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Local People

It Was But A Dream

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We adore seeing heartfelt stories by local people. Here is a beautiful one by Felixstowe local, Brian Blackmore, in loving memory of June Blackmore…

The bright winter’s day had been replaced by a cold frosty evening. I stood for a while watching the moon beams ripple on the water – they seemed to be making some sort of pattern; faces, birds and all sorts of wonderful shapes.

The colourful lights along the prom reflected in the pools of water left behind by the ebbing tide. A blackbird flew down and landed almost beside me; it stood watching me.

“Is it not time you went to bed Mr. Blackbird?” I softly said. It looked at me as if he understood every word I had said, and then it slowly looked at the skies. He flew off in the direction of the pier so I assumed he would roost the night there. I looked up at the orange light shining down on me. Sitting on the light were two seagulls, then a third arrived and it was as if World War III had broken out as two of them started fighting and screaming at each other. It must be a female, I thought.

As I stood watching them I suddenly heard the drone of engines, and across the sea I could just make out the shapes of six enemy aircraft heading straight for Bawdsey Radar. The familiar crackle of the Merlin engine could be heard coming from inland; there they were, eight RAF Spitfires. Out of the sky they dived and all I could hear was the sound of their guns. Rat-a-tat-rat-a-tat-tat and before I know it all the German planes were seaward bound. Parachutes were seen coming from the aircraft; I counted ten in all, so some of the aircrew never made it. As I watched a seaplane came out of RAF Felixstowe followed by two RAF marine craft, which headed for the drop zone of the downed pilots. The seaplane circled until all the downed aircrew had been picked up.

Above me the two seagulls were still at it unaware that the third one had got fed up and flown off. I started to walk home and noticed one of the new container ships heading into the port. The containers were stacked so high that I could visualise myself standing on clouds, as the sky was clear and every star in the universe could be seen. A tug had attached itself to the rear of the ship and another was alongside it. I stood and watched it until it disappeared out of sight around the headland. I continued to walk and the smell of fish and chips drifted into my nostrils so I decided to get some to take home for June and me.

The sudden ring of an alarm bell brought me to my sense. I turned over to kiss June good morning but her side of the bed was cold and empty. On the dressing table was a framed picture of her beside which was a fresh bunch of flowers. “I had a strange dream last night darling,” I said as I kissed her photograph, “It was all about wartime Felixstowe, then ended with one of the large container ships coming into port.” As I went to kiss her again a tear dropped down onto her face… she smiled as if to say thank you. “I love you,” I said as I kissed her again.

In loving memory of June Blackmore.

Local People

A Family of Litter-Pickers

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This lovely Felixstowe lady, Nina Danells, tells us how she started litter-picking and why her family loved to get involved too...

Myself, hubby to be Gav and son Tobe’s are all outdoors people. We love to camp and taking walks in our beautiful countryside. Taking good care of it anyway we can is a big thing for us. Whether it’s simply recycling at home or reusing items so not to buy again or using plastic free products to help the environment. We heard about Litter-Free Felixstowe from fellow committee member Sue Lewis, of 356 Felixstowe Air Cadets. Sue told us that she had joined up and while talking with Sue she explained that because my son, Tobes, is a cadet at 356 Air Cadets and currently doing his Duke of Edinburgh Award with them that the litter pick would also go towards the volunteer part of it. So for my son there was a double reason to do the litter pick, but for myself and Gav it would be another excuse for a family walk in our local area and the bonus of being able to help clean it up a little. 

We went to Trimley foreshore and within 25 minutes we had collected over 6kg of rubbish! This included anything from disposal BBQ’s, glass bottles, toilet rolls, underwear and even needles. 

There were two areas where it was clear it had become somewhat a playground and the fun thing to do is to stand at the top of the foreshore cliff and throw glass bottles down onto the stones to smash. I made sure I took pictures of this location so to warn others and dog walkers like ourselves to be mindful. 

