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Comment, Opinion, Argument - whatever. Letters intended for publication will appear on this page.
The ideal channel of communication is via the reply page but good old fashioned paper copy to
myself will be equally as welcome.
    So pen to paper Ladies and Gentlemen.

ALL CORRESPONDENCE VIA THE RESPONSE PAGE COMES DIRECTLY TO ME AND IS A SECURE CHANNEL OF COMMUNICATION.
I WILL FORWARD YOUR COMMENTS, ENQUIRIES OR REQUESTS THROUGH THE APPROPRIATE CHANNEL
Barrie Davies

 

 

25th October 2013

Letter from John Murray

Dear All

I am at last in communication with the outside world except for temporary blackouts of my mobile, which is apparently usual for Norfolk, after about a month of silence.

I am living on the edge of a small village 3 miles from Norwich. The cottage is minute and more than half of my belongings are in a container on an industrial site and in a garden shed. The beds would not go up the stairs so I had to rush to John Lewis to buy a pre packed bed which took me six hours to assemble.. There is one small all purpose shop run by Sri Lankan Tamils. It only opened a short time ago and one hopes it will last

My daughter Grainne has saved me a great deal of trouble and kept an eye out for impending disasters. She has also been invaluable in advising me about houses to buy (you would not like it there Dad!) I have still managed to see several dreary bungalows.

Fortunately when things seemed very dreary I went down on a prearranged trip to the Pyrenees for two weeks under a very warm sun which did wonders for my morale

Here are my contact sites;

Tithe Cottage
39 Norwich Rd
Stoke holy Cross
Norwich NR14 8AB

Tel 01508218735
Mobile 07754154886

 

 

3rd December 2012

Letter received via website.

I regret to inform you of the passing of my father Mr G P Rau FRCS (Ed) who worked in KGH in the 1970s. He was 80 and died of complications of autoimmune vasculitis. He was a contemporary of Mr Laljee, Mr Tooms, Mr Gibbins and Mr Gillison. He is survived by his wife, Mrs Vijaylakshmi Rao, FRCOG who also worked at KGH and son , G S A Rao FRCS (Ed), MCh (Orth) who also worked at KGH in 1989 / 1990

 

January 2012

Kidderminster PGMC Trustees Report for 2010/11

Dear Colleagues,

Accounts for the year ending 4th April 2011 confirmed a balance of £164,789, up from £157,317 in 2009/10 and the details revealed that the Trustís income apparently improved from £8,620 in 2010 to £13,761. However, this total included the £7,000 transferred from the Medical Society general accounts last December. This means that the net income from our investment in the Britannia Building Society has actually fallen from £8,402 in 2010 to £6,761 and that we have been left with an excess of income over expenditure of only £472.

The Britannia 2 year bond paying 4% per annum, matured in December and it seems very likely that the return on any further bond will fall to nearer 3% per annum. Thus, our income will almost certainly decline to around £4,500 a year and this means that if we are to continue the current level of bursary awards we will have to dip into the capital sum to a modest degree. This is, in fact, our intention and we trust that this approach will meet with the approval of the Society.

To date we have continued to fund two £3,000 bursaries each year. One of these remains allocated to Birmingham University Medical School and their bursary for 2010/11 was awarded to a graduate-entry student on their 5 year programme. Unfortunately, I now have to report that, due to an oversight in the Medical School, the award process for this student was never completed. Mike Gammage, the Vice Dean, has since apologised for the confusion and has assured us that they remain most grateful for the continued interest and support of our Society.

The second £3,000 bursary for 20010/11 was again advertised on the Societyís website and by poster in the Education Centre. We were also able to contact all the other 14 universities in the UK which offer a graduate-entry medicine course and last year these various approaches attracted a total of eleven applications. Ten of these applicants were undertaking graduate-entry medicine courses, two of whom had connections to the Wyre Forest area. The eleventh was a retired local GP who was seeking help in funding a 2 year research project . We chose Robyn Hill ,one of the two applicants educated locally, who is in fact on a five year medicine course because her degree in Archaeology and Anthropology from Jesus College, Cambridge did not allow her exemption from the first year of study. Robyn has now completed the first year and has subsequently written to express her gratitude to the Society for the bursary award. The report of her first year has lately been posted on the KMS website and makes interesting reading.

