Southend & District Pensioner’s Campaign                                            

                           “Digest”  –  February, 2024    

“I still have a full deck; I just shuffle slower now.” (Tom Stoppard).

Last month’s Meeting:                                                           

We were pleased to welcome Keeley Beech who gave us a demonstration of Chair Yoga for us to follow as we were able. Much of the exercise was fairly easy, but once we were standing it became more difficult. No one actually fell down, and it taught us how to be more aware of our bodies and our physical limitations.

Michael Merriman. (1936-2023)

Four of our Committee attended the funeral of Michael Merriman on Monday, 29th. January at Basildon and District Crematorium in Bowers Gifford. The Rev’d Paul McKay from Saint Mary’s Church, Prittlewell officiated, and there was a large congregation. The family moved to the graveside for the committal and final blessing, while the congregation retired to the Gun Pub for refreshments and to celebrate Michael’s life. Jan Merriman joined us at our fund-raising lunch on Wednesday, 7th.February. 

In Committee

At the January Committee Meeting we welcomed Sue Stacey as a new Committee Member.

Campaigning:   Following the answer from the City Council’s Leader regarding the reinstatement of an Older People’s Champion, Bob Howes wrote to the Southend “Echo” and the “Leigh News” to emphasise the need for a Champion to oversee and focus on the needs of our senior citizens. The letters were duly published in full, with a creative headline which I didn’t write.  It is interesting to note that the NPC London Region have published a London Mayoral Manifesto with a list of key objectives. The first on the list is; “The appointment of a specific Deputy Mayor for Older People

C2C  Rover Day Ticket  offer for the over 65’s

£10 special ticket between Shoeburyness and London Fenchurch Street for use after 9.30am but cannot be used between 4.00pm and 7.00pm. You can hop off and on as often as you like. Can be bought at the ticket office on the day of travel. Thanks to our Member Marion Mitchell for this information. 

Marketing SDPC:

We have agreed to restart marketing our campaign group around Southend. On Tuesday 20th February between 11.00am and 1.00pm, Jean will be at SAVS, 29-31 Alexandra Street Southend talking about SDPC to “Folks Like Us.” She also is going to be at Westcliff Library on Tuesday 5th March between 10.00am until noon  and Monday 18th March at Leigh Library 10.00am until noon. Shewill have our display boards and will be chatting to visitors whilst handing out flyers. Why not join her and help spread the word?

NPC London Region Council:  Bob Howes and Jim Folwell both attended the quarterly Meeting which featured the speaker Charlie King who sits on the NPC Transport Working Party, and is an expert on public transport in the UK and especially in the London region. He covered many of the issues we have on rail, underground, buses and trams.  The Winter Deaths demonstration will now be held on Wednesday, 6th. March, having been postponed from the usual time in November last year. The National Pensioners Convention has taken over the 250 Club Draw from the London Region Council and details will be available at our AGM.

Dates for Your Diary:

Jazz Centre UK. Live concerts on most Saturday afternoons. 2pm till 4pm. Beecroft Art Gallery, Victoria Avenue, Southend. Tickets £10-15.

Southend Central Museum. Victoria Avenue, Southend. Free. A stunning display of recent finds from the “London” wreck is now on show permanently from Wednesday to Sunday each week, from 11am till 5pm.

Southend Council Concert Series.  Monthly serious music concerts continue at Plaza Centre, 600 Southchurch Road, Southend. SS1 2PT.  Friday evenings. From 8pm. International professional musicians. £10 per person.

The Forum- Peoples Gallery. Till February, 29th.  “A Season of Season”. Paintings by Natasha Faiers. 9am to 5pm. Closed Sundays. Also” Trials and Tribulations”. Art work by local artist John Barrett. Free.

Cliffs Pavilion. Until Sunday, 25th. February. “The Wizard of Oz”.  From 7pm, 2.30, or 3pm. £25 -£60.

Palace Theatre. Until Saturday, 24th. February. Southend Gang Show. “It’s a Date”. From 7.30pm, 2.30, or 6pm.   £14-£18.50.

 Saturday, 2nd. March.  Concert by the Southend Symphony Orchestra, At the Salvation Army Temple, Hadleigh. SS7 2PF. 7.30 pm.  Leonard Bernstein and Gershwin.

Wednesday, 6th. March.  SDPC Lunch: 12.30pm. £15 for a two course lunch  at Strawberry Fields,  Thanet Grange, London Road Opp Tesco Call Jean 01702 341047 to book your place.

Saturday, 16th. March. Southend Bach Choir. Concert: Mozart Requiem. Dvorak Mass in D. 7pm. Holy Trinity Church, Southchurch Boulevard. £12 on the door.

Wednesday, 20th. March. SDPC Meeting: 2pm till 4pm.Lauren Hollas from Veolia Recycling –why does it matter? Balmoral Centre, Salisbury Avenue, Westcliff on Sea. SS0 7AU.

Editor’s request. If you would like to contribute any items to your “Digest”, please send your articles to Bob Howes at 91, Brightwell Avenue, Westcliff on Sea, Essex. SS0 9EG, or Email to    Many thank