On Patricia Miller
What a fantastic ‘Dorset Island Discs’ this month (‘The NHS has lost its way’, Sep 22)! The column is always an enjoyable read, and your varied guest range is particularly interesting – as a Dorset resident I’m rather ashamed to admit I hadn’t heard of Patricia Miller before.
Not only was hers an inspiring story of a woman rising up against the odds, but what a thought-provoking and insightful interview into our health.
I’m not sure I had ever grasped before that a mere 20 per cent of our health is actually about our physical wellness; the rest being all about where we live, our education, our jobs… Fascinating stuff – and I can only imagine the frustrations of this being your work, when set against so many obstacles.
And how can we not appreciate a woman in such an important, powerful role who proudly picks Cameo alongside the Greatest Showman and Bob Marley?!
Just a quick note to thank you for your feature on Patricia Miller – though disguised as a fluff piece (rude! – Ed) her interview was insightful, intelligent, thoughtful and thought-provoking.
And as a bonus it reminded me how much I used to enjoy
On the waste of Wool
I was interested in your article on the modern wool industry (‘We need more woolly thinking’, Sep 22).
There have been some amazing innovations in the wool industry – but there are so many more opportunities still to be taken advantage of. British wool is unique because, unlike many other breeds of sheep like merino, British fleeces tend to make coarser, scratchier wool. This was once a competitive advantage, when our carpet industry was booming. But as carpet sales slumped and the fashion for hard-wood floors arrived, wool prices began to plunge.
From being a prime trading product, a decade ago wool had become a simple by-product and farmers began burning fleeces because it was no longer economically effective to lug them to market.
Of course we can wear it (though for a ‘waste’ product it seems to be remarkably expensive to buy pure wool clothing) or use it for building insulation, but some entrepreneurs have really started exploring its potential. Solidwool is a sustainable alternative to fibreglass.
Woolly Shepherd make sound absorbers.
ChimneySheep make rolls of gardeners felt (perfect mulch, plants love growing in it and it biodegrades within a year)
Woolcool make felt liners for insulating boxes to transport food – anyone who has one of those meal subscriptions from HelloFresh or Abel&Cole will know them. Far more importantly they’re also used for vaccine transport.
On top of all this, it’s also used for cleaning up oil spills, it is fully biodegradable and 100 per cent renewable.
WHY is it still seen as a waste product? I cannot understand it.
Having left school in 1946 I worked in London for a Belgian Wool Merchants with strong connections to the Wool Futures Market, representing company branches from around the world. London having suffered and survived the Blitz was an exciting place to work, especially for a young girl having just left school, with rationing and ration books the mainstay of our lives.
I was fortunate in that we received gift aid parcels from the firm’s American connections containing nylon stockings and nylon material (which made wonderfully luxurious underwear!), together with parcels from Australia containing skeins of wool. I particularly recall some beautiful soft green merino wool. While sitting on the steam train travelling into London every day I knitted it into a long sleeveless cardigan – which after 74 years, still being as good as new, I am wearing today! Oh happy days!
Della Jones MBE
A note from Canada
I write from Canada, where the Blackmore connection to the Queen is that my father in law was Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. In other words he was Her Majesty’s representative for the province.
I met her twice, and she was such a wonderful lady. Hard to imagine a world without her.
My grandfather Wallace Blackmore left school at a very young age and joined the White Star line (I believe his father or grandfather was a millwright in the Devonshire area). After a few years he jumped ship in New York in 1912 and hitchhiked to Windsor here in Ontario and eventually opened his own bakery under the Blackmore name.
If he had not jumped ship in New York his next assignment for White Star was to be on the maiden voyage of the Titanic… I was hoping to take my wife back To the UK last year but COVID got in the way.
Hopefully we will be able to make the trip next year.
All the best from Canada!
It seems very few people know about Variable Direct Debits.
If you are good at budgeting, it is a much better way to pay for your utilities. You send in your monthly meter readings, and get the bill a few days later. A week after that, the exact amount you have used is taken from your bank.
Definitely no need for an astronomical monthly direct debit. My bill for August was less than £25. My whole year’s usage was less than £600.
Use less and you pay less.
(Excellent magazine – keep up the good work!)
A wonderful ecumenical Evensong took place on Thursday, 16th September
at The Sacred Heart Church in Tisbury. Father Robert is not one who likes a fuss but thought this
would be a rather good idea. And he was right!
The Revd. Juliette Hulme kindly led the service. Father Robert sat by the font where he could see
and then speak to all as they came by.
It was a splendid farewell, the church was filled with our
parishioners, our Dean, Father Anthony, those from St John’s, the Methodist church and Tisbury community.
Mark Shuldham welcomed everyone; Teresa Frost and Mark read the lessons. The choir sang from the gallery in the west end and consisted of members of the Hindon & Chilmark Choir and those of Wardour and the Sacred Heart, led by Felicity Pattenden.
The BCP Evensong, which was at the request of Fr Robert, opened with the choir singing a four-part round of a Taizé Gloria. The canticles of the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis were sung to settings by Smart and Monk. The anthem, Schubert’s Ave Maria, was performed beautifully by Soprano Iuno Connolly. Organist Douglas Stevens accompanied us all as proficiently as ever.
Father Robert joined us all afterwards for refreshments in
the Parish Room.
A collection was taken for Stella Maris, a charity for seafarers which is dear to Fr Robert’s heart.
He has written several books about seafaring and One Firm Anchor includes the history of this organisation, Apostleship of the Sea, now Stella Maris.
Thank you to all those who took part, to Revd Juliette Hulme and to Felicity and the Choir,
Douglas our organist, readers, helpers and the Social Committee for refreshments.