December 21- Digest

December 21- Digest


December 2021

Merry Christmas

“The best birthdays are those that have not yet arrived”

Robert Orben

David Amess

It is not my policy to solicit for charities.  However, occasional events will make a difference.  David supported several charities so if you want to acknowledge his life you might do so by donating to any of these, Dogs Trust, The Music Man Project, Prost8, Endometriosis UK, Havens Hospices and the  Vera Lynn Memorial Statue.  Visit:

His farewell to Southend was on 22 November.

The City gave its farewell to Sir David Amess MP – Standing together united residents of Southend-on-Sea gave Sir David Amess MP a dignified and respectful goodbye following a special memorial service for family, friends and invited guests.

At 12.15pm the church bells of St Mary’s began tolling, as guests began to arrive for the 1pm service. Beautiful music from organist Melanie van Looy, accompanied by The Southend Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs, Leigh Orpheus Male Voice Choir and St. Mary’s Church Choir, greeted the guests as they took their seats and accompanied them during the service.

Firefighters from Essex County Fire and Rescue acted as pallbearers, carrying Sir David, whose casket was draped with a Union flag, flowers and ceremonial sword, into the church.

Lining the churchyard path were the 3rd Chalkwell Sea Scouts, The Royal Naval Association Standard Bearer and the 1312 Royal Air Force Air Cadet Standard.

Members of the public gathered in the churchyard to listen to the service, which included a eulogy from the Right Honourable Mark Francois MP, and readings from Rev Monsignor Kevin William Hale, Rev Clifford Newman, James Duddridge MP, The Worshipful the Mayor Cllr Margaret Borton, and Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst HM Lord-Lieutenant of Essex.

The cortège proceeded to Iveagh Hall in Leigh Road, the place where he held consultations.

After the Serious Subject

A duck goes into a shop to buy a lipstick.  He says to the cashier, “Can you put it on my bill?”

November talk

Was by Brian Billings on the subject of Essex Smugglers. He opened with a quote from Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “Watch the wall my darlings when the Gentlemen go by.”  They are described as “viscous, violent and ugly”.  The activity goes back to the mid 17th century.  At the time wool was very big business in the country so untaxed exports were also big business.  Other commodities such as gin, brand and silks also figured.

He noted that the County has the longest coastline in the country so very porous. He asked us to guess which commodities were the most smuggled.  We opted for heavy stuff like liquor but the answer was that which is light.  Tea came first. It is light but has to come from far away India.  Next is tobacco.  This is familiar today but historically it came from the Americas so had to be imported by sea.  It seemed like that during the 18th and 19th centuries there was a constant struggle between the Revenue and the smugglers. The Revenue originally possessed 45cutters combating the “gentlemen”.  Cum the 19th century this increased to 70.  The port of Leigh had its fair share.  In the 18th century it maintained 12 customs officers.  I believe there was a tunnel from the port.  In isolated places like Paglesham there were a “nest of smugglers”.  The fact that the activity was not stamped out was because the Revenue men were poorly paid so corruption was inevitable.

Care home choices

CareCompare matches people to local care companies.  It is backed by the NHS and Age UK. Signup at

Climate Change

Is a euphemism for Global Warming .  Here I quote the myths surrounding this from MoneyWeek:

  • Small islands such as the Maldives are not doomed.  These coral islands rise after storms when coral breaks off and is washed ashore
  • Lockdowns do not help.  Data shows that carbon emission was almost normal.  Homes had to be heated more than usual.
  • Electric cars are not that green.  The electricity they need is produced from fossil fuels.  The batteries are made in China fuelled by coal.
  • Polar bears are not doomed.  They lived thru warm periods and recently the population rose from about 7,500 to 25,000.
  • Wildfires have been declining since 1900.  Since then in Australia areas burned have reduced from 12 to 4%.   

Are You Tech Savvy?

The world is going that way.  Because it is and for example many are banking on-line we have seen the demise of the High Street branches.  How many of you are suffering because of this?  I remember a bank advert from way in the past,  “Our roots are our branches”.  Here is a quote from a letter to Bel Mooney in the Daily Mail:

‘I recently took a plane from Stansted to Edinburgh. From buying the ticket, to printing the ticket, to printing luggage labels, to accessing security, to boarding, all of it was done on-line.  Be it accessing money, booking a gas mechanic, grocery shopping, ordering a prescription most is done on-line.  Should you wish to speak to a human you will have to go to the bottom of the web page to see, ‘contact us’.  Should you actually find a phone number you are likely to be greeted by a robot telling you that you can find everything on-line.

Do you agree that forcing the elderly and other vulnerable groups to go on-line thru a bewildering array of technology only makes us irrelevant and excluded?  Furthermore I feel the situation flies in the face of the Equality Act.

Covid Update

Proving the truth of the above article this is the advice from Highlands Surgery, Leigh:

Covid useful links 02 12 2021

       Southend Council Covid-19 Education information:

       Local Information on Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout (including Southend)

       NHS Coronavirus (COVID-19) booster vaccine:

       Getting tested for COVID-19 Southend information:

       Vaccination Centres:

       NHS Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination:


Three live at the moment.  Housing in later life at– later-life.  Closes 16 Jan.

Your opinion on Pharmacies at  Closes 14 Jan.

Essex County Library would like your views.  Call 0345 6037633.  Closes 21 Jan.

Dates for your Diary

18 Dec:  Christmas Farmers Market at Leigh Community Centre.  9 to 1pm.

Until 19 Dec:  Exhibition at Leigh Community Centre by local artists, Hannah Faraway, Mary Doyle and Sally Faraway. 

5 Jan:  Fundraising lunch at the Shorehouse, Shoebury.  12 noon.  Reserve with Jean Howes.  Tel 01702 341047.

19 Jan:  Members meeting at Balmoral Centre. 2 – 4pm. Talk on Support for unpaid carers. 

© JDS/ December 2021  Tel 01702 472670