Cotswold Life

A chance to change

Coping with the coro­n­avirus re­stric­tions have led to some blue-sky think­ing

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Shall we, shan’t we?”; “Can we, can’t we?” are phrases in con­stant use at WI Com­mit­tee meetings to­gether with “I am not sure” or even “I don’t know”.

Cur­rently the in­sti­tutes and county fed­er­a­tion are fac­ing prob­lems associated with how to ar­range a meet­ing safely within gov­ern­ment guide­lines. This is not an easy task and one which re­quires a de­gree of change, some­thing which is very nec­es­sary but not all feel com­fort­able with.

Our mem­ber­ship has a broad age range, though it is top heavy in the older band. This has meant that we have had more mem­bers shield­ing and iso­lat­ing dur­ing the pan­demic than some other or­gan­i­sa­tions. Many mem­bers are very wary of so­cial­is­ing at the mo­ment and the re­turn to any sort of nor­mal­ity is go­ing to be a slow one, not least be­cause most WIS meet in com­par­a­tively small halls.

All through our won­der­ful WI com­mit­tees have been find­ing ways of keep­ing con­tact. Now when the weather is fine you could find small groups of women meet­ing in the park. Mostly with their own chairs and food not our usual tea and cake! Oth­er­wise they may be mak­ing home de­liv­er­ies or post drops. The young caring for the el­derly mem­bers. Many of those younger mem­bers have had to take on home school­ing com­bined with work­ing from home. Thank­fully by the time you read this the chil­dren should be back in school. I think lit­tle has changed for the key work­ers who have had a very dif­fer­ent lock­down. We thank them for all they have done for us.

It is a test­ing time for all of us and some­times the close prox­im­ity of fam­ily for pro­longed pe­ri­ods is an even greater test. Yet as so­cial an­i­mals we miss the in­ter­ac­tion with oth­ers. What a com­plex sce­nario it cre­ates! Now we have to make a cul­ture leap and be­come more used to wear­ing masks or other face cov­er­ings away from home.

For those spend­ing more time at home the tra­di­tional skills have seen an up­turn in pop­u­lar­ity and there is greater ap­pre­ci­a­tion of ‘home­made’. This is good news for the ar­ti­sans and farm­ers, as well as vil­lage shops all of which need our sup­port.

Not such good news is the in­crease in the use of plas­tic that the pan­demic has cre­ated. Un­for­tu­nately for the planet it is of­ten the best bar­rier we have.

Sadly the amount of plas­tic aprons and gloves as well as masks be­ing used and then not dis­posed of prop­erly has only added to the plas­tic moun­tain around the world. Plas­tic has also come back into reg­u­lar use, par­tic­u­larly for home de­liv­er­ies, though I no­tice that some su­per­mar­kets are in­tro­duc­ing biodegrad­able ones. A step in the right di­rec­tion.

Th­ese forms of in­creased plas­tic use are un­der­stand­able but why not use fab­ric masks or scarves where pos­si­ble? One use of plas­tic could eas­ily be cut out al­to­gether and that is bal­loons of all kinds. They kill live­stock and wildlife world­wide. If you still in­sist on us­ing them please make sure you dis­pose of them safely. As WI mem­bers we will con­tinue to cam­paign as hard as ever against the un­nec­es­sary use of plas­tic.

As a group we are also think­ing of ways to sup­port the cam­paign by CPRE for a greener, cleaner and gen­er­ally bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment. There is less air and noise pol­lu­tion, wildlife, both plant and an­i­mal, is thriv­ing, the stars are brighter and the sky bluer. Let us try and keep it that way. Na­ture has bounced back from where we had sent it. We have been given a chance to change and make things bet­ter, we must not waste that and jeop­ar­dise our world.

Bri­tain’s lofts, garages, spare rooms and cel­lars have never felt so much love as they have in the past few months. If lock­down has had you rum­mag­ing around among your pos­ses­sions, you may have blown the dust off your long-lost record col­lec­tion, or if you’re still a reg­u­lar col­lec­tor, you may have been hav­ing a good old re­or­gan­i­sa­tion. Ei­ther way, there’s prob­a­bly some gems in there worth a bit of money.

It was around 40 years ago that record sales first be­gan to dwin­dle – cas­settes took a share of the mar­ket and, grad­u­ally, as com­pact discs be­came the for­mat of choice for recorded mu­sic through the late 80s and into this cur­rent cen­tury, our love af­fair with vinyl records waned.

With the dig­i­tal down­load age dom­i­nat­ing the first decade of the 21st cen­tury, the value in sec­ond hand records dipped. I, for one, can re­mem­ber see­ing orig­i­nal David Bowie al­bums in record shops for £3 each 20 years ago, while car boot sales and char­ity shops were the place to pick up un­wanted slices of mu­sic his­tory.

