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March 2010 letters


Letters from previous editions


Dear Sir,

Could any of your readers help me to fi nd out more about Crich pottery? I am researching the origin of an old inkwell (see photograph) which I understand is salt-glazed stoneware. The inscription round the side is �Anthony Greatorex Materia Musica 1758�.Picture of inkwell

Anthony is known to have lived for part of his life at Riber Hall. He was born in 1730 and left the Hall in 1752 for North Wingfi eld. He was an accomplished musician of some renown, as was his son Thomas. Because of his links with Riber and North Wingfield, also the date, and the type of pottery, it is thought that the inkwell was most likely made at Crich.

At the beginning of the 18th Century, several potteries using salt-glaze sprang up around the Peak District, including the one at Crich. This was run by three brothers, John, George and Richard Dodd, who went on to become Burgesses of the City of Nottingham (ref. GENUKI).

Do any other examples of Crich pottery survive locally, perhaps in the possession of your readers? Where was the factory sited and how long did it operate for? Would the inkwell have been a one-off commission, or would several have been made?

I would be most grateful for any information.

Yours faithfully,

Sonya Greatorex

  • Scotland


I have an ancestor born in Crich in 1745 who became a potter. All that I know about him is that he did rather well and died in London in 1809. I know that there was a place called the Pot House in Crich. Any connection? Does anyone know if being a potter in Crich was a paying profession at that time? Most people there seem to have been frame work knitters or connected in some way with quarrying or farming, all modest occupations at best.


Frank Turner

By coincidence two letters in about the old Crich pottery � can anyone help? ED

Breakthrough breast cancer logoThank you to everyone who supported the sale of plants from Janet Patilla. Over �200 will have been raised for the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Charity. Your support was most appreciated.

  • 1 Springfield Close
  • Crich

Dear Editor

May I, through the CACN, thank all the friends who joined me and my family on June 16th to say our last farewells to Elfed in the beauty of St Mary�s Church.

Our thanks also go to Rev. Philip Brooks for his kindness and understanding and to Terry, Andrea and Kath for helping things to run so smoothly. The generous donations have gone to British Heart Foundation and Nightingale McMillan Unit.

Many thanks to all.

Jean Royals

  • 17 Couvreur St.,
  • Garran ACT,
  • Australia
  • +61 2 62812892

Dear Editor

My wife and I live in Canberra, Australia and we are researching my ancestors some of whom were centred on Crich and we are hopeful that you might publish my letter in the hope that we can make contact with Crich residents with whom we have a shared ancestry.

We have traced my Crich ancestors back to George Radford and Ann Austin (incorrectly recorded as Hosden) who married at Crich on 13 April 1817. At this time we are uncertain of George�s parents but Ann was baptized as Nanny Austin of Cromford on 17 July 1791 to John and Ellen (nee Wheeldon) Austin who married at Wirksworth on 17 January 1791. So far as we can establish John Austin was buried on 26 August 1791 and Ellen later married James Wetton at Crich. Ellen and James had a son, Samuel, who was a witness at the marriage of George Radford and Ann Austin.

George and Ann had Mary, who was baptized on 12 October 1817; George (17 January 1819); John (29 July 1821); Ellen (3 August 1823 and buried 15 March 1834); William Kirk (12 March 1826); James (22 June 1828 and buried 3 May 1840); Jane (1 August 1830); Emily (20 October 1833 and buried 3 August 1834); and Peter on an unknown date in 1837. The records of the baptism of several of George�s children describe him as a �Labourer and Greenwich pensioner� which we understand is evidence that he served in the Navy.

George Radford was buried at Crich on 5 March 1837, his age recorded as 63, and Ann was buried on 17 August 1869, her age recorded as 82 but that did not end my association with Crich. Mary, George and Ann�s first child, married James Sims there on 8 October 1838. James Sims was baptized in the parish of Duffield on 11 September 1814 to Samuel and Martha (nee Oliver) Sims.

James and Mary Sims had 9 children, only the first 2 of which were baptized at Crich; Martha on 21 July 1829 and George on 23 March 1841. Thereafter James and Mary Sims moved first to Tintwistle, Cheshire and then to Eston, Yorkshire and it was from there that one of James and Mary�s grandchildren emigrated to Australia in the late 19th century.

We would like to contact any person who fits into this ancestral structure and, of course, can shed any further light on the facts as we now know them.

