October in the Garden 2010

I finished working for the BBC early this year because I made programmes featuring the ‘RHS’ flower shows and did not work, as I have in previous years, on Gardeners’ World. This has meant that, apart from a month’s return to Birmingham covering for a friend on sick leave, I’ve actually become ‘self-unemployed’ earlier than ever. In theory I should therefore have an immaculate garden and be well ahead on all maintenance issues – err, ‘No’!

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Derek Stevens 10/10

On December 3, 1944, stand down parades for the Home Guard were held throughout the country. Each member was given a certificate of service and was allowed to keep their uniform and boots. Operational since 1940 over one and a half million volunteers had served in the force, all either too old or too young to serve in the regular services. Answering a radio appeal given by Anthony Eden 400,000 men volunteered in the first two weeks. All they were issued with to confront the enemy was an armband. Noel Coward observed this fact by writing and singing a song entitled ‘Can you please oblige us with a bren gun?’ Ancient rifles of American and Canadian origin were later issued until supplies of modern equipment were eventually organised.

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Anne Marie Vincent

“My Mum and Dad came over from Trinidad in the early fifties, to better their lives, like so many West Indians. It was actually Enoch Powell who was advertising in the Caribbean for workers to come to the UK to do the work British people weren’t able to do. They came from different areas in Trinidad; Dad was from a rural background, Mum was brought up in a town, but they met here in the UK, and I was born in Croydon. Dad was in the RAF at the time, and my Mum was nursing. However I spent 3 years of my early life in Singapore. We came back to north London, where Dad qualified as a solicitor, and Mum moved into midwifery.

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