Tuesday, 27 October 2015

My Favourite and Saddest Song

I dunno what's got me so reflective of late. Getting older I guess.

Whilst hopping through Twitter this evening I came across an item asking what was a favourite song of parting.  I had no hesitation in putting my details and choice onto this site.

This song is very old (like me) and tells the story of someone dying in hospital who has written a note to his beloved ... saying that he could not bear to have her with him as he dies.

There are many artistes who have recorded this song but none as well as Matt Monro.

Forgive me for being so ... err sad.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

My Previous Home

Only three years ago we, Pat and I, were living in a stunningly beautiful area of Britain - the Scottish Borders.

We moved to take up a post in Mellerstain House, the home of the 13th Earl of Haddington and his family.

Our home was in the east wing of this stately home, which was built in 1725 by William Adam.  The west wing housed the Earl and family.

The main central house wasn't built until about 40 years later by the son of William Adam, Robert - one of the best architects ever.

    This is the southern aspect of Mellerstain House with the formal gardens in the foreground.

    Here is the Stone Hall, which is the first room that visitors see when they enter the east wing. On the extreme left, through the archway, is a centuries old stone spiral staircase which leads to where our home was. A wonderful and spacious apartment of some ten rooms, two bathrooms and large kitchen. It was just amazing.

    This is the music room, originally the main dining room. During the year there would be some wonderful musical events, followed by a supper in one of the lower rooms.  Classical music given by some truly superb artistes.  I used to love assisting with these evenings, greeting the musicians and singers and the audience. There would be approximately 80 guests at these evenings.

    Here is a view of the superb library.  This is probably the best room in Mellerstain House. The beautiful plasterwork designed by Robert Adam was inspired by his visits to Europe which depict various historical and mythical themes. A truly amazing room.

    South of the house is a large lake, home to two lovely swans who give birth to a family of cygnets annually. As and when these baby swans grow large enough they leave their Mellerstain lake home and leave Mum and Dad swan to enjoy their peaceful existence.  Hence the term 'empty nesters'

    We left this idyllic part of the Borders in September 2012 to be closer to our daughter Clare and our two grandchildren. It was lovely to be able to see them more often without the long and tiring drive south each time.  But it was so very sad to leave Mellerstain and all those we had come to know and love. In this parting photograph Pat and I are seated in the front. To the right of Pat is Isobel, youngest daughter of Lord and Lady Haddington. We first met Isobel when she was five years young. Just behind me is the lovely Countess Jane Haddington and behind her is Lord John Haddington, the 13th earl. Beside John Haddington are the housekeepers and, on the right, Gordon, the gardener; he does a remarkable job in tending these award-winning gardens.
    I am in a reminiscent mood, hence this posting.  We shall, one day, return to Mellerstain for a nostalgic visit.  May have to go by train or plane.  The long drive may be a tad too much for this aging old couple.  We do miss this lovely place. We really do.
    All the photographs are courtesy of Mellerstain House of course.

    Wednesday, 9 September 2015

    Gardeners Question Time???

    Hello there, if you ARE there.

    As you may or may not know I am the supreme Champion of Gardening Club International, but even we experts are, now and then, seeking help and advice.

    OK ... can ANYBODY tell me what these are?

    Yes, I know they're some sort of FLOWER.  Why wouldn't I, the Champion, know this ... err, well, maybe, perhaps, or possibly I might be embellishing the truth to say that I'm the Champion.  In fact it would be more truthful to say I'm NOT really the Champion, of anything.

    So, ignore the dahlias and concentrate on the clump of greenery with quite a few little white and pinkish flowers. Any ideas?

    When I first saw the green leaves popping up all over the place I thought it was the dreaded GROUND ELDER.  But though I pulled a good few of these 'weeds' out I left some to develop as I am NOT a champion gardener at all.  And it seems I was right to leave some in.  Other greenery turns out to be what I call the Chinese Lantern flowers, which I quite like, so they can stay. But the much taller greenery and its small blooms are a mystery to me. 

    I quite like them.  They will remain in place.  What might they be, that's the question.  Aye, there's the rub, I've no blooming idea!


    Monday, 7 September 2015

    Emotional Memorial Day at Wickenby

    Sunday, 6th September 2015.  A beautiful sunny day. Perfect for a day of remembrance at Wickenby Airfield in Lincolnshire.

    Lincolnshire: Bomber county during WW2.  Bomber Command created RAF aerodromes in this historic county of England.

