest Wm. Cattell, charged with blackmail of the former accused, pleaded not guilty and was sent for trial before the January Assizes. Thieve raid stall at Trades Exhibition, articles of men’s wear being taken. Annual dinner of Jersey Swimming Club. Talk on religious teaching in schools given by Mr. A.C. F. Beales, of London University, at The Playhouse. Annual general meeting of Women’s Section of British Legion, Lady Nicholson becoming patroness.

30 Afternoon sitting of States, the greater part being taken up with housing and civil defence; the proposal to lend money to owners of property for repairs and alterations was withdrawn for the time being and an Act authorizing the Committee to build six terraced houses on Victoria Road site adopted. Quarter finals of the World Professional Match-play Snooker Championship between Walter Donaldson and; Kingsley Kennerley opens at J.B.A. headquarters.

Saturday 18 November 2023


A warehouse being demolished in Commercial Street which I've always found creepy inspired this poem


The old warehouse, falling down
Decaying window frames of rust
Sidelined, forgotten part of town
Ancient bricks, decades old dust

Builders came, knock down begins
A thin creature in shadows sees
The developers, their hidden sins
And yet contractors feel unease

At night it came, and left its hole
Prison broken, released at last
Eater of flesh, stealer of soul
Hunting now for fresh repast

Those that break open a ghast's lair
Had better hide and now beware

Friday 17 November 2023

The Coronation Year 70 Years Ago - November 1953 Part 1

By a curious coincidence of dates, the coronation year 2023 will be 70 years after the coronation date in 1953. I thought it would be of interest to look back during this year of some of the events taking place before, during and after the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Coronation Year 70 Years Ago - November 1953 Part 1

1.—St. James's Boys’ Brigade hold’church parade in celebration of golden jubilee. a dinner being held on the Tuesday at which His Excellency and the Bailiff attended.

2.—Assizes : Raymond Critolph (22) and Peter Lorimer (28), both natives of Scotland, charged with the robbery of a. safe containing nearly £200 from Drivehire office in Broad Street, and with car “ borrowing ”; the case continued on the Tuesday, when the accused were found guilty, Critolph receiving 18 months’ hard labour and Lorrimer 15 months. Mishap to the Channel Coast at Ronez, a wire hawser fouling her propeller ; the States tug took the vessel in tow to Gorey Harbour, where the work of clearing the propeller was commensed, the vessel returning to Ronez the following day. First presentation of one-act plays at Eisteddfod.

4,—Society of Jersey Gardeners stage Chrysanthemum show at Springfield Lower Hall, many fine exhibits being on show.

7.—Elocutionary sessions of the Eisteddfod conclude at Springfield.

8.—Remembrance Sunday commemorated with the annual service at the Cenotaph.

9.—Hearing of blackmail charge opens at the Police Court when a 64 year-old man, Ernest William Cattell, is accused by Margaret Vasse (22), presented on a charge of embezzlement, with extorting sums of money from her by threats. Annual Festival of Remembrance by the British Legion held at The Forum. Dancing sessions of the Eisteddfod commence at Springfield. First shipment of live pigs to England for the Ministry of Food, 125 being shipped.

10.—Verdict of death from natural causes recorded at resumed inquest on the body of Mr. Peter Carry, the report of the official analyst proving negative.

11—Final contests of dancing sessions of Eisteddfod. His Excellency installed as honorary Rotarian at luncheon held at The Forum Café.

12.—First of the Eisteddfod festival concerts at Springfield. Jersey Dog Club hold sanction show at Mr. L. Bazire’s store.

13.—Shocking motor cycling tragedy occurs at Millbrook shortly after midnight, a young motor cyclist, Charles M. Amy (20) and his pillion passenger, Doreen Alma Marcel (19) being killed when the machine struck the kerb and crashed into a Wall. At the subsequent inquest a verdict of accidental death was returned, there being no evidence of excessive speed. Second festival concert of Eisteddfod, His Excellency the Lt.Govenor presenting the senior awards. Lady Nicholson presents Queen’s Guide Badges to two members of 1st Jersey (College) Company of Girl Guides. Jersey Debating Club motion “That an armed Germany is essential to Western defence “ carried by overwhelming majority.

14.—His Excellency takes part in practice run of Jersey life-boat Elizabeth Rippon. Final Eisteddfod concert at Springfield. Cow savaged by dog at St. Peter, the unfortunate animal having to be slaughtered. Annual dinner and prize giving of Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club.

15.—Old Boys of The Beeches and of St. Paul’s hold memorial services in honour of the fallen. New Era Cinema broken into during the afternoon, this following an entry into The Odeon on Friday night; in both cases the would-be thieves escaped.

Saturday 11 November 2023

The Fallen

For Remembrance day, a look back at war, and a glance at present wars.

The Fallen

Bombs fall, soldiers shoot, people die
This is remembrance, this is the war
Death raining down from the sky
Across the lands, upon the shore

Four horseman ride across the land
Conquest, war, famine and death
Tidal wave breaks across the sand
Laments in the wind a dying breath

This grief is a wound of burning pain
A darkening cloud across the void
A cloudburst of tears fall like rain
World at war, the world destroyed

Remember the fallen, mourn the dead
Sound the last trump, end bloodshed