For the academic year which commenced last September, Birmingham Medical School have recommended a candidate, Lara Reilly, who was educated in Worcester, and your Trustees met at the end of November to consider applications from three more graduates for the second bursary. I can now confirm that we chose to make the award to Robyn Hill for a second, and final, year. This is because she had submitted a detailed financial case and, in addition, neither of the other two candidates had any strong local connections.

In conclusion, I can report that the Trusteesí management of the Societyís investments and awards was once again approved by those present at the AGM in November. However, do still feel free to get in touch if you have any other observations with regard to these matters.

Best wishes,

Martin Lewis,

Chairman of Trustees.

 

 

December 2010.

Letter from Martin Lewis - Trustees Report

Dear Colleagues,

Kidderminster PGMC Trustees Report for 2009/10

Accounts for the year ending 4th April 2010 confirm a balance of £157,317, up from £154,982 in 2008/9, and the details reveal that the Trustís income improved from £4,245 in 2009 to £8,432. These results reversed the trend reported last year and mean that we ended the year with an excess of income over expenditure of £2,334.77.

The Britannia bond, which produced these favourable returns, matured last Autumn and your Trustees subsequently reinvested £145,000 in a new two year Britannia bond which pays 4% per annum and, thus, achieves an income of marginally under £6,000 a year. This relatively poor return will tip us into a negative balance once again with a modest excess of expenditure over income if we continue the current level of bursary payments. This is, in fact, our intention and we trust that this approach meets with the approval of the Society.

Thus, we have continued to fund two £3,000 bursaries each year. One of these remains allocated to Birmingham University Medical School and their bursary for 2009/10 was awarded to Gemma Plant, a graduate-entry student. Some of us were lucky enough to meet Gemma at the Annual Dinner a month or two ago. She has since written to express her gratitude to the Society for the bursary award and the report of her first year of study has now been posted on the KMS website.

The second £3,000 bursary for 2009/10 was again advertised on the Societyís website and by poster in the Education Centre. We were also able to contact all the other 14 universities in the UK which offer a graduate-entry medicine course and these various approaches attracted a total of nine applications. Eight of these applicants were undertaking graduate-entry medicine courses, none with any significant connection to the Wyre Forest area. The ninth was the son of a local GP in the second year of a Masters Degree in Trauma Surgery. We chose the orthopaedic registrar, who is due to complete a Trauma Fellowship in South Africa at the end of the year. He has then undertaken to submit a comprehensive report of his experiences which will be posted on the website in due course.

For the academic year which commenced this September, Birmingham Medical School will again be selecting their candidate, although the details are not yet finalised, and the Trustees met earlier this week to consider applications from eleven more graduates for the second bursary. Ten of these are medical students in their first year, two of whom have fairly strong educational and in one case, residential connections to Wyre Forest. The eleventh is a trustee of Kemp Hospice seeking funding for two research projects.

I can now report that we decided to award the second bursary to Robyn Hill. She was educated at Bewdley High School and Sixth Form Centre and graduated from Jesus College, Cambridge in 2006. She has now embarked on her medicine course at the University of East Anglia. I can also report that the Trusteesí management of the Societyís investments and awards was again approved by those present at the AGM. However, I would like to reiterate that we would always be prepared to hear from other members with contrary opinions.

Best wishes,

Martin Lewis
Chairman of Trustees.

 

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Letter from Gary Parsons - to Website Editor

January 2010

Dear Barrie,

Thanks very much also for your continued maintenance of  the website..
 
I am intending to write  an article for the website encouraging participation and I will of course promote the newsletter / request for editors etc . I agree with Paul's comments about the changing way that we work, geography etc and no doubt we will not be able to turn the clock back 20 years but I've started by having a damn good go at encouraging members that I know and meet to get involved.  I worked hard with Carmen and think its quite a result to get 50 people going to the Opera. No doubt Paul has let you know about John Robinson's giving a talk on 29/01/10 at the post grad centre. I have managed to get a few members who hardly ever come to events to come along!!
 