    Huge swathes of farmland turned into concrete runways, huts for airmen, control towers, hangars and all the necessities for the RAF to prosecute the war against Hitler, the Nazis and all who aided and abetted that regime in the early 1940s.

    RAF Wickenby, home to No. 12 Squadron and No. 626 Squadron and all who served there during the war.  Average age of the Lancaster bomber crews: 22.   Of all who flew on operations many were injured.  Many died: 1146 was the total death toll.

    Religious belief is not for me.  But I attended this tribute to those gallant young men who never made it back to Wickenby in those dark and dangerous days. 

    It was an emotional time for many, and I was one of them. I listened to Anne Law speaking of a crew who made it through 31 operations but on their 32nd the dice rolled against them. All seven crew members died when a night fighter shot them down.

    After Anne's reading of that one operation and the 'Last Post' was played I know that many a tear fell as that mournful last note faded out.

    I made another very amateur video, drastically cut down to a few minutes of the hour-long memorial service.  After the closing tribute a lone Tiger Moth made a couple of fly-pasts to end a memorable afternoon, the weather adding its own tribute by staying just perfect.

    Saturday, 29 August 2015

    The Kray Twins and Others I've Met

    It is now early 1960-ish

    I've moved on from Arthur Horton's bookie office and gone to Albert Cook and Son, 801 Wandsworth Road, then  later into betting shop work. 

    Along the way I met quite a few 'interesting' characters, the most famous, or infamous, being Reggie and Ronnie Kray, known by most simply as 'The Twins'. 
    I'll start with these two chaps; it was some time around the early to mid sixties.

    A Croydon bookie, 'Beat Chapman' was a lady whom  I worked for her in  Tamworth Road betting shop for a while.  I was the only male working in her office; a first for me, sadly.  
    Beatie asked me if I'd help her son-in-law, Brian, to learn the betting game. I agreed.

    Met Brian and his aim was to add another string to his bow, he being a used car trader at the time. He thought betting shops were a licence to print money. Not always true, but 'the bookie always wins' was burned into his brain I think.

    Firstly we had to find premises. He bought a corner café in Purley Way Croydon, with many factories just opposite. Looked a good site to me. 
    Applied for a bookmakers licence and it was, surprisingly, approved. Set about gutting the café and turning it into a plain and simple betting shop, complete with Extel broadcasting installed. 
    I was the 'settler/manager' with two girls as counter-hands. They took  the betting slips and paid out any winnings. I  settled the bets and kept control of things. Brian often helped out during the afternoon.

    At about 1.30 one afternoon I was sorting through the early morning slips with my back to the counter. Brian came to my desk and sat on the corner, looking a bit 
     He whispered : "Get on the blower and tell Charlie and Bomber to get here now! The Twins have just come in." 
    I went to look round; Brian hissed "Don't turn round, just get on the blower now!" 
    He was obviously very tense. I made the call.  I  said: "Brian wants you now - the Twins have turned up." The line went dead.

    Four minutes later the door bursts open and four of Brian's 'acquaintances' came striding in. 
    I knew Chas and Bomber, but not the other two. I was now able to witness what all this kerfuffle was about. 
    Very smartly dressed in blue mohair tailored suits; pristine collar and ties and expensive looking shoes - that was the Krays. Their Mum would have been proud of them, which, as we all know, she was!

    Chas went straight over to Reggie Kray, hand extended and they shook hands - as did Bomber, and then Brian joined the mob. There was much back-slapping and "How you doing?" small talk.

    Chas asked Ronnie: "Wotcha doing round these parts then? Bit out of your way, innit?"

    He answered: "We're on our way to Brighton but we're gonna miss the first race or two. Just wanted to have a couple of bets, that's all."

    Brian's face regained some colour; he'd gone quite pale. 
    There was a bit more general chit-chat and the Krays, plus their  associates, left and went on their way.  Chas, Bomber and the other two heavies also departed.

    Brian was obviously relieved when they'd all gone. 
    He told me  he'd been convinced the Krays were coming to 'protect'  his new shop! 
    The Krays knew Brian  and his Dad as they'd  often supplied cars for them.
     That's all I knew about his dealings with them.  That was all I wanted to know too. My business was to look after the betting shop; any other business was nothing to do with me, and that's the way I liked it.

    The Twins laid out about £50 on a couple of bets. They lost. No doubt they could afford it! 
    I met them on a couple of other occasions, when I went to a couple of boxing events in London with my next bookie employer, John Parry of Streatham. 
    The Twins were great boxing fans  and were once very well thought of as boxers themselves.

