Newsletter, no.127  June 2020

    Dear Members,

    This is a short newsletter to keep in touch with as many of our members as possible. It is going to be sent by email only. If you know any members who have not given us their email address or do not have access to email please could you ask them to contact us or could you kindly share the contents of this newsletter with them.
    At the moment all we can tell you is that meetings, outings and other events are cancelled for the moment. We will let you know when some normality will be resumed as soon as possible.
    We hope you are all keeping well and staying safe. It is not easy but we hope you are managing to keep going and have included a few items that we hope you will find entertaining.     Janet Leifer.

     BNTA 100 Club
    We will not be running the 100 Club for this year, April to March, Gill has returned the cheques already received and a cheque has been sent to the March winner.

       Holiday to Lincoln
    The good news is we are going to Lincolnshire – but sadly not until September 27th 2021.
    Just for Groups! have been in touch so after much discussion our holiday planning group have decided that the most sensible thing to do is to postpone until next year when hopefully life as we know it will have returned.
    Everyone who has applied and paid for their deposit for this year will of course be kept on the list. If you wish to cancel please let me know, you will be entitled to a full refund of your deposit and your insurance if applied for.
    A few people have given me cheques for the balance already, I will return those cheques to you as your balance won’t be due now until July next year.
    So please let me know, we hope that you will all still want to come! Jane

    Outings and Events

    Whilst there are welcome signs of easing the lockdown, sadly our summer programme has been decimated. Our proposed visits to Fulham Palace, Wimbledon, Milton Keynes and now Standen have all been cancelled and refund cheques have been issued.

    Our visit to the Museum of Entertainment which was scheduled for March was postponed to 28th October. Refund cheques were sent to those who wished to cancel but the greater number opted to carry their bookings forward. At the time we could not foresee how serious and longlasting the Covid.19 pandemic would be. It may be that restrictions will be eased to allow group visits but this is not certain and it may be that members would in any case wish to consider whether they would feel safe to travel into London on public transport. We will keep you posted and, if we need to cancel, the appropriate refunds will be made.

    Sadly, Pauline’s Coffee Morning on 6th June is another casualty of the virus and will not take place. Here’s hoping it will not be too long before we can resume our sorties into London and out into the country. Felicity Rawles

    Support the National Trust

    Over the past three months we have all had to make significant adjustments to our lives in the face of Covid.19. Cooped up at home, some of us are fortunate enough to have gardens in which to work or simply to relax in but we have all been missing that freedom to go out and about and there are big gaps in our diaries where previously we would have noted plans to visit stately homes, gardens and museums or to have companionable lunches or teas out with friends.
    As a result of this prolonged period of closures, many organisations are in serious financial difficulties and are desperate to reopen to visitors. This includes the National Trust which will not reopen its houses until the end of August and stands to lose £200 million this year. 2020 was meant to be a special year celebrating its 125th anniversary and hoping to welcome its six millionth member. Sadly, as Hilary McGrady, the Trust’s Director General, reported recently in The Times, there has been a huge rise in cancelled memberships, four times the usual rate, and almost all its conservation projects are to be postponed to 2021.
    I am sure I speak for all BNTA members in my appreciation of the tremendous pleasure and benefits visits to NT properties give, to enjoy the architecture, to learn the history of the property and the families who lived there, to admire beautiful interiors and to relax in glorious gardens. What a tragedy it would be if they were unable to reopen or to look after these treasures of our heritage. This is a plea for everyone to renew their National Trust membership even if we cannot go out on our accustomed excursions for now. Perhaps you could even consider taking the long view and take out a life membership for a grandchild or godchild.Think how they could enjoy the many pleasurable experiences you have had and how much that support will mean in giving the National Trust the opportunity to continue their good work.     Felicity Rawles

    In the meantime:
    You may have been exploring culture, art, history and more online.
     For opera lovers Glyndebourne is streaming opera on Sunday afternoons and has other
    offerings including how to create your own Festival at home.
    Bridge players may like to play bridge with or without a partner at

    The Story of the First British Cereal Bar
    The son of a miller, Bill toured the Californian West Coast with his blues rock band in 1969, hippy time! At that time granola (fruit, nuts and seeds baked and coated with honey)was very popular amongst festival goers although it could be a messy snack!
    Bill returned home to the Bedfordshire mill were his family had been producing white flour for 70 years. He knew that their old technology was perfect for slow rolling the wholegrain cereals needed for granola but his father was not convinced that people would buy it.
    His sister Lindsay was keen though and they started off by selling at Worthy Farm, the first Glastonbury Festival, in September 1970. Remember The Kinks, Wayne Fontana and Marc Bolan? They continued selling at Glastonbury and County Shows and it proved popular in health food shops and soon they branched into an entirely new product.
    This was the UK’s first cereal bar, launched in 1981.The market went crazy and in 1982 Quaker warned us to watch out for squirrels if you ate their bars! (Harvest Crunch) Today the global cereal market is worth over £10 billion but here in Britain we may not have taken them to heart if it had not been for a miller’s son touring the west coast of America in the psychadelic 60’s!
    Those of you who came to Jordan’s Mill with us last year will have met Bill Jordan, he gave us our introductory talk and took the first tour around the mill.                 Jane

    Time for us girls
    I am normally a social girl, I love to see my mates
    But lately with the virus here we can’t go out the gates.
    You see, we are the oldies now, we need to stay inside.
    If they haven’t seen us for a while, they’ll think we’ve upped and died/
    They’ll never know the things we did before we got this old.
    There wasn’t any Facebook, so not everything was told.
    We may seem sweet old ladies, who would never be uncouth
    But we grew up in the sixties – if you only knew the truth!
    There was sex and drugs and rock’n’roll, the pill and miniskirts.
    We smoked, we drank, we partied, and were quite outrageous flirts.
    Then we settled down, got married and turned into someone’s mum, 

    Somebody’s wife, then nana. Who on earth did we become?
    We didn’t mind the change of pace because our lives were full
    But to try to bury us before we’re dead is like a red rag to a bull!
    So here you find me stuck inside for 4 weeks, maybe more. 

    I finally found myself again then I had to close the door!
    It didn’t really bother me, I’d while away the hour,
    I’d bake for all the family, but I’ve got no bloody flour!
    Now Netflix is just wonderful. I like a gutsy thriller.
    I’m swooning over Idris or some random sexy killer.
    At least I’ve got a stash of booze for when I’m being idle. 

    There’s wine and whiskey, even gin, if I’m feeling suicidal! 

    So let’s all drink to lockdown, to recovery and health
    And hope this bloody virus doesn’t decimate our wealth.
    We’ll all get through the crisis and be back to join our mates. 

    Just hoping I’m not far too wide to fit through the flaming gates!

    Jan Beaumont
    (This poem has been attributed to Pam Ayres, who tweeted that it was not by her. According to information on the Internet it is by Jan Beaumont from New Zealand)

    World’s Easiest Quiz
    Our Theatre visits organiser, Therese Jones, invites you to have a go at the World’s Easiest Quiz:
    (Passing requires only 3 correct answers out of 10!)
    1) How long did the Hundred Years' War last ?
    2) Which country makes Panama hats ?
    3) From which animal do we get cat gut ?
    4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution ? 

    5) What is a camel's hair brush made of ?
    6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal ? 

    7) What was King George VI's first name ?
    8) What color is a purple finch ?
    9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from ?
    10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane
    Think you should all get 3 right---
    but if you get 4 or more right---TOP OF THE CLASS-WELL DONE

    Answers in Outings and events