Digest-June 2022

Digest-June 2022


June 2022

Football commentator quote:

“There are more questions than answers being asked at the moment”

(Stan Collymore)

Brian Billins

As at last Friday he remained in hospital.  What’s keeping him in is high blood pressure which threatens him to fall.  The good news is he is fed up with the situation especially as their Golden Wedding celebration date is looming.

Campaign News

We welcome Evelyn Titmuss as a new member. 


The June Campaign! very clearly states what you can expect from Government to defray rising energy costs and out of control inflation.  On top of this about 80% of households should be receiving a £150 energy rebate from the Council.  We would like to know if any member has got this?

In Committee

It was decided that Jean will print Campaign! In future so you can always look forward to the colour version.  My laser printer has turned out to be too liberal with the toner.

We also agreed that when questioned about our campaigning we have to confess to none.  Well, something I wrote in the events section prompted an obvious wide spread issue.  The fact that you need to be on-line to attend the Anglo-Saxon do says we need to make a fuss about IT exclusion.  Note that NPC is also guilty.

Another constant problem is cars parked on and bikes ridden on pavements.  Jill Allen-King is a prolific writer of letters to the Echo so that amounts to campaigning.  Unfortunately nothing happens.  There are roads such as Genesta where parking legally would badly narrow the carriageway such that vehicles like the muck wagon would be unable to get through.  If any member knows of any other examples do let me know.

That lead me on to bikes.  Many people voice their opinion that despite money to do something about it Southend conurbation remains hostile to cyclists for those going to work or to shop.

Last month’s meeting.

Was a time when Issy Isaac’s relation with Tesco bore fruit and other goodies? Jo, their customer relations adviser brought us a box of items that will supply some raffle prizes for quite some time.

Batting for Bats

The ones that fly are a miracle of evolution and poorly understood.  This is an extract from The Oldie written by James le Fanu:

Besides elegantly wielding his bat at the  crease, former England Captain David Gower is a long- standing admirer of the  other, flying version.

He has been championing the bat’s cause, countering the reputational damage from recent events in Wuhan. ‘One cannot help but be fascinated by these gorgeous, delicate creatures,’ he wrote in the Spectator. He described a foray at dusk on the banks of the River Test, ‘just about following their captivating flight’, as they swooped over the water, hoovering up mosquitoes and other pestiferous insects. ‘Bats are indeed our friends,’ he wrote – and on several counts, too.

Every evening, as the sun sets, a long, black column of millions of free-tailed bats emerges from the dark mouth of the Bracken Cave in Texas, spinning like a tornado across the sky. They are heading for their hunting grounds, 10,000 feet up in the stratosphere, where they will spend the night pursuing and consuming legions of migrating, egg-bearing moths – 150 tons of them – that would otherwise decimate the cotton, corn and wheat fields of the North American plains

Meanwhile, several hundred miles to the south, nectar-loving bats are performing the similarly meritorious service of pollinating night-flowering desert plants. ‘At one in the morning, I heard the familiar wing beat of an approaching long-nosed bat,’ recalls bat biologist Merlin Tuttle of one nocturnal vigil. Sweeping up from below, it thrust its long snout deep into a funnel-shaped cordon flower, and then three more in quick succession – by when its head, dusted with luminous pollen, ‘looked as if it had been dunked in a bag of flour’.

Around the world, numerous flowering species rely on bats for their successful propagation – bananas, guavas, mangoes, the tequila-yielding agave plant, durian fruit trees in South­ East Asia and the African ‘Tree of Life’, the baobab.

One might wonder how, 60 million years ago a terrestrial creature took to the air to be the only mammal capable of flight?  What evolved was their fifth fingers elongated enormously and the third and fourth became almost as long.  The second became top surface of its wing.  The further impressive attribute is their ability to “see “with their ears in the pitch-black dark.  The technical term for this is echo locating.  All well and good but given the size of the swarms won’t the just deafen each other?  No, each has its own frequency and combination of pulse types which it alone recognises.  Astonishing!

Scam Corner

Regrettably this subject is becoming regular. Like the lady in Tesco’s car park who was duped by rogues falsely claiming her car was damaged while she was shopping.  The Echo reports that more than three quarters of the population have been targeted.  The most common is as I reported last month, deliveries of one sort or another to get your bank details.  The list of scammers is long, fake Government departments such as HMRC, get rich quick schemes, rebates, refunds, on-line shopping, health, medical and energy saving.

Nasty are emails pretending to be from Ofgem asking for bank details to get the £400 rebate.So, if you’ve been scammed rather than blaming yourself, report it.  Citizens advice is a good place to do so.

Other bad news

Banks on Leigh Broadway are closing.  NatWest on 31 August and Barclays on 9 September.  I think the one remaining will be Nationwide.


I wrote this to the Echo.  Do you agree with me?

Hardly a week goes by when there is no report of Yobs perpetrating wanton destruction.  The question comes up as to what can be done about it.  Regrettably the answer is nothing.  Kids are wild animals so it is up to parents and teachers to tame them.  It is all too evident that this is not happening.  Recall the adage, ‘spare the rod and spoil the child!

Dates for your Diary.

Until early September:  Bandstand music at Prittlewell Priory Park on Sunday afternoons. Be early as parking is limited.

21 June:  NPC webinar briefing on Assisted Dying.  1145 am.  Dr Jacky Davis will give a presentation on what is in Baroness Meachers Private members assisted dying Bill.  (Note NPC is at pains to say they maintain a neutral stance on this argument).  Visit www.npcuk.org

6 July:  Fundraising lunch at the Shorehouse, Shoebury.  Noon. Register with Jean.  01702 341047, 07952 546810

19 July:  Southend United play Ipswich Town at Ipswich.

30 & 31 July:  Celebration of Southend’s Anglo-Saxon history in Priory Park.  £8.  Experience a day in their life and an archaeological excavation. £8.  Tickets from Eventbrite.  (Why are they so stupid to exclude all those not on-line?)

6 September:  Travel by Pullman Coach to Portsmouth.  Option to buy champagne breakfast and evening meal.  Time to explore Portsmouth.

Depart Southend at 7am.  Arrive back at 11pm. From £119 to £284.

20 July:  Members meeting.  Talk by Michael Holland on the trial of an Essex arsonist.  2pm.  Balmoral Centre, Salisbury Road, Westcliff

© JDS/ June 2022.  Tel 01702 472670


Email:  bartonpye@aol.com