Thank you for your anticipated assistance.

Ross & Monika Jones


Dear Editor

My friend, Mrs Sue Warboys, very kindly gave me a copy of the Spring edition of the magazine which included her letter about my time spent as an evacuee to Crich. She wrote about Mr Holgate and the time he spent there, which causes me to wonder whether or not he knows of the Evacuees Reunion Association. I am a member myself and receive the newsletter regularly. Apart from my book having been reviewed and thus Crich having been mentioned, I have written to the magazine seeking other ex-evacuees who were sent there, but there has been no response. Should Mr Holgate, or anyone else, be interested, the E R A�s website is

Just as a matter of interest, I have met someone here in the south of France whose two sisters left Essex when I did, from the same school, to the same school in Crich and one of whom now lives in the same street in which I lived before we all were sent away! I also have a new friend in New Zealand - similar story - thanks to Sue�s mother Joyce, Joyce�s Crich friend and CACN printing a small piece I submitted for the millennium issue. Another friend here, now sadly no longer living, was sent from Essex and attended the Herbert Strutt School two years or so before I did.

I now have quite a collection of the CACN, a magazine I thoroughly enjoy.

Yours sincerely,

Gloria Weston (nee Gossiaux)

The Essex schools which were sent to Derbyshire from Gloria�s area were from Southend-on-Sea, Leigh-on-Sea and Westcliff-on-Sea. Her book �Goodbye, Gloria� is available from Amazon. See also below for more information. ED


Judy Mallaber MP � Village Post Offices

In the June 07 issue of CACN Ms Mallaber wrote in support of village post offices and the vital part they have to play in small communities. We know that Crich village post office provides a vital service for us, especially since the closure of Fritchley post office.

From Ms Mallaber�s own website: Post Office Review � dated 2nd October, 2007

Responding to the proposals published today for consultation by the Post Office on the future of the local post office network in the East Midlands, Amber Valley MP Judy Mallaber said:

�I am disappointed by the proposed closures of post offices in Amber Valley. Post offices play a vital role in local communities and we must retain a viable stable network which safeguards this essential service into the future for those that use it.�

It came as a surprise to find that she voted with the Government in support of their intention to close many village post offices. This was passed with a small majority. I wrote to her asking for an explanation for this apparent about-face. Sadly to date she has felt unable to reply. I sincerely hope her actions do not jeopardise the future of our post office and feel saddened that other small communities will lose theirs.

Peter Patilla

  • 7 Dunadry
  • Northern Ireland

Dear Editor

Just a brief note of re-introduction from us here in NI. Your quarterly journal has come into my possession and I have been asked to notify you that we are still in existence and will meet again on Thursday, 10th April at 7.45 pm in the Dunadry Hotel.

Sometimes we plough a lonely furrow, with about 10 stalwarts meeting about 4 times per year, with an annual dinner in the autumn and a community get together at Christmas in the Hotel. Dunadry has had several developments over recent years, with well over 100 new homes being created, unfortunately not all in keeping with the hamlet. The Hotel sold off some land which now has an estate of 60 houses alone.

We continue to fight against the large scale and unsuitable plans. But as you may be aware NI in recent years has become somewhat of a hotspot for housing prices, with the average house at the end of 2007 coming in at some �225K. Thankfully this vertical rise has come to an abrupt halt, with falls of up to twenty percent being reported. As such this has put a halt to some of the development, although Dunadry remains a very desirable area. However, as a result of this development, the community has become quite diverse and more of a commuter stop, where it is harder to engender a sense of community but we keep on trying to keep it together.

Hopefully now having re-established contact we can maintain the link.

Kind regards

Alex Graham Bowmer


Dear Editor

photo of Gloria with JoyceHaving read with interest, the account from Mr Holgate about his evacuation to Crich (CACN Autumn �07) I wondered if any readers were aware of a book detailing the daily life of Gloria Gossiaux � a young evacuee from Southend-on-Sea. Gloria lived in Crich during the war with my grandparents Jack and Gertie Ludlam and their daughter Joyce on Chapel Lane. She tells of school days, local people, village events and much more.

Anyone interested should read Goodbye Gloria (A Child�s Wartime Story) by Gloria Weston ISBN 10: 059517903 costing �9.49 (Publisher 2001) I�ve enclosed a photo of their reunion, a surprise visit from Gloria in 1998.