In the article I will mention all of the events for the year - we already have a date for the annual dinner - 25/09/10 at Rock Village hall. Paul is organising an event at 'Go Ape' in the Wyre forest for the younger members and silverbacks who dare.. family members not old enough or inclined to get involved  will be able to walk / use cycle tracks / picnic.  I am rather busy for the rest of this week but hope to produce something after that.
 
Personally, I feel the Medical Society is the most important remaining route to meet with new colleagues in the Wyre Forest and it needs to be pushed hard. A thriving medical community can only benefit us all and the lot of our patients. You are probably aware that Alan Bennett is Vice President this year. Chris Gait remains treasurer and Sally secretary.
 
Well you and Isobel are well off in Cyprus at the moment - we have had to leave our cars 1 mile away on the main road as we have been snowed in in Bliss gate. I was envious to hear of temperatures of 24 - we have had -22 in Scotland!
 

Hope you are both well

Gary Parsons

 

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December 2009

Dear Colleagues,

Kidderminster PGMC Trustees Report for 2008/9.

Accounts for the year ending 4th April 2009 confirm a balance of

£154,982.23, down marginally from £156,937.22 in 2007/8 and the details reveal that there has been a sharp fall in income from £11,469 in 2007/8 to £4,245. This is obviously the result of a marked decline in interest rates on the Societyís investments and it follows that we ended the year with an excess of expenditure over income of £1,954.99.

Despite the fall in the Trust investment income, the Trustees have agreed to continue to fund two £3,000 bursaries per annum . One of these remains allocated to Birmingham University Medical School and their bursary for 2008/9 was awarded to Helen Dale from Wolverhampton. Some of us were lucky enough to meet Helen at the Annual Dinner last month and she was anxious to stress how fortunate she felt to have had this financial support in the first year of her course.

Initially, the £3,085 annual bursary to Birmingham Medical School was made for a period of three years and is due to end after the 2009/10 academic year. The Trustees have now resolved to extend this award at the same value for another three years, i.e. from 20010/11 to 2012/13 and we hope that this decision will have general approval within the Society. We trust that Birmingham will still consider a first year graduate-entry medical student a suitable recipient, preferably one with some connection to the Wyre Forest area. However, we have stated that we are happy to leave the selection of the candidate to their discretion.

The second £3,000 bursary for 2008/9 was again advertised on the Societyís website and by poster in this Education Centre. We were also able to contact all the other 14 universities in the UK which offer a graduate-entry medicine course and from the ten applications received, we decided to award the bursary to Leila Bassir, a graduate-entry medical student at Swansea University, born and educated in Stourport. Leila has now completed the first year of her course and has sent me a detailed report of her progress to date which was recently published on this website. Suffice it to say that she has achieved very satisfactory examination results and is extremely appreciative of the Societyís support.

 

For the academic year commencing this September, the Birmingham Medical School have again selected a young lady, Gemma Plant, for their bursary and the Trustees met last week to consider applications from ten more graduates for the second bursary. Nine of these are undertaking graduate-entry medicine courses and the 10th is the son of a local GP studying for a Masters Degree in Trauma Surgery.

I can now report that we chose the orthopaedic registrar in the second year of his Msc course who has strong personal and family connections to Wyre Forest. Overall, I am pleased to say that the general direction of the Trustees management of the Societyís investments and awards was again accepted by those present at the AGM last month. However, I can assure you that would always be prepared to hear from other members with contrary opinions.

Best wishes,

Martin Lewis
Chairman of Trustees.

 

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Letter from Martin Lewis - Trustees Report

December 2008

Dear Colleagues,

Kidderminster PGMC Trustees Report for 2007/8

The accounts for the year ending 4th April 2008 confirmed a balance of £156,937.22 up from £148,753.20 in 2006/7. This represented an excess of income over expenditure of £8,184.02, a slightly higher figure than expected due to the interest paid early on the closure of one or two accounts, and the £400 merger bonus from the Nationwide take over of the Portman Building Society (full details of the accounts available on request).

You will recall that in the last year or two it has been decided to use the income from our investments to fund two £3,000 bursaries. One of these has been allocated to Birmingham University Medical School and, for the 2007/8 academic year, we agreed with their choice of a postgraduate student born and educated in Kidderminster. She had been selected for the graduate-entry medicine course and at the end of her first year she reports a successful outcome to her examinations. She has also written to thank the Society for our financial help in her first year and to wish us well in the future.

