Monday, 3 July 2017

There always be an England ! WILL THERE ?

Nigel Farage called me yesterday. Well not Nigel in person but a member of the UKIP team. She wanted to know why I had not renewed my membership of the party. After I had explained my reasons I said "I expect you have heard this hundreds of times."  To which she replied, "Not hundreds but tens of thousands."

In present day politics to vote for UKIP would split the common sense vote and allow the loony left into power. Britain under Corbyn would be a terrible place in which to live, I would not want to live here.

To précis our conversation the lady I was speaking with said if people do not stand up and do something that is exactly what is going to happen.

Following yesterday's diary entry I put a survey on Twitter. I have more than sixteen thousand followers on Twitter.

Not a single person responded. NOT EVEN ONE.

You get what you deserve.

In writing my book The Bridge House I am working on Chapter Three and am at the point in the story here it is the year before World War Two broke out. Isn't it a good thing that the generation of 1938 did not fail to stand up and do nothing ?  If they had Britain would have deserved Adolf Hitler and where, today, would you and I be ?

The Bridge House in Chapter Three is dominated in its story by teenager Billy. Billy is also the subject of my book An Interview With Flight Sergeant Billy.

Have you read it ?

Billy and so many of his generation did not sit back and do nothing.  Billy did not wait for his call up papers to come through, the moment he was old enough he volunteered to fight for his country.

Here is Billy's grave. Lily, the central character in The Bridge House is standing there remembering her son.

Billy was twenty years old when he died. Twenty years old when he gave his life for his country.

Chapter Three of The Bridge House is set in Birmingham. Billy was born in Birmingham, went to school there, grew up there and had his plane not been hit my enemy fire on the night of 8th March 1945, just a few weeks before the end of World War Two, Birmingham is where, no doubt, he would have spent the rest of his life.

My book The Story of A Teenage Entrepreneur (Failed) is also set in Birmingham.

I have been promising myself for months that I will get on a train to Birmingham then wander around its city centre where I worked for two years, July 1967 to August 1969, as
a management trainee in the giant Lewis's Department Store. Lewis's appears in The Bridge House.

Yesterday while writing chapter three I needed a city centre location for an ATC -Air Training Corps for Billy to join.  I decided to set this little bit of fiction in the factual Birmingham street of Belmont Row.

Belmont Row was where my father had his office in what was, in its day, the country's biggest gas mains construction and service company. My Dad would give me a lift into Birmingham, drop me at his office from where I would walk the short distance from Belmont Row to Lewis's Department Store.

A quick check on Google and this is what Belmont Row looks like now. That giant civil engineering company and its offices are gone, just an area now of waste ground. The Lewis's Department Store is also gone.

In those two years of the 1960's I would walk from my Dad's office in Belmont Row along Steelhouse Lane, past the police station and the law courts to Bull Street and the Lewis's Department Store.

One of the judges at Birmingham's law court in Steelhouse Lane was Sir Donald Finnemore.  My father knew Sir Donald. I was scared of Sir Donald.  In the 1960's the death penalty still existed, there were those who ended their lives at the end of a rope on the order of Sir Donald. He came to our house one evening, I clearly remember it.  I was sitting doing my homework. When he came into the room I stood up, partly out of fear and a little bit out of respect.  Sir Donald was a lovely man, something I learned when I was a little older. Sir Donald loved Birmingham.

The law courts and the police station in Steelhouse lane have also gone.

In writing The Bridge House I have been putting together for each chapter a gallery of pictures which I plan to include in the published book. I am on target to publish the book in mid to late October.  I am also including some slideshows of those gallery pictures set to music from their time.  Yesterday I took a series of images from wartime Birmingham and set them to a hit record from the early months of the war.

I will make that train journey to Birmingham in the not too far distant future.  I wonder how much of Birmingham I will recognise. I wonder how much of his much-loved city would Sir Donald recognise. How much of Birmingham would Flight Sergeant Billy recognise.  Would Flight Sergeant Billy think it was worth sacrificing his life at the age of twenty years for ?

There'll always be an England............

Will there ? Not if some people could have their way.  Much of England has already been taken away ?  How long before it all goes ?

There'll always be an England and England shall be free. If England means as much to you as England means to me.

How much does England mean to you ?

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