Garage Days Pa­tience Strong

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Sir: I was more than in­ter­ested in the pho­to­graph and write-up re­gard­ing the car bought from C. J. Frost in Nor­folk (“My First Car”, Sum­mer 2016). I lived in the vil­lage and worked for Frost’s from 1979 to 1988. When they closed I found some old pho­tos, in­clud­ing this one (see right). — Sir: “Po­ets’ Cor­ner” (Spring 2016) men­tioned Pa­tience Strong who I first met in 1962. I had writ­ten to her for over two years to see if she would agree to meet me. I was a great fan of her po­etry and had started col­lect­ing her books.

From the mo­ment we met, un­der the large clock at Char­ing Cross Sta­tion, we both felt an affin­ity and over the fol­low­ing years be­came very close friends. I went to visit her many times and stayed overnight at Sed­dle­scombe and Bex­hill-on-sea. I helped her type-up sev­eral of her manuscripts for her books: Dr. Anony­mous, A Joy For­ever and The Other Side of the Coin.

She was a very petite and lovely lady who felt quite pas­sion­ately about var­i­ous is­sues es­pe­cially Bri­tish Is­rael, a so­ci­ety she be­longed to in Lon­don. When she came to visit her agent Ru­pert Crew, in Gray’s Inn Road, we of­ten met for lunch. She also in­tro­duced me to her brother, Boy.

Af­ter her first hus­band died she mar­ried Guy Cush­ing and it was his mother, many years be­fore, who gave her the book en­ti­tled Pa­tience Strong, from which she took her pen name.

Sir: In re­sponse to the let­ter from Pamella Laird, I can as­sure her that I, and mil­lions of oth­ers, have not and will not for­get the sac­ri­fice made by the armed forces of New Zealand and other Com­mon­wealth coun­tries dur­ing the Sec­ond World War. We owe an enor­mous debt which is im­pos­si­ble to re­pay and I can only apol­o­gise for the de­spi­ca­ble man­ner our politi­cians have treated the Com­mon­wealth since join­ing what was then termed the Com­mon Mar­ket in 1973. I seem to re­mem­ber read­ing some­where that, at that time, the New Zealand ex­ports to this coun­try were 55 per cent of the to­tal, but within 20 years had re­duced to five per cent and I sus­pect other Com­mon­wealth coun­tries suf­fered a sim­i­lar fate.

My wife and I will be in New Zealand for the first time next March and I will make a point of pay­ing our respects at the War Me­mo­rial in Auck­land. — STEPHEN COT­TER, WEYBRIDGE,

SUR­REY.

The days when mo­tor­ing was fun! C.J. Frost’s garage in Mul­bar­ton, Nor­folk. See “Garage Days”.

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