    They also liked to contribute to 'good causes' - donating plenty of cash, often in a very public way. 
    One evening at a boxing match in Shoreditch town hall there was a 'charity auction' of a few things from the ring. 
    Tommy Trinder, a well-known comedian (You Lucky People being his catchphrase) was the auctioneer. 
    The Krays bid for everything, often bumping the bids up between them! 
    The final item was a huge bouquet of flowers. The Krays were again the highest bidders. 
    After the applause died down, they passed the bouquet back to Trinder and said: "Give this to the nurses home, with our compliments".

    Yes, they were villains. They terrified their victims.  Not the kind of people one would want to associate with normally. 
    However, in many people's eyes they were generous 'businessmen', running clubs, giving to charity and doing good things generally. 
    They were no angels, but there were and still are worse people in this wicked world.

    Next time I'll write a bit about my time with a Streatham bookie who started life as a sort of 'minder' for a London crook...

    Tuesday, 25 August 2015

    Beautiful Woman, Wonderful Voice.

    Lara Fabian.  A vision of beauty.  Beyond compare.

    This is something I posted a few years ago and think another outing and listen is due. 

    The song is highly emotional.  Not to watch if you're in a sad mood, unless you're very brave.

    At one point she sings with NO orchestral backing and if you don't have a tear in your eye as she takes the huge applause then you're stronger than I.

    Watch in full screen if you can.

    Lara is emotionally drained at the end of this powerful song.

    Sunday, 23 August 2015

    Blame it on Fram Actual

    That's a strange title, what the heck does it mean?

    Well, seeing as it's you, I'll explain.  Fram Actual, one of the few Bloggers I keep an eye out for.  He's a darn good writer which, I suppose, is because of his profession. 

    Always has such an interesting and stylish way about him. And he usually includes a song or two as a 'bonus' at the end of his article.

    In his current posting he writes about a sort of 'lost love', a girl he knew.  This struck a chord with me.  And I doubt that I am alone in this kind of memory.

    Thus it's HIS fault that I'm writing this odd piece, and why I am including two of my favourite 'oldies' courtesy of Youtube.

    I wrote a letter of goodbye to my very first love.  I really did love her then and, in a way, still do - even though we shall never meet or speak or write to each other again. It's impossible.

    So, my first song is Billy Eckstine singing 'I Apologize'

    The second song makes me think of the recurring dream I kept having for many years after I left her.  Her name: Stella.  No, it's not Stella by Starlight, although I love that song too.

    My dream was always the same.  I'm walking along Croydon High Road, passing my favourite store, Kennards.  Stella is walking towards me, wearing her dark green coat.  She comes close to me but just walks past me, not even glancing at me. She melts into the people as she disappears.  I can see this now, so clearly.

    The second song is, of course, Passing Strangers, a duet by Billy Eckstine and the wonderful Sarah Vaughn.


    Sunday, 16 August 2015

    George Cole 1925-2015

    So sad to learn that the wonderful George Cole is no longer with us.

    He died on 5th August 2015 and I cannot understand why I did not hear of this before today, some 11 days after his death. Today I discovered it because I recently heard Dennis Waterman say something that indicated George Cole was no more and decided to check on Google.

    George Cole was one of my favourite actors.  He was born in Tooting, South London, not far from my home town of Croydon.  He left school at age 14, (same as I did). At age 18 he joined the RAF, again as did I.  He even seemed to speak a bit like me at times!

    He is best remembered as Arfur Daley, the wheeler dealer dodgy car bloke in "Minder", along with Dennis Waterman as Terry, the 'minder'. 

    But he was a great character actor in many other roles and he was befriended by the comedic actor Alastair Sim and his wife Naomi after appearing in the film "Cottage to Let". Cole played a cheeky young Cockney evacuee in this film and lived with the Sims in their Oxfordshire house during the Blitz. He would have been about 15 when he played this part.

    75 years as an actor, a highly respected one too, for a lad who left school with no qualifications, is what makes him one of the greatest, in MY book.

    He leaves behind his wife, Penny Morrel, (aka 'Er indoors), whom he married in 1967.

    R.I.P. dear chap, and thanks for all the laughter you gave us over the years.


