This England

A Literary Refuge


I bought my first copy of “This England” maga ine at Heathrow airport some time in the 1970s. My family emigrated to South Africa in 194 , a few days after my thirteenth birthday. For the last thirteen years, as a widow, I have been living in the nited States, close to my two sons.

I have made many visits, as an older person, back to the country of my birth. But “This England” prior and between those visits has given me an insight into and education about this beautiful land. When I started to attend school I was evacuated with nuns and girls from the Dominican Convent in Chingford, Essex.

The author Sir Evelyn Waugh loaned his country house, Piers Court in Gloucester­shire, to the convent for the

duration. This was a wonderful place to be during those bad times. We could sometimes hear gunfire in the distance, but we happily played in the grounds and in the woods.

My mother visited from time to time and my father when he was home on leave from the RAF. We went home, when possible, by train from Stroud to Paddington Station. As I walked along the London streets with my mother I saw the devastatio­n caused by the bombing.

Terrible times, but we were resilient and survived. Winston Churchill is still my hero

I look forward every season to the latest edition and the calendar every year. hi l

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