Garage Days Patience Strong
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,