The Parish Church of St George the Martyr, Waterlooville

Pam Ayres

On 23rd September Mrs Mitchell came to read to us some of Pam Ayres poems.

Pam Ayres comes from Gloucestershire. She came to Chichester Theatre in Spring last year and she has also appeared at the King’s Theatre where Mrs Mitchell went to see her. In 1974 Pam Ayres started going round locations such as The Bell Inn in Ducklington, Oxfordshire, and was amazed when she received 12 one night whilst appearing at The Railway Arms in the Cotswolds. In 1975 she appeared on Opportunity Knocks and won. She has since married and has two sons who are now 27 and 25. She is very popular in New Zealand and Australia.

Mrs Mitchell comes from Staffordshire. She was a teacher for 47 years and has been married for 52 years. She has two children.

The first poem was called “Surgically Enhanced”. It was about parts of the body being changed by operations such as the rear and tummy. The second poem was called “The Wonder Bra”. Mrs Mitchell didn’t have much of a bust when she was younger, she went to buy a dress and said to the sales assistant that the dress on her wouldn’t look right as she didn’t have much of a cleavage, and the assistant said she had just the right thing for her, and came back with the Wonder Bra which was just perfect.

Pam Ayres likes Bruce Springstein and was very happy to see him when she was aged 43. Thus the next poem was based on her seeing him in concert. The following poem was based on someone who had an operation and wanted to give all the details of it to a friend she had met in the street. The next poem was called Gloucester Sausage which was about how wonderful this sausage is. Mrs Mitchell has never tried it herself.

A funny and enjoyable evening.

Journey to Rome

On 14th October Mr Nigel Hearnden came to our meeting to speak about his Journey to Rome.

It took 14 months to plan. He had been to Rome before in 2005 for a few days with his wife. They had said they would go back again in March 2006 to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. Sadly Nigel’s wife Anne died in 2005 aged only 48. Anne was first diagnosed with cancer in August 2001 and over the next four years suffered from three different types, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Bowel Cancer and Liver Cancer (twice). During that period Anne underwent chemotherapy, and had three major operations until she was in remission from the Hodgkin’s, clear of Bowel Cancer, had recovered from her latest liver surgery and had been given the all clear by her surgeon. Unfortunately on 23rd November Anne developed what appeared to be flu, tests did not reveal anything suspicious and she appeared to be recovering. Her sudden and unexpected death on 26th November 2005 turned out to be due to a rapidly developed infection in her heart.

After Anne’s death, Nigel decided to do a sponsored walk from his home in Gosport to the Vatican in aid of Anne’s favourite charities which are Action Aid, Harbour Cancer Support Centre, Friends of Oncology and Radiotherapy (FORT) and The Catholic Church in Gosport.

Nigel spent his time planning every step of the trip taking him through Caen, St Etienne and Nice, before heading into Italy, going through Pisa and ending in Rome on 16th May 2008, three years to the day since he and Anne were there.

Nigel walked for up to 7 hours a day covering roughly 15 miles carrying a 47lb rucksack. It took 110 days and covered a distance of 1305 miles. He left home on 27th January 2008. He was seen off by family, friends, charity representatives and the local Mayor.

He walked into St Peter’s Square and up the steps to the Basilica. He took a photo of Anne standing on the steps on their previous visit and couldn’t get that image out of his mind. Nigel even had an audience with the Pope. He blessed a picture of Anne.

Nigel was met in Rome by son David, Anne’s sisters Eileen and Kathleen and representatives from Charity Action Aid. To date Nigel has raised 20,069. Each charity will receive an equal share of all the monies raised.

Priscilla Barlow

Christmas Edition 2010

St George’s Ladies Group