Now it’s a dif­fer­ent story. Around 10 years ago vinyl records be­came pop­u­lar again. Record Store Day was one rea­son, the other was that long­ing to ac­tu­ally phys­i­cally own mu­sic once again. Ei­ther way, record col­lect­ing went full cir­cle and spun back into our lives. They started ap­pear­ing in shops like Ur­ban Out­fit­ters and John Lewis, and su­per­mar­ket gi­ants Tesco and Sains­bury’s wanted in. HMV went from dis­play­ing a cou­ple of dozen ti­tles to de­vot­ing a huge part of their store to records, turnta­bles and plas­tic sleeves for col­lec­tors to keep pur­chases in.

While mil­lions of new vinyl records have been pur­chased in the last decade, the value here is in older records. With the help of three mu­sic ex­perts and record shop own­ers – John Nay­lor, An­drew Wors­dale and Eric White – we’ve com­piled a ‘Top 15’ of records that you may have tucked away in your house that have a good value...

‘OK you prob­a­bly al­ready know the story of this con­tro­ver­sial sin­gle and how it went to num­ber two in the charts, but who re­mem­bers what beat it to num­ber 1? Rod Ste­wart’s Don’t Want to Talk about It. Be­fore the Sex Pis­tols signed to Vir­gin, A&M Records re­leased a small quan­tity of the 7” sin­gle and its value – are you sit­ting down? – is over £10,000.’

‘Does your Bea­tles 1963 orig­i­nal come with a black and gold (rather than yel­low) la­bel? You’ll get around £1,200 for a mono, or five times that for a stereo copy.’

‘If you’ve got a copy of the Zep’s de­but with turquoise rather than orange let­ter­ing, it’s worth a nice sum. How does £1,500 sound?’

‘Ev­ery­one has heard of heavy metal legends Iron Maiden, but did you know their first 7” was self-re­leased and now worth a stag­ger­ing £1,000 in mint con­di­tion? Get search­ing!’

‘Look for a solid light (not dark) blue prism on the la­bel, dis­tin­guish­ing a first press, and yours could be worth up­wards of £1,000.’

‘Recog­nise Pete from The Who Sell Out, 1968? The sticker says the poster’s in­side, but it’s long gone, so you can drop a zero from that £800 price tag, sadly!’

‘Re­garded by the ma­jor­ity of Bea­tles fans as the band’s best, this LP has al­ways been avail­able on vinyl with many vari­a­tions. Col­lec­tors are al­ways seek­ing the best con­di­tion orig­i­nal ear­li­est 1966 mono is­sues with the slightly longer ver­sion of the track To­mor­row Never Knows and should ex­pect to be around £350 for the best ex­am­ples.’

‘The undis­puted kings of Brit­pop, Oa­sis re­leased this in 1994 and it set them on their way to be­ing one of the big­gest and most fa­mous bands in the world. It was the fastest sell­ing UK de­but al­bum of all time and if you were one of the lucky ones to buy it on LP you are sit­ting on an­other £100.’

‘Does your copy of Joy Divi­sion’s Closer bathe your bed­room in a red glow when you hold it up against the ceil­ing light? If so, you could triple that £30 value.’ ‘Fairly level peg­ging with The Bea­tles’ Revolver al­bum for the best al­bum ever made ac­co­lade and both from the great­est year for mu­sic – 1966. It is tough to find an orig­i­nal copy that has not had many plays. Look out for the Capi­tol “rain­bow rim” la­bels with the word­ing “sold in the UK” to the left. Mono orig­i­nals fetch £75.’

‘The Grunge legends; ev­ery­one knows the front cover with the baby in the swim­ming pool with the dol­lar bill float­ing in front. It’s one of the most iconic LP images of all time and one of the best rock al­bums of all time. Its value, £60.’

‘Does your Queen orig­i­nal have a “cut” cor­ner on the in­ner sleeve or a rounded one? Don’t sweat: it’s only the dif­fer­ence be­tween £60 or £25.’

‘No list of de­sir­able and in-de­mand artists is com­plete with­out the much missed singer/ song­writer. Those that raced to the shops first in 1973 found a fan club mail or­der insert in­side, which most filled in and sent away. Re­tained ones with un­blem­ished vinyl and a clean gate­fold cover plus photo in­ner sleeve make about £50.’

‘Over 40 years old and although ear­lier al­bums are sig­nif­i­cantly more valu­able, this dou­ble al­bum com­plete with re­mov­able PVC trans­fer on the cover, curved edges, lyric in­ner sleeves and spot­less vinyl is a fast seller at around £30.’

‘Pos­si­bly the great­est 12” sin­gle in his­tory and also one of the best-sell­ing. The only trou­ble for Fac­tory Records was that it cost more to make than they sold it for. Peter Sav­ille’s iconic cut-out sleeve is as recog­nis­able as the pul­sat­ing drum beats that start the song. Ev­ery­one bought this for about a pound, it’s now worth up to £20.’

 ??  ?? Na­ture has bounced back from where we had sent it; we must not waste that and jeop­ar­dise our world
Na­ture has bounced back from where we had sent it; we must not waste that and jeop­ar­dise our world
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