South coast pack up

IT wasn't my wedding but I was heavily involved. As regular readers will know I am almost a perma-guest at weddings. Indeed suspicious colleagues at The Evening Star have suggested I go to so many I even have a 'floating wedding' which I use as excuse to avoid working on a Friday evening.

IT wasn't my wedding but I was heavily involved.

As regular readers will know I am almost a perma-guest at weddings. Indeed suspicious colleagues at The Evening Star have suggested I go to so many I even have a 'floating wedding' which I use as excuse to avoid working on a Friday evening.

But last Friday I really did go to a wedding, honest.

I gave a reading and even played a selection of show tunes on a baby grand, while the stylish and tasty canapés were being handed round.

My aunt Ruth, you see, married her partner Pete.

Now I accept this event will have little impact on your lives and unlike most of the news we report on here at The Star it didn't even happen in Suffolk. Nevertheless my sister Claire suggested I make mention of the event in my weekly newspaper column.

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So I have.

A visit to the south coast is always welcome at this time of year and I left the Edwardian seaside resort of Felixstowe where I have recently set up home, and caught the train to Bournemouth.

Don't you love a train journey?

The passing countryside, the buffet car, the transfer across London - it's all very civilised and saves driving which is so tiresome.

My sister Claire, who enjoys wearing hats, made a few brief suggestions for my journey.

Step one - find out is there is a buffet car/bar.

Step two - food on the train will probably not be cheap so it's always advisable to make a packed lunch anyway.

Step three - buy some rolls and fillings such as cheese, ham, prawns, salad or anything you like.

Step four - slice some cake and drop in an apple and a drink. You mustn't dehydrate.

Step five - try not to eat it all before you get to Manningtree.

So secure in the knowledge I had made enough food for an army, I settled back into my chair and carried on with my current reading the post - apocalyptic novel The Day of the Triffids.

It wasn't until I was pulling out of London Waterloo International that I thought to myself “This book is so frightening and I am worried about dangerous plants and the end of the world in my back garden that I'll have a prawn bap and a sip of diet coke and maybe a slice of banana cake homemade by somebody else in somebody else's home to calm myself down”.

I fumbled in my bag, only to realise I had left my entire pack up in my fridge in my Felixstowe galley kitchen soon to be fitted with oven and washing machine.

Just typical.

I was forced to sashay along to the buffet car and enjoy a gin and tonic-based afternoon snack.

At least the wedding went well.

IT'S time this mystery was cleared up.

On Saturday evening, as I was enjoying a glass or three of chenin and a light buffet including a rather good appplewood cheddar with some Felixstowe friends who are very big in amateur dramatics on the Felixstowe peninsula and enjoy sea views (panoramic) from their dining room, I was told they had met someone who lives near me and knows all about me.

The strange thing is, dear readers, I have no idea who this person is.

Clearly my reputation as a raconteur and would be celebutante has preceded me.

So if I really do have a fan - and that's by no means a proven fact - and if it's you, please drop me a line.

Naturally, I'm also very keen to sign an autograph or take up an invitation to a sumptuous dinner party with a cheese board.

WASN'T Felixstowe Carnival exciting?

I missed the procession but did at least make it to the evening performance of a Queen tribute ban on Saturday night in Langer Park.

There was a lovely atmosphere, a well stocked bar and an exciting fun fair for the youngsters and the brave.

But when I was a lad - not so long ago - there used to be goldfish to win. What happened to the little fish?

You never see them nowadays and I rather fancied one for my Felixstowe salon with sea views (distant).

It was 60 years ago today that India, at the stroke of midnight, became independent from Britain.

I've always been a fan of the Empire and rather think it's a shame we haven't got much of one left.

Nevertheless, I have discovered that there are still 14 British Overseas Territories including places like Bermuda, the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar.

How interesting.

IF there's one thing I've learned in my life as a journalist, it's that people love to point it out when you make a mistake.

This week I received the following ticking off:

“Dear James

In your article “One can dream…” (Evening Star, August 7) you mention your desire to own a classic car, citing Wolsey amongst other prestigious marques.

Might I respectfully point out that whilst Thomas Wolsey may have been Ipswich's most famous son rising to the rank of cardinal during the reign of King Henry VIII, he was not, to my knowledge, renowned for the manufacture of motor cars.

He left that to Frederick York Wolseley, an independent motor manufacturer whose business became part of BMC in 1952, but whose name continued to be carried on models up until 1975.

Probably the most famous Wolseley was the chauffeur-driven black 4/44 that sped out of Scotland Yard at the start of every episode of the 1960's police drama “No Hiding Place”. Even now, I can recall the sound of the urgent ringing of that car's bell as Det Chf Superintend Lockhart and his sidekick Sgt Baxter were whisked away on yet another mission!

Yours Sincerely


Clifford Road,


Obviously I bow to Mr R Cross' superior knowledge not only of motorcars,, but 1960s television programmes and hold my hands up. I hope I didn't annoy him too much.

Next thing they'll be telling me there was a Mr Rolls and a Mr Royce - laughable isn't it?

By the way does anyone have a classic car they don't want?

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