    Monday, 3 August 2015

    Charitry Wing Walking at Wickenby Airfield

    Sunday 2nd August 20.15
    A pleasant day, lots of cumulus clouds but nice and dry. Great, especially for the adventurous who are visiting Wickenby to try wing walking!
    Many of the visitors to this ex-RAF Wickenby aerodrome have come to help raise funds for St. Andrew's Hospice in Grimsby. It was sad to see so many with pink tee-shirts with a picture of a lost one, one whose last days were cared for in this hospice.
    My amateur videoing of this event starts with a view of the café frontage where my Pat is chatting with a visitor. Then the first to wing walk is a young lady, mid-40s perhaps, who had never before tried this exhilarating mode of travel. She will be attempting some sky-diving next year! Then a few shots of a gallant man who said he was terrified but was going to go up anyway. He had to lose about two stone in weight to qualify for this flight. Perhaps he was the bravest of them all? Who knows. Finally a brief visit to the museum and then off for a coffee before heading home, by car, not on the wings of a vintage American open cockpit bi-plane, the Stearman, a much bigger cousin to the British Tigermoth.
    Oh, were I ten years younger and three stone lighter ... Dream on!

    Sunday, 26 July 2015

    I Am Sixteen, She is Twenty-Two

    One of my earlier posts.

    Palaces of Romance, The Cinemas of Croydon.

    In the 1940s and 1950s Croydon boasted some of the best cinemas in the UK. 
    The Davis Theatre was largest, seating almost 4000, probably the finest cinema/theatre I have ever been in. A truly magnificent building both inside and out it.  Demolished in the late 1950s and replaced by some nondescript pile of drabness - a disastrous loss to Croydon!
    (Photo courtesy Google) 

    Other cinemas of note were the Savoy in Broad Green, The State Cinema (later The Granada) in Thornton Heath, The Regal and The Astoria, both in Purley. These were well-designed and comfortable places, with the Savoy being the earliest of my cinema memories. The Savoy was almost opposite Hathaway Road, thus being a couple of minutes walk from my home. It was near Sumner Road, with a café on the corner, then a sweet shop and then the Savoy. 
    Adjoining the Savoy, during the war, there was the Civic Restaurant where I sometimes had a very cheap midday meal. I remember the plates they used for us kids; they had a picture printed on the plate which encouraged you to clean the plate entirely to see what the picture was. Not that I ever needed any encouragement to clean every morsel from the plate! Young boys usually have gargantuan appetites and with rationing in place food was never wasted, (although I hated cod liver oil, yuk).

    There were many smaller cinemas, such as The Eros and The Odeon in West Croydon, The Palladium on the corner of Surrey St., and Scarbrook Road, The Hippodrome in Church Street and, of course the wonderful little CLASSIC in South Croydon. This last named cinema will forever have a place in my heart and I'll tell you why (but please keep this to yourself, especially if my wife is around!).

    In October 1951 Stella and I were cosily ensconced in the dark back seats of the Classic.
     Now a bit bolder than earlier as we'd been "going steady" for a few months and we had spent many hours in Stella's doorway porch kissing and hugging for far too long after an evening out. 
    Stella is seated next to me, my left arm around her shoulder. Now and then her face would tilt towards me and we gently kiss in the darkness. 
    And then it happened!

    Stella slowly guides my left arm from her shoulder, pressing my hand on her breast. 
    This was the most exhilarating experience of my life at that point. We kissed, passionately, with my hand caressing her breast. Time stopped it seemed.  A wonderful rapturous moment.

    Of course, I was inexperienced in those days. 
    Wouldn't have dreamt, or dared, to fondle a girl's breasts then, even though the temptation was usually quite strong. 
    Things seem to go a lot faster today in the dating and sexual exploits of the youngsters but in my day we seemed, generally, to be more restrained.  Anyway, from that point onwards our lingering in the porch, or elsewhere, now included the caressing of Stella's bosom. 
    No wandering below the waist, or stroking the thighs and stuff like that. Whether Stella wanted me to venture further I know not. Possibly she did, but being such a gauche or unpolished lover-boy, I just didn't feel it right to risk such a thing as groping "down below". So now you know. Keep this secret. I wouldn't want anybody else to know all this!

    We went to the cinema about once every week or ten days. I remember one film in particular, at the Regal in Purley: "An American in Paris", starring Gene Kelly and Georges Guetary singing "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise" - which fitted my mood perfectly as I felt I'd already entered Paradise.
    I'm now 17. Stella would have expected my call-up to National Service because I'd lied about my age when we first met.
    I decided to confess by writing her a goodbye letter, lacking the courage to tell her face to face.
    We never met again until some 55 years later.
    Pat and I had a nice meeting with Stella, her husband and family.
    Sadly, her husband died of cancer; Stella died three years later.
    Never look back some say. They are wrong!

