Digest- March 2024

Digest- March 2024

            Southend & District Pensioner’s Campaign                                            

                           “Digest”  –  March, 2024    

Quote: “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be.” Robert Browning (1812-1889)

Last month’s Annual General Meeting:                                                           

Members enjoying lunch:

We agreed to allow Peter Wilkins to become an Associate Member of the Campaign without a vote, and the Constitution will be amended in due course.

In CommitteeThe Committee voted for our Officers as follows:-  Chair: Jill Allen-King, Secretary: Jean Howes, Minutes Secretary: Jim Folwell, Treasurer: Bob Howes, Independent Examiner: Issy Isaacs, Lottery organiser: Margaret Haydon.

Marketing SDPC: On Tuesday, 20th February, we had auseful meeting at SAVS with the “Folk Like Us” group. About 20 people sat quietly while Jean gave a talk about our Campaign and they enjoyed chatting with us and asking questions afterwards. We had our display boards on view which they enjoyed.  On Thursday, 29th February, We visited Shoeburyness Library for their Coffee Morning and chatted with local retired residents about the issues that they had as older people. They showed some interest in our Pensioner’s Campaign although the turnout was low in a small room.  On Tuesday, 5th. March, we went to Westcliff Library with our display boards, although the number of retired visitors was low. We had two ladies who were interested in coming to our Meetings, and one of them had looked at our Website and saw we were going to be at the library from 10am till noon! We were very impressed.


We rely on the lottery to raise funds to run SDPC effectively. You can purchase tickets for just £6 to be included in April’s draw and each draw up to September. You need to be in it to win it!  Call Margaret on 0172 295008.

NPC London Regional Council:

Bob Howes and Jim Folwell will be attending the London Region Council AGM which is more important than usual. We have to try to stop a group of militant delegates from south east London from taking over the Officer’s positions due to their desire to take control. We believe that would be very disruptive and unhelpful. The senior Executive Officer’s continue to campaign at Ministerial level.

Independent Age:

Is a national charity that supports older people.  They have published a range of free advice guides which they have sent to us. These will be available at our Members Meeting.

Peter Wilkins.

Introducing our new Member Peter Wilkins,  a quad born blind, who became a close friend of our Chairman Jill. He made this extraordinary journey from Westcliff to St James’s park on his own in order to have lunch with the Queen !

“When my wife Linda died in October 2020, I made a donation to Medical Detection Dogs in her memory. As a donor, I was invited to have lunch with the Queen at Clarence House on Tuesday 20 February to celebrate the charity’s fifteenth anniversary .In order to avoid expensive morning peak time travel from my home in Stockport; I travelled down on Monday to stay with a friend in Southend. On Tuesday morning I took the train from Chalkwell toBarking, and then changed for an underground train to St. James’s Park. As I was early, I walkedfrom the station, through the park, and still got there in plenty of time.

There were about eighty people there, and we were served with non-alcoholic drinks and canapés. I met many very nice people, some donors like myself and some trainers from the charity. There were also some users of the dogs, which are trained to detect diseases and various medical emergencies through their extremely keen sense of smell. We were told that a dog can pick up the scent of a spoonful of sugar in an Olympic-size swimming pool.

During lunch the Queen mingled with us, and I spoke with her for about one minute, during which time she held my hand. It was very nice to talk with her”.

Dates for Your Diary:

Jazz Centre UK. Live concerts on most Saturday afternoons. 2pm till4pm. 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, but the new venue is now Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Victoria Avenue, Southend. SS2 6ER. Friday evenings. From 8pm. Internationally acclaimed musicians. £10 per concert.

Wednesday 3rd April. Social Lunch 2 courses £15  12.30pm Brewers Fayre Call Jean 01702 341047 to book your place.

Wednesday, 17th April. SDPC Meeting: 2pm till 4pm. The work of Cat’s Protection  Balmoral Centre, Salisbury Avenue, Westcliff on Sea. SS0 7AU

Saturday 26th May.  Age Concern, Southend Spring Fayre. 10-4pm coincides with Hamlet Court Road in Harmony Festival. They are looking for stall holders contact.   Amy amy.heathcote@ageconcernsouthend .co.uk

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 howes01702@outlook.com    Many thanks.