I can also report that for the 2008/9 academic year, Birmingham have again selected a graduate-entry medical student, educated at King Edward IV College, Stourbridge, for a first year bursary award.

As I reported in my communication to the Society dated May 2008, the second £3,000 bursary for 2007/8 was awarded to a girl born and educated in Bewdley who had been accepted for a graduate-entry medicine course at Liverpool. You will be aware that graduate-entry students are unable to access any NHS funding in their first year and, therefore, the Trustees felt that she was the most appropriate recipient for our second bursary. We hope that the members of the Society approve this choice and can report that she has had a successful first year and has again written to thank us very much for our assistance.

This second bursary has been advertised for 2008/9, not only locally, but also by contacting all the other fourteen universities in the UK which offer a graduate-entry medicine course, and the Trustees met last week to consider the ten applications which had been received. These had included seven students on first year graduate-entry medicine courses, one of whom was born and educated in Stourport. The eighth was a locally born and educated junior doctor due to study for a Masters Degree in Trauma Surgery, and the ninth, a local salaried GP accepted to study for a Dermatology Diploma in Cardiff. The last applicant was a 4th year medical student, born and educated in Kidderminster, who had commenced a one year Masters of Research in Medical Science at Manchester.

I can now report that your Trustees chose the graduate-entry medical student from Stourport for the second bursary award because of a clear cut financial need in her first year of study. Overall, the general direction of the Trustees deliberations and awards appeared to be accepted by those present at the AGM last month. However, we would always be happy to hear from other members with contrary opinions.

Best wishes,

Martin Lewis
(Chairman of Trustees)

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Letter from Martin Lewis regarding Bursary

24th May 2008

Dear Colleagues,

                            Re: KMS Postgraduate Bursary Awards

This communication is an update to my letter reproduced on the website last November.
The bursary awards agreed by the Trustees for the 2007/8 academic year have been as follows: -

  1. The £3,085 allocated to Birmingham Medical School has been awarded to a young lady born and educated in Kidderminster. She is undertaking the graduate-entry accelerated course in medicine and students on this scheme have no access to financial support in their first year.
  1. The second £3,000 bursary has been awarded to another graduate-entry medical student in her first year at Liverpool Medical School. She is a resident of Bewdley and also locally educated.

For the 2008/9 academic year the Birmingham Medical School have proposed making their award to a graduate-entry student from Stourbridge and our Trustees will meet again in November to allocate the other £3,000 bursary. In the meantime we have extended the deadline for applications to the end of September and have redrafted the advertisements accordingly. These will be posted on the website and in the Education Centre. We have also informed the other fourteen medical schools in the UK with graduate-entry courses and should be in a position to outline the applications received by the date of the Societyís AGM in the Autumn.

Best wishes,

Martin Lewis  (Chairman of Trustees)

 

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Letter from Raji Ramaraj

24th May 2008

I am writing on behalf of my dad who worked in kidderminster in the 1970 s as a surgical registrar to Mr Gibbins. I remember him mentioning that he worked with Mr Gillison as well during this period. My father ( Dr S Ramaraj) left Kidderminster in the 1980 I think to work in Stourbridge ( I was only 3 then) and subsequently went back to India in 1984 to establish his surgical practice in south India. Unfortunately he passed away quite suddenly in 2006, he was 65. My mother 'Thava' is in India along with  my 2 sisters. Myself and my 2nd sister are doctors in the UK. Daddy always used talk to us fondly of his surgical adventures in Kidderminster. I am following dads footsteps in the medical field and am training to be a medical gastroenterologist.

Raji Ramaraj

Dr Ramaraj,
2 weeks before his death

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LETTER FROM DICK HERBERT


12th April 2008

Greetings to All.

Retirement nearly 10 yrs on. Christine Smith's article about her grandchildren spurred me on to write briefly about my last 10 years since I left Northumberland House Surgery.  I did not fully retire and carried on doing locum GP sessions at Cleobury and Chaddesley in addition to my regular anaesthetic sessions at KGH which came to an end in 2006.
 