Kind regards

Sue Worboys (nee Hodgson)


Goodbye, Gloria: A Child's Wartime Story - click to visit amazon

Available from all good book shops


Beresford family of Crich

Dear Editor,

I have just been looking at your website 'Crich Area Community News' and the short history of Crich Parish.

Every ten years the Beresford Family Society holds an International Gathering of Beresfords and in May 2007 we visited St Marys to see the tomb of Godfrey Beresford. We made a note of the inscription on Godfrey's tomb. This, together with my (probably imperfect) t r ans l at ion i s at t a ched for your information.

Godfrey's father was Aden Beresford, the first son of Thomas Beresford of Fenny Bentley. The tomb of Thomas and Agnes lies in Fenny Bentley Church, which also has Beresford stained glass windows and family memorial plaques. Thomas (who had 24 children, 19 boys and 5 girls) was at Agincourt. A number of family members at that time and later were involved with military expeditions in France.

It is interesting that Godfrey is shown in some sort of armour protection. The tomb is quite small even allowing for people being shorter in those day, so it may be that he was in his teens when he died. Boys of this age frequently accompanied the troops of archers on these expeditions, for example keeping them supplied with arrows, which were being discharged in battle at the rate of ten a minute. It may be that when the Earl was obliged to serve the king by providing a certain number of men-at-arms and archers for the king's expeditions, Godfrey went with him too. How we died we do not know.

We do not even know what age Godfrey was when he died and why he should have been buried in St Mary's, particularly in an important position close to the altar. The inscription refers to Godfrey belonging or being close to the household of the Earl of Salop, (who later became the Earl of Shrewsbury). This would have been Francis Talbot, the 5th Earl of Shrewsbury. Perhaps Godfrey was some sort of servant or aide close to the Earl and accompanied him during his military exploits. When he died, it may have been the Earl who wanted to erect a permanent tomb for Godfrey and to record his connection with the Earl's household.

The website later refers to the Earl (probably George Talbot, the 9th Earl) selling off parcels of the land to yeoman farmers after 1660, so the Earls of Shrewsbury presumably owned this part of Derbyshire.

If you ever come across any information about Godfrey, I should be most interested to hear about it.

Kind regards

John Beresford

Secretary Beresford Family Society

  • Vlaanderen
  • 1 New Road
  • Crich

Dear Editor,

Friendship Link with Northern Ireland

I write in response to the article 'Linked in Friendship with Dunadry Community' in Issue 43 of CACN page 45, and your

For newcomers to our area, shortly after the formation of CACN in 1996 and in an effort to raise much needed funds for the future liability of our community magazine, I made a sponsored visit from Crich market to Belfast on a budget of �5 and a target of 24 hours to get to Northern Ireland, deliver various messages from organisations and individuals in our area to similar organisations in the Province. The 'mission' was a success both in encouraging a friendship link between the troubled area and our own peaceful villages, and also in raising a substantial amount for our new project - CACN. This took place, of course, when the security situation in Northern Ireland was at a high, and the people I met were really touched that our village was reaching out to them, and by the messages delivered from us to them.

Links were made and friendships forged by individuals and organisations from both sides of the Irish Sea. I again visited a couple of years later and signed an official friendship document along with Ronnie Barnes, the then chairman of the Dunadry Community Association. Since that date our magazine has proudly displayed this link as a banner head directly under the title of each subsequent issue.

Support was received from politicians both here and at Stormont, from church leaders, entertainers Boyzone, The Corrs etc. and I was able to meet and interview peace campaigner Sir Bob Geldof who backed the initiative and was pleased to receive a copy of the documents.

Another year elapsed and Kate and I were privileged to organise and accompany a party of eighteen local residents over to Dunadry for a friendship link visit. This party were representative of many organisations in our area and met up with their counterparts in similar organisations over there. The weekend concluded with a Friendship Dinner at the Dunadry Hotel & Country Club where a framed painting of Crich Stand suitably inscribed was presented and still hangs proudly in the Reception of the hotel. I am grateful to the artist Herbert Key for specially painting this and donating it for this purpose.

An article was regularly received from the Dunadry community and published each issue, and I was in regular contact with them on special occasions when messages were interchanged. Each issue of CACN has been sent to Dunadry.

I would dearly love to see the link 'brought to life' and would appeal for anyone interested in this re-generation to contact me and I will gladly pass on the details which I have. I would also appeal to the Dunadry Community who receive two copies of our magazine for renewal of contact and resumption of their quarterly article.