    Monday, 20 July 2015

    A Man in a Million

    It's nearly three years since my wife Pat and I decided to move from the Scottish Borders back to Lincolnshire.  This was prompted by some bad news on the health of our youngest daughter.

    We spent almost twenty years in the Borders, a beautiful part of the UK.  Tranquil, peaceful, sparsely populated.  What more could a retired couple want?

    We got to know some truly lovely people there.  One in particular was Alan Parkes.  I mentioned this chap some years ago when posting something about him. I befriended Alan in an unusual way and was terribly sad when receiving news of his death.

    If you care to read that old post and to see a BBC video of Alan then here is the link:  http://bit.ly/1MkZmqx

    Monday, 13 July 2015

    Sensuous Rumba, danced to a Superb Song

    Have your sound on, keep your eyes glued to this wonderful dance exhibition.

    I have always loved ballroom dancing and especially this one particular Latin dance, the Rumba.

    I've seen many couples demonstrating this dance of love but this one is so erotic as well as beautiful.

    Not your cuppa tea?  Forgive me, but I just had to share this one and risk it.

    Tuesday, 5 May 2015

    801 Wandsworth Road London

    BBS (before betting shops) I worked in the 'credit office' owned by Albert Cook and Son.  Manning one of the eight phones, I took the client's bets and later worked them out, along with nine other members of the office.

    Recently Google told me that this old building was now a newsagents.  I telephoned them and learned that when Albert Cook senior died they bought the premises from his estate. I felt sad about this as I'd hope the business was still operating under Albert Cook junior.  However, I asked the lady on the phone if she knew how I could contact young Mr. Cook only to learn that he too had died.  I was really sad now. 

    This kind lady then said she could give me the phone number of his son, whom I'd met a few times when he was a schoolboy.  So I managed to speak to him on the telephone. He told me his Dad had died a few years ago of a stomach problem. I asked if I could phone his Mum but he just said that she lives alone in Bournemouth, declining my request for the phone number.  I quite understood and said cheerio to him.

    This all reminded me of a day way back in 1960-ish when the 'Sausage Incident' occurred, involving the now deceased Mr. Cook senior (my boss) and his son, now deceased.  I wish now that I'd not felt the urge to backtrack to those days but that's life.  The link to the 1960 incident is below.


    I no longer eat sausages, unless they're veggie ones.

    Monday, 13 April 2015

    Chronicle of a Croydon Boy: The Sort of Stroke Flossie did NOT Want!

    Again I am in a reflective frame of mind, caused by a friend of ours who lives in Eastbourne who sent us a photo of her dear departed pet called Bonnie.  Bonnie reminded me of another old canine friend of mine called Flossie, owned by Alice who then resided in the East Lodge cottage at Mellerstain.  Flossie was a simply divine and beautiful Border Collie whom I loved so much about five years ago.  Here's a video I took of Flossie when she was recovering from a stroke.  I hope it still plays OK even though poor Flossie no longer plays on the green green grass of Mellerstain.

    Chronicle of a Croydon Boy: The Sort of Stroke Flossie did NOT Want!

    Sunday, 12 April 2015

    Remembering a Day in Scotland

    After reading the blog "Sixth in Line" by Elisabeth in the land of Oz, I harked back to one day some six years ago when we had to go to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary to see a lady doctor who outlines a procedure my wife, Pat, was going to have.

    We travelled in our small KA car to Earlston and then caught the bus for the main part of the journey.

    I did a little video of part of the bus journey and then the final part of the return to home, where we encountered a slight traffic jam - but not the sort that a city dweller experiences!

    Here's the link back to 2009: http://bit.ly/1z7SWkg

    Tuesday, 24 March 2015

    RAF Wickenby - Now just a private airfield

    On Sunday 22 March we took a drive to this airfield, just to have a cuppa coffee, a chat with whomsoever was unlucky enough to be collared by Yours Truly and having a chinwag about whatever aeroplane they had just flown in for, literally, a flying visit.

    As usual, I nip upstairs after having a coffee in the 'NAAFI' kaff, to meander around the mini-museum here.

    This airfield was home to squadron 12 and squadron 626 of Bomber Command during the 1943-1945 period of WW2. I always think of the many hundreds of young men, over 1000 aircrew, who flew out of here and never made it back. What a huge waste of life and the subsequent heartbreak for thousands more who loved these brave lads.