I started cello lessons again and now have a full musical life playing in the Wyre Forest Symphony Orchestra and West Midlands Light orchestra (Big band with a string section). I also play in a quartet led by Dr Ruth Lillie (aged 92+), Pam Ball (82+) and a second violin about my age (young!). Pam keeps us in order and when we go on courses to be coached by professional quartets, she is up early practising at 7am while we sleep.
 
I still practise immediate care belonging to the Mercia Accident Resue Service attending serious accidents when asked by the ambulance service. The rest of the team are much younger, several from the Hereford SAS camp either current officers or now civilian practitioners. The Worcestershire end is less military!

Best Wishes

Dick Herbert

 

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LETTER FROM JOHN PARKER

14th February 2008

Hello Hilary,

 
Thanks for the paper copy of the Med Soc Journal.  I'm afraid I am a bit old fashioned and still prefer it (although I did use the electronic version).
Congratulations to Barry for all the work he does.
 
We are still down in Hordle but hoping to move back to the West Midlands as soon as we find a suitable house.  Might even come one of your meetings when we are nearer.
 
Sorry I haven't supplied any material for rather a long time. Haven't done much that is newsworthy.  Did some teaching in Albania (third visit) last
spring and will doubtless return.  Hoping to go back to Nepal to do a locum in the Autumn, - should have gone in March but house hunting (so far
unsuccessful ) and the prospect of a move meant a deferment.  Jus as well really, - have just discovered that I have an un united # of neck of my
radius, left fortunately. Had a fall a few months ago which hurt a bit, not much, but failed to settle down.  So much for my orthopaedic skills, (and I
used to do the A and E).  Better not tell anybody....  Most embarrassing. Will have to have surgery.  Perhaps an Update course is needed?
 
Anyway, best wishes to everybody.
 

John Parker

 

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Letter from Martin Lewis (concerning Medical Society Bursaries)

22nd November 2007

Dear Colleagues,

We discussed the Trustee Accounts at the Society AGM last Thursday.  There seemed to be general agreement that we should endeavour to maximise revenue but conserve the basic level of our reserves.  Currently the net income from our Trust funds is just over £6,000 a year and members generally approved the bursary expenditure of £3,085 per annum through Birmingham Medical School.  This outlay leaves around £3,000 per year to be allocated to another project and various options were discussed.

1.  Ashok Rai again outlined his request for support in the region of £3,000 per annum for 3 years towards the establishment of a clinical musculo-skeletal research fellow attached to the University of Worcester with clinical links to the Worcestershire Hospitals, including Kidderminster.  The meeting gave general support to this application but agreed that other bids should be sought over the next month or two before the Trustees make a final decision on this award.

2.   It was suggested that there might well be more postgraduate students with links to Wyre Forest planning to apply to other medical schools in the U.K. for entry to the shortened undergraduate conversion course who would also benefit from a £3,000 bursary, particularly to cover the tuition fees in the first year of study.  These individuals could perhaps be attracted to apply for our bursary via some publicity in the local papers.

3.  It was also agreed that we might seek applicants for a £3,000 per annum bursary from all disciplines who use the Kidderminster educational facility, and I have attached a draft notice which I thought might be displayed in the Centre, as well as being featured on the Society website.

I trust that Wendy and Sally who also attended the AGM are in agreement with the general thrust of our discussions as outlined above.  I would also be grateful for any observations from you all with regard to the proposals set out in this email, or any other suggestions as to how the availability of an additional bursary of around £3,000 per annum should be advertised.  I would appreciate your responses within the next week or so and please let me know if you feel that we should hold another Trustees meeting in the near future to discuss these matters in more detail.

Kind regards to you all

Martin Lewis

 

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Letter from Miss Claire Baker (to Martin Lewis, Chairman of Trustees)

29th October 2007

Dear Dr Lewis,

I am writing to thank you very much for awarding me the Postgraduate Bursary from the Kidderminster medical Society.

I was informed of the astonishing news today by Dr Stephen Gower. The money will go a long way in helping me through my studies this year, contributing significantly if not entirely to my tuition fees.

I was born and brought up in Kidderminster and my family still reside there. I attended St George's First School, Sladen Middle School and Holy Trinity