Whilst fully appreciating that the situation is thankfully much better and generally safer now and friendship and support perhaps not quite so important, I feel it would be sad to lose our hitherto great relationships with our friends across the water.


Derek Killingsley-Smith.

  • 19 Evanston Gardens
  • Balby
  • Doncaster

Dear Editor

I wonder if any of your readers are able to tell me the date St Mary�s Church Crich was damaged by fire as a result of a lightening strike. I once saw a newspaper report of this fire and there was mention of a �blackout curtain� so I would the think the fire was during WW2.

It appears that two of my relatives and another person used stirrup pumps to fight the fire until the fire service arrived. Any help your readers can offer will be appreciated.

I am enclosing a poem of my husband�s for possible inclusion in the CACN magazine. It is one of maybe a dozen with a Crich theme which he has not had published previously. I hope you like it.


Doreen Martin

The poem is in the poetry corner. Ed

John Exton from Belper was able to throw light on the happening with this newspaper cutting from the Derby Evening Telegraph dated 9th February 1945.

Newspaper cutting about church fire - click to enlarge



Old photo of figures in front of some railway carriages


I found this photo amongst some of my mother's belongings (she came from Crich) & I wonder if anyone can identify where it was taken etc. I believe it must have some relevance to Crich.

Hope you can help.

Prunella Bradshaw (by email through the Website)

Any ideas? Let us know � ED


In response to the WW2 memories article - by email from �Smithy�

Railway Orphans -

During the early years of the second World War, some boys were moved to Park Lodge Fritchley, not Crich. Park Lodge is situated on land between Alan Lane, and Bowmer Lane, the main entrance is on Bullbridge Hill about 100 yards below Alan Lane. There is another entrance on Alan Lane next to the House which used to be called Earldon.� Some of them went to Fritchley School in Church Street. Two brothers, Maurice and Leonard Bradley, who were in the same classroom as myself lived in South Shields before they became orphans, and were moved to Park Lodge

Trevor Elliot-Smith

  • Cupola Park
  • Whatstandwell

Dear Editor

cartoon of washing line with two fig leaves - the first washing day

Continuing the theme of the washing line, global warming etc. I recently received my grandfather�s diary for 1905 (he was 30 years old at the time). Below is one of the sketches he drew, showing that he had a sense of humour!

Hope it may be of interest.

Yours faithfully

R A Harvey

  • 80 Genesta Road
  • Plumstead
  • London SE18 3EU

Dear Editor

I have recently started researching the history of my Grandfather who came from Derbyshire.

In 1918 my Grandfather married my Grandmother Edith Covell, in France during the war and at this time his address was Mice Cottage, Whatstandwell. Does Mice Cottage still exist or what stands there now?

I would be so grateful of any information at all to continue my search.

Kind regards

Christine Taylor

Can anybody help? Ed

  • Market Place
  • Crich

Dear Editor,

When I was doing a bit of reminiscing the other day , and going through �A few of my favourite things� I came across this poem of Fritchley which I thought I would like to share with the readers of the Community News.

It came to me through one of two elderly sisters who lived in Bexhill-on-Sea but came every year for a holiday to The Briars, which was then a vegetarian guest house. They made a friend of my family and me, and I wrote to them through the years. They were the Misses A & L Taylor who had a friend in Daisy who sent them the poem.

Somebody may remember Daisy from those days working for Mr. and Mrs. Heymans. Miss Annette Taylor passed the poem on to me when she felt she was coming to the end of her life span and now I would like to share it through the Community News.

I think it is lovely.

Yours sincerely,

Evelyn Gration Postcard from Fritchley

The postcard was sent in 1971 from �Bennahie�, Fritchley. The poem was written by E. M. Lynam of Fritchley.

I asked for some information about her from Valerie Jones who is an authority of the Lynam name in Derbyshire. Ed.

The author: Edith May LYNAM She was born in 1905 the daughter of Frederick Joseph Lynam and Elizabeth Ellen Smith. Her mother ran the Red Lion in Fritchley whilst her father ran the village butchers shop. Edith�s sister Dorothy died of flu in the epidemic of 1930 the year after she married.