    My somewhat sepulchral commentary is poor and the video is very amateur; forgive me for that.

    A week or so back some low-life scum removed the two bronze plaques of the two squadrons from the memorial at the entrance to this airfield.  All of us in the Friends of Wickenby Museum and Airfield were thoroughly sickened by this damnable theft.  To the thieving toe-rags who stole these plaques for scrap I hope you can sleep well.  If you never wake up again then that would be just reward for your deplorable action last week!

    Friday, 13 March 2015

    The Voice of Racing

    I've just been listening to Sir Peter O'Sullivan on BBC radio 4 and so many memories came flooding back.

    You may not know this chap but he is still known in horse-racing circles as 'The Voice of Racing'. He celebrated his 97th birthday a few days ago and to listen to him on the radio again was marvellous.

    He was born in 1918, in Ireland, and became the BBC's best ever racing commentator. I think the then Queen Mother loved him just as much as she loved having a punt on the races. He was everybody's favourite. 

    You could hear every word he uttered when calling the race. The noise of the crowds and the excitement of the race never affected his commentary.  He also owned some classy horses, one of which was Be Friendly.  Attivo was another top class thoroughbred.

    Peter O'Sullivan also was the racing correspondent of the Daily Express for many years and tipped many winners for his followers.

    I 'knew' him, so to speak, when I worked in the bookie business, from 1956 to around the early 1970s.  I first spoke to him when I was working for Albert Cook & Son, turf accountants, at 801 Wandsworth Road, London in the early 1960s. He had an account with us.

    One morning I picked up the phone on my desk and this mellifluous voice said to me:  "Good morning. Would you please ask Albert (my boss) what is the best price he can offer me on Gay Don in the National."  (Gay Don is not the real name of the horse, I cannot remember this far back).

    I then asked my boss, saying it was Peter O'Sullivan asking for the price.

    The boss scanned the Sporting Life lists to see what the average price was.  He said to me that if Peter was interested then he must have some inside info on this horse.  The price the boss came up with was 33-1 and said so to Peter O'Sullivan.

    "Is that the very BEST price he can offer?" asks Peter.

    I relayed this question to the boss.  He then said 'Oh well, tell him 40-1 is the absolute tops', which I duly gave to Peter.

    I heard quite a hearty chuckle on the end of the phone line then Peter said: "Well, thank Albert for his very generous offer but tell him I shall NOT be wanting to back Gay Don at this price. He died yesterday!" and then he put the phone down.

    What a great sense of humour he had, and still has I reckon.

    Happy 97th Sir Peter, and when you get to the 100th, which I am sure you will, I will send you a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY message then.

    I enjoyed a lot of my time in the bookie world. One met so many notable people, good and not so good.  Sir Peter was the best of all. Ronnie and Reggie Kray were way down the list, having met these two notorious guys on more than one occasion, each time in a friendly way I'm glad to say.  The racing world is full of larger than life characters.

    Here's a link to an example of Sir Peter's professionalism as he commentated on a race in which his own horse, Be Friendly, was running.  He gives a clear and unbiased account of the race and is typical of this great man's skill in calling the race.


    Sunday, 8 March 2015


    What a ridiculous situation in England where retail stores over a 280 square metre floor-space are forced to close their doors at the end of SIX HOURS continuous trading on Sunday.

    This means that large stores, supermarkets etc., must close their doors by 4 p.m. if they started trading at 10 a.m.

    The latest they can stay open is 6 p.m. if they started at midday but most stick at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The stores that advertise 24 hour opening have to comply with the Sunday law and thus they close at 4 p.m. and re-open at one minute past midnight on Monday.

    This stupid law, some twenty years old now, makes no sense to me.  Employees are protected if they do NOT  wish to work on Sundays. An employee CANNOT be dismissed or treated in an unfavourable way for choosing not to work on Sundays.

    This Sunday trading law seems to be something to do with religion, in my opinion.  If it is, then what about Jewish employees who are contracted to work on Saturdays?  If it is NOT about religion then what?  Why should Sunday be any different from the rest of the week.

    All our political 'leaders' claim to be believers in God or some other deity as far as I know.   Most of them seem to me to be somewhat two-faced or downright liars.  If Janus were still a God, as the Romans once thought, then politicians would most likely kowtow to Janus, usually depicted with two faces!

    Stuff the Sunday laws!

    (I'm nipping out to Asda before they close!)