March 2019

Business Meeting 7th February 2019

26 members were present plus our speaker, Jill Pay. Almoner, Andrew Kellard reported the absence of Derek Bass (sight), Lionel Downton (slowly improving), Peter Wilson (mild heart attack), John Morgan (chest infection), Roger Davis (shaky but on his feet). We were please to welcome back Roger Gourd after a bypass and stent insertion. If you, your partner or another member is unwell please contact our almoner, Andrew Kellard on 01737 554055. Also temporarily for lunches – please notify Andrew by 10.30 am the prior Tuesday. The Charity Collection raised £48.26 and the raffle £26. Confirmed that luncheon costs (lunch, speaker, room) will be£22 from April. The Chairman’s Charity has raised £1,000 for the OldCoulsdon Centre for the Retired.

At the Committee meeting in the morning, the audited accounts for 2018 were agreed. We are in surplus but struggling especially if we lose further members. Falling and ageing membership was discussed. Without recruitment we will need to look again at alternative options.

Nominations for AGM

Roger Gourd (Chairman), Andrew Jurenko (Vice Chairman), Ian Payne (Secretary), Michael Southwell (Treasurer), Vacant (Luncheons Secretary –please voluneer to releave Andrew Kellard), Bob Witham (Speakers Secretary), Andrew Banfield (Outings Secretary), Andrew Kellard (Almoner), Reg Baker (Membership), Alan Green, Malcolm Guest. Not on Committee: Vincent Fosdike (Newsletter), Jim Mulvey (Web- Master). We also need to appoint an Auditor.

Outings and Events

Andrew Banfield sampled opinion on ‘Theatre trips to London by publictransport’ and ‘Car sharing for other outings’. Both had strong support.

Sanderstead & R: Medway River Trip: 16th May: £39.50 p.p. inc. lunch. Please ask for details.

Ladies Lunch: Thursday 17th October, Coulsdon Manor. Please diorise.


March 7th – Chairman’s Charity: Old Coulsdon Centre for the Retired
April 4th – Mark & Pam Bathurst: History & Restoration of the MEDWAY QUEEN
May 2nd – Katie Rose: The Air Ambulance – Kent/Surrey/Sussex
June 6th – Neil Saddler: A Policeman’s Lot – The beat goes on

Jill Pay: Serjeant at Arms at the House of Commons

Jill was the 39th and first woman appointed as Serjeant at Arms (SAA) in the House of Commons (HOC) in 600 years. Predecessors had been predominantly military men. The SAA like the equivalent Black Rod in the Lords is appointed by the Queen. Each day the SAA carrying the Mace leads the procession and when the Mace is in place it signifies that the HOC is in session. The Mace is proof that the SAA is acting with the authority of the Queen. The Mace datesfrom 1660, is about 5’ tall and weighs 24lb.

Henry V had a very unruly House of Commons and so appointed the Serjeant at Arms to keep order. However, Jill was responsible not just for the security of the 3,500 people who work there and the millions of visitors, but also for all the ceremonial occasions. As the SAA processes daily with the Mace and wearing the chain of office (had to be shortened for Jill), all who pass must bow. They are not bowing to the SAA but to the Queen whom the Mace represents. At the Opening of Parliament, the Queen, sitting in the House of Lords, summons the Commons. Black Rod marches to the HOC to have theSAA slam the door in his face. ‘Knock’, ‘knock’, ‘knock’ – the SAA checksthrough the peephole that there isn’t an army on the other side. The door isopened and MPs enter the Lords – but only as far as the Bar (a white line).

Jill’s background is in Business Consultancy. She came to Croydon and worked on TVI (teaching students with visual impairments) designing school and college curricula coordinated for business – a seven year project. Her husband saw a management advert in the Telegraph – applied –shortlisted – assistant SAA in 2004 moving up to SAA in 2008. There were many ceremonies which required Jill’s presence. The Queen and Royal Family often came with visitors; Parties; 50 years since end of WW2; Special visitors; Speeches in Westminster Hall. Jill has escorted Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama and has met and been responsible for security for the visits of the Pope and President Barack Obama. She also attended banquets at the Guild Hall and met the guests, for example Tom Hanks.

The Serjeant at Arms has to balance security with access and isn’t lucky all the time. The highest risk of the week is Public Questions. In her responsibility for parliamentary security, Jill had a team of ‘Doorkeepers’. The wingedbadge of office represents the time when the SAA had to personally carry messages to Members of Parliament. An official (Georgian) house on Parliament Street comes with the job – always on duty. All Commonwealth countries have SAAs. They meet regularly to exchange ideas.

Jill retired as Serjeant at Arms in January 2012 and is now Chairman of the Trustees of Beanstalk Volunteers in support of children not able to read. She is also involved in a network to support ‘women only’ businesses.

Editorial – Ian Payne

This is my last Newsletter as editor. Vincent Fosdike is taking over at the AGM and I am moving on to Secretary. Vincent is very good at the writing but he and Hakima may need a little hand-holding on the typesetting for an issue or two. We will have a proficient new Committee all raring to go. The one negative is Luncheons Secretary. Andrew Kellard is waiting for a volunteer so that he can be relieved.