Dear Editor

My grandfather, by marriage, was John Greenhough. John, known as Jack of course, was born behind the Bull Inn, opposite St. Mary�s Church, Crich, in 1886. He was one of a reasonably large family and by the time he was fifteen he was the village painter. He must have been a deft lad as at the time of enlisting for WWI he was also the village plumber, working for the firm of Haynes, located in the Market Place. In fact, he worked for the Haynes family all his working life, retiring in his seventies.
In those days plumbers had to know how to mix paints and he possessed a number of books that he had acquired as he completed his apprenticeship. Painting didn�t only mean those nice jobs like decorating rooms and the like; it included liming the wash house, the outside lavatory, the pantry and in some cases, even the outside coal house! Plumbing was not a rosy job either, and my grandmother would complain bitterly when Jack came home smelling rather badly. One advantage to being a plumber was that he had a �modern� bathroom, although hot water depended upon the kitchen fire heating the water.
Jack�s means of transport was his bicycle; in fact he had two of them, just in case one was out of action! Off he would cycle to the outlying villages and farms, in all weathers, never knowing when he would get home in the evening.
Of course, no matter what your trade or station in life, a man wore a hat � even to go to the outside lavatory, clean the shoes on Sunday, go for a walk, or work in the garden! And all men doffed their hat to a lady upon meeting other people, and certainly took it off in the presence of their betters. My grandmother felt it was an achievement to get Jack to give up his bowler � but the cap stayed!
Wages were not much, and I recall my grandmother making Jack go and ask for a pay rise. It caused some ructions in the house because he was steeped in the boss/worker hierarchy and really found it difficult making such an approach. When he had worked there for fifty years he was given a wireless � he had probably paid for it many times over!
I started visiting Crich just after WWII. Oh the preparation � ration books were needed, and my grandmother shopped mainly at the Co-op (groceries and butcher), and there was the Co-op dividend number which had to be remembered whenever I was sent there on an errand.
On the subject of food: Miss Henshaw from Snowdrop Valley (I think) delivered the milk to the house � a jug was left on the dining table and she would come in and fill it, and be paid once a week. Milk came by pony and cart! Vegetables and fruit were sold by Lester�s who also had a shop opposite the bakery near the Market Place. These goods were purchased from the back of a van, and Lester�s also delivered the coal, lugging heavy hemp coal sacks up to the coal house in the back garden. Knowing when the coal delivery was due was important � the coal house had to be unlocked! Bread could also be bought from a van. In the early 1950s I recall a shop just up from the cinema which sold the most delicious Walls ice cream, which would be a treat when out for a Sunday walk.
In those days the cinema was a basic affair, and it didn�t operate every day, and perhaps not every week. But it felt like the coming of city sophistication to quiet, rural Crich holidays when even watching for the next bus to go down the road was �something to do�. Even as a youngster, I sympathised with my grandmother who upon her marriage to Jack found herself in a place far from her family, and certainly far from a city. Walking became a way of life for both of us � and in those days one could walk the remotest highways and footpaths without fear. I loved walking the length of the Tors, starting out up the road from the post office; and there was a walk that went to where one could look out over the road, railway and river, towards the wireworks � such a view!
Whist drives and dances were very popular, both in Crich and in the surrounding villages. Jack had to get home in good time on a Friday evening to wash and change to go. On Saturday we had all day to anticipate the event. We might go to Wingfield, walking up to the bus stop at the Cross � and then reverse the process in the dark hours later, taking care not to wander off the narrow footpath down the hill to the Market Place. In Crich, whist drives and dances were held in the schools � people were always very kind to this city child, teaching me the dances � during the whist drive one sat quietly!
Jack, grandmother�s second husband, had no children, but he rose to the occasion when we visited, making us kites to fly on the Tors. Being there when it was that time of the year to re-paper the rooms was fun, and certainly a time for learning tact as he was of the old school when wallpapers were cut, pasted and hung all according to age-old tradition! A treat would be to go on a coach trip organised by the man who also ran the taxi service and lived near the cinema. The trips were exhausting affairs, long distances at probably 30 m.p.h. max, in a bus certainly not of today�s luxury variety, with much packing of sandwiches beforehand. Riber Castle, Alton Towers and historical homes � it was worth it!
What did we children do in the evenings? We learnt to play card games, played a board game, toured the garden, and talked to each other. Houses were cold places, lighting was by gas mantle until electricity came to the village and my grandmother insisted it be installed; I seem to recall Jack being quite happy with the gas! Going to bed could be a cold and dark experience, and trying to read by gas light was hard on the eyes.
I hope you enjoyed reading these reminiscences.
Jean Lownes