Being part of this Litter-Free Felixstowe group is wonderful and I would encourage anyone young or old to join in, as it really has brought the community together and is hopefully making people stop and think before dropping their litter as the group has become more public. 

While we were on the foreshore we received quite a few positive comments from passers-by such as “thanks for doing this”. So already we hope these people are talking about it and pass it on. The way our family sees it, is wherever you go if you bring it with you then you take it home with you too. It really is that simple.  

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Local People

Joan’s Blog: 16th July 2020, Walk 75 with Wynnie

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Today was the day of the walk. Joan is an incredible 101-year-old Felixstowe legend who did her bit as an NHS worker. Today, 102-year-old Wynnie, also from Felixstowe, joined Joan in her 75th walk! The atmosphere was amazing. So many cheerful, excited faces to see Joan and Wynnie go around Allenby park from 2pm this afternoon. Covered by the press, radio stations and more, the wind blew gently – a nice, calming breeze. We all take photos with the bunting at the entrance of the park. Joan and Wynnie began to go around the park. Joan in front walking and Wynnie behind. We all walked with Joan and Wynnie, intrigued, asking questions and snapping photographs of this amazing event. So many supporters and such positive energy – everyone was so lovely. It’s inspiring seeing how such an event can bring everyone together and how keen people are to raise money.

Today was a huge success and well done to Joan and Wynnie – absolute stars! ⭐ We hope this inspires many more to do this too as it’s a fantastic way to raise money for such phenomenal causes. And now for Joan’s daughter, Diane, to share her daily poem…

Add a Joan to a Wynnie

And the answer’s 2-0-3.

In ten weeks more,

The answer’s 2-0-4.

Oh dear, what can the matter be?

Two ‘over-one-hundreds’ got a bit chattery.

Rob, radio presenter, was being quite flattery,

They didn’t notice him there!

What an honour to have 102-year-old, Wynnie Dunger join Joan on her walk, and the media and news reporters she attracted. Thank you to Rob Dunger for his support, and Mayor, Mark Jepson too. Thank you to everyone who has donated as a result of today’s media coverage.

With love, Diane.

To help Joan fundraise for the NHS, click here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Diane-Rich1 

*Article written by the lovely Emily Cheeseman.

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Local People

Joan’s Blog: 14th July 2020, Walk 73

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By now, many of you would have heard of this incredible 101 year old local legend, Joan. Joan did her bit as an NHS worker, first in Hillingdon Hospital in the 1950s, then in Felixstowe General Hospital as an auxiliary nurse in the outpatient department from 1964 until her retirement in 1978. Forty-two years after leaving Felixstowe General Hospital, Joan walks around Allenby Park to raise money for them. Her goal is to make 102 laps before her upcoming 102nd birthday! She remembers going there to retrieve patients who had gone to sit in the cool and calm of the park, and now she is on duty again. This time there are no patients to gather, just birds singing, children playing, dog walkers with their beasties, picnickers relaxing on the grass, footballers, and friendly neighbours too. Every day Joan’s daughter will be giving us a little update. This one includes our lovely Emily from The Felixstowe Magazine who went about to interview Joan and Diane. Here’s the blog and soon to follow will be the lovely Joan and Diane in their filmed interview…

Rain in the night.

Rose petals lose their grip,

Slip.

Strewn like wet confetti memories of a yesterday’s wedding.

Tiny clods clinging.

Joan’s wheels push forwards through park histories, never washed away.

Park friends,

Park children,

Park unknowns,

Long buried.

Their ghost voices rise to urge the more than one hundred heroes on, on, on.

Keep going Joan.

Keep going all.

Thank you to everyone who has donated and supported Joan. THANK YOU. Thank you to Colouring Heroes for their posters and good wishes to Joan.

With love,

Diane (Joan’s daughter)

To help Joan fundraise for the NHS, click here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Diane-Rich1 

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