5 Poems by Martin Bergs

Cat in the sink

I scratch my head and need to think
What is the cat doing in my sink?
What does it want to convey to me?
Or is it just there having a pee
Maybe its hungry and wants to be fed
Or maybe its chosen this as its new bed
It stares at me with sad longing eyes
Is it in pain or upset, I know it’s all lies
Its just sitting there selfish and trying it on
So shoo! Out you go! Its time you were gone
I'm not putting up with behaviour like that
And remind myself that it’s only a cat.
Give up Cats for Lent

The world can be a wicked place
There is good and bad in the human race
So for those of us who think we're good
40 days of punishment, I've never understood
So what do I give up during Lent
That will help me become more decadent?
I'll give up not smoking and too much to drink
I'll give up not swearing and clearing the sink
I'll stop washing and shaving and cooking and cleaning
And stop flushing the loo even though it is stinking
Maybe it’s time I stopped feeding the cats
They can live outside feeding on mice and rats
But looking ahead with a bit of foresight
I realise post lent all must be put right
So best to stay silent and quietly look on
To see how fasters, abstainers and non- smokers get on.
Cats revenge

We know you believe cats should be tough
But let us say enough is enough
To put us out in the ice and snow
To make our fur get thick and grow
Just to keep you warm and make us nice to stroke
We say here and now it’s beyond the joke
We're not Arctic lynx or Russian snow cats
Living on voles and frozen rats
But delicate cats living in Surrey
Fed on fresh fish and roast turkey
Just wait till the weather starts to turn warm
Our vengeance will hit you like a storm
Cat hair in your carpets sofas and clothes
On your food, in your mouth and up your nose
While we curl up and watch well out of sight
Revenge is sweet we smirk with delight.
Kangaroo portrait

This Australian kangaroo is a herbivore
It eats grass, leaves and shoots and not much more
But in life it loves to hop about
Until, ''Please stop''! one day it heard a shout
He stopped and turned and to his surprise
There stood an artist lady with soft brown eyes
If you could just be still and be a saint
With my brush and canvas your portrait I'll paint
And so it was this lucky roo
Had his picture painted to a likeness true
And when all was finished, a good job done
She rewarded him with a currant bun.
Collapsed Curtain Rail

Some days just do not go quite right
And other days can give a nasty fright
I was on the phone, it must be something I said
Because the curtain rail came down on my head
What can you do? Just curse and swear
What Jerry-builder fixed it there
If the truth be known I must take the blame
Poor D.I.Y. skills it's such a shame
But all is not lost, to comfort me
I'll have some raspberry roulade and a cup of tea.

Barnett ‘Arthur’ Trunchion 1st May 1929 – 10th January 2019

by Trevor Meadowcroft

It doesn’t seem possible that I am standing here again just two months after my Mother, June, died. If anyone thinks that it must get easier, then they are wrong. Arthur was born in Croydon and went to work at fourteen with the Gas board where he trained as a Carpenter. After his army enlistment he became an Architectural Assistant with Lambeth Council and then moved in to private architectural practice.

I have known Arthur much of my life. We moved to Croydon when I was five and Carolyn about three and our parents soon got involved with Croydon Parish Church. There was soon a group of friends which included Arthur and his Wife Anne – it centred around the Young Wives group. Years later, Arthur and Anne came to my and Sandra’s wedding and we bumped into them on the first night of our honeymoon at Stow in the Wold where they had a second home. I was getting my newspaper and Arthur was behind me in the queue. Arthur retired with his wife Anne to Stow. Unfortunately Ann died of cancer. Arthur kept himself busy with the local National Trust utilising his carpentry and architectural skills with some of their renovation work.

My Mum, June, was looking to move out of the house she had lived in with Dad until he had died. She needed building advice and who else but Arthur –they were married in July 1997. Their early years were full of holidays, making joint friends and, it seemed to me, buying good quality furniture. They moved to Croydon fifteen years ago and enjoyed being part of my and Sandra’sextended family. They joined the 35 Club and Arthur joined a local Camera Club and Probus. Arthur was always a very sociable person.

For someone for whom D.I.Y. means Don’t Involve Yourself, I could not but admire Arthur’s handyman skills. He also enjoyed Craft work and our Porridge Pot charity benefitted from the sale of his Angels and Crosses. [Arthur was still making these right up to the end. We sold them and other of his wooden and metal cut-out mobiles on the Probus stall at last year’s Old Coulsdon Fair — Ed.]

He was keen on Cycle Polo and appeared as the pre-match entertainment as Selhurst Park. We both enjoyed a beer and we went to a couple of cricket matches together. He had himself played cricket and he showed a keen interest in Tom and Joshua’s cricket exploits. We also both enjoyed the garden and worked together to create the English hedge in my garden.

My last good memory of Arthur was in this church. We had gone down to select the flowers for Mum’s funeral. The Church was having a Christmas Tree Festival. Sandra, Arthur and I met Kirsten (my daughter-in-law) and Willow (my Grand- daughter) here and we walked round. Afterwards we sat down and Arthur was happily entertaining Willow. And now shut your eyes. Can I ask you to recall the first time you met Arthur – and now the best time – and the one that brings a smile. And now can I ask you to remember the last time.
Goodbye Arthur.

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