From the editor

Firstly, thank you for the comments we have received about the new design of the magazine. These have been most encouraging. As you can see we are continuing with a photographic theme on the front cover. I only have one more in reserve to use and would welcome contributions from you. So, if you have a colour photograph of our area I would be delighted to receive a copy. I am happy to scan originals and quickly return.
Hopefully, by the time you are reading this �The Loaf,� our new deli and bakery, will be up and running. No news as yet about other changes that are in the pipeline at the Jovial Dutchman and the Cliff Inn. We will try to keep you updated on happenings here, and with the new Crich Medical Centre, on our website.
A change on the CACN committee � Steve Redfern is handing over the responsibility of looking after the distribution to Brian Gibbons. More about this in the magazine.
A technical glitch in the last issue resulted in a few copies having two blank pages. I was going to be �flip� and say they were for nonreaders but was advised against this. Then I thought of the excuse that they were DIY pages to personalise your copy, but in the end decided that honesty is best. It was a simple case of a couple of sheets of paper sticking together in the printing process. Thankfully only a few copies were affected; sorry if you received one of them.
Inside the back cover is the local directory of telephone numbers. Please help us to keep this up-to-date. If any organisation is defunct or there are out-of-date contacts do let me know.
Finally, may I, on behalf of the Editorial Committee, wish everyone a very happy Christmas and contented New Year.

PS An interesting thing about golf is that no matter how badly you play, it is always possible to get worse.

Crich (Dec 08)

Steve Redfern has handed over his seal of office as Distributions Coordinator. He has undertaken the task of ensuring you all receive a copy of the magazine delivered to your door for the last seven years. The Editorial Committee wish to put on record their gratitude to Steve for his sterling work, done with great humour and very little fuss. He has been very well supported by the team of delivery volunteers. Steve, thank you so much, and we are sure the hole in your activities will be filled quite quickly.
The baton of office has been picked up by Brian Gibbons who takes over from Steve. Brian made the mistake of pausing during a conversation with the editor and this was taken as a sign of acceptance. Seriously, we welcome Brian aboard and know that he will receive the same support from all the volunteers as Steve enjoyed.

Derby (Mar 09)

Dear Editor
Yes I remember lolly sticks; pogo sticks (though never had one); marbles (the beautiful patterns they had running through them); Pathe Gazette news and the serials like Rin Tin Tin etc. Even two and three digit telephone numbers such as Alfie Smith on Matlock Green �Tel 82; Slaters on Smedley Street (where I worked for three years from leaving school) � Tel 101; my uncle Albert James on the Cliff � Tel 552.
The spud guns, if we are thinking of the same, were imported from Germany and very accurate to about twenty feet.
The reason I remember is in February, if I make it, I will be eighty. Ron James has to wait another five weeks. I bet nobody knows two others who have stuck together through thick and thin.
My first school was Crich , we lived at Glebe Farm, and I can remember my mother pushing us on her bike (that�s my sister Hazel and I), to school in two foot of snow, Hazel standing on the pedals and myself sat on the seat. As the lane was full of snow we traversed the lee side of the field.
Hope you can read this,
I remain
Charles Middleton
PS Thank you, I enjoy the read after Rose has read it.

USA (Mar 09)

Dear Editor:
With reference to the Crich Junior School 1951�52 class photo in your CACN Gallery section.
The missing name of the boy seated second from the right on the front row, is Tony Bradshaw.
(My father George Smith took the photograph, & I am seated to the boy�s left.)
David Smith

Crich (Mar 09)

Dear Editor
The Village �Carols around the Christmas Tree' event made �175 for the Macmillan Continuing Care Unit.
I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who came and supported us � the Care Unit will make very good use of your generosity.
Graham Swift

Alfreton (Mar 09)

Dear Editor

I would like to write to thank all those responsible for the Christmas Celebration concert, the first of its kind at Alfreton Grange Arts College.
This was, in fact, the latest in a long line of Christmas concerts at the school which was formerly Mortimer Wilson school, but this year�s was as different as could be.
Newly appointed Director of Arts Russ Singleton passed on the baton to the new Head of Music Liz Marsh.
The concert was opened by Head Teacher Wendy Sharp, who again introduced some of the cream of our community�s talent.
The students, staff, and the whole audience were led in song, ably assisted by having the song lyrics projected onto the stage video screen, with the resident rock orchestra 'The Offbeats' to accompany them.
A selection of traditional readings by Lizzie Bexton, Alec Gee Burch, Nicola Barrass-Harding, James Wilson, Connor Hutchinson and Heather Rogers were interspersed with the entertainments.
The school�s newly formed dance troupes from junior and senior students performed some excellent routines to the music of 'Rockin� Robin' and 'I Wish it could be Christmas Every Day' respectively.
A moving section of the night�s entertainment belonged to the drama students who conceived and enacted a short piece entitled 'Day of Peace' remembering the Christmas experienced by the troops in the trenches of the First World War.
Concluding with Silent Night sung in German, the audience were encouraged to join the students with the English rendition.
The night, however, would not have been complete without the regular showcase of the school�s talents and these were demonstrated by the musical numbers throughout.
Notable moments included Katy Marsden and Alec Gee Burch kicking it off with a rousing version of 'Fairytale of New York' and Lizzie Bexton�s solo 'A Winters Tale' which was her inaugural performance in front of an audience, and Year 7's Chloe Smith with 'Walking in the Air'.
The college�s 'in house' rock band 'The Frantic Pandas' provided a closing performance with 'Christmas Time' by The Darkness before the usual finale of the by now infamous 'Twelve days of Christmas'.
As the evening wound down, the hot drinks and mince pies were served and the audience mingled with the students and staff, all agreeing that this was a perfect way to begin their Christmas.
Well done, and a Merry Christmas to all involved. As ever I look forward to the next offering in March, when the college will be staging 'The Wizard of Oz'. I can't wait.
Thank you all.
Mr C.L.Bexton
Parent Governor
Alfreton Grange Arts College

Crich (Jun 09)

Dear Editor
Crich and District Branch of the Royal British Legion
Owing to the sale of �The Jovial Dutchman�, which has been our headquarters for the last eighty-seven years, we will be moving to �The Black Swan�. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking both Adrian and Michelle Worthy for their support to the branch during their term in office and wish them both all the very best for the future.
M. G. Adderson (Branch Secretary)

Crich (Jun 09)

Dear Editor
Following the sudden death of my husband Mr George Noble at the end of last year, I would like to thank everyone who sent their messages of condolence and attended the funeral service. It was a comfort to me to see so many people there and made me realise how many friends George and I have.
I would also like to thank people for their generosity, as I requested donations rather than flowers from all but the family. These donations totalled �627 and I have sent this money to the Neurological Department at the Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital, where George received treatment last summer � it was thanks to their hard work that he was able to come home.
Once again, many thanks to all our friends and family for your continued support.
F Noble

Crich (Sep (09)

Dear Editor,
The Dawes and Dawes-Hamp family would once again like to say a huge thank you to everyone for the generous donations given to their Christmas light fund during the festive season. The amount collected was �400 (Four Hundred Pounds). This was divided, of which �200 (Two Hundred Pounds) was donated to the Nottingham Neonatal Service Trust at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham in memory of their loving grandson and son Alexander James Dawes-Hamp, who sadly lost his fight for life at two days old in October 2007. This was to show their appreciation for the intensive care he received by this unit during his short precious life.
The remaining �200 (Two Hundred Pounds) was donated to E38 which is the children's oncology ward, also at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham.
We are sorry that there has been a delay with the thank you letter this year but the cheques were presented to the charities only a short while ago.
Once again THANK YOU to everyone who gave so generously.
Yours sincerely,
The Dawes/Dawes-Hamp Family

Crich (Sep 09)

Dear Editor
From the sale of plants I have been able to send a cheque for �300 to the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Charity. I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who supported me.
Yours sincerely,
Janet Patilla

Australia (09)

Dear Editor
photo of tree snakeEnclosed is the latest crossword for the September issue of your magazine. I thought you might be amused by my companion in the outdoor shower on our holiday in northern Queensland! It is a brown tree snake, which the reference books describe as a 'reluctant biter' but would you take the chance?! The book says the snake is also a 'back biter', which doesn't mean it utters calumny with its forked tongue, but that its venom is only dangerous if � having reluctantly bitten � it decides to chew! The mind boggles.
Australia is the only continent where venomous snakes (70 percent) outnumber non-venomous ones.
Best wishes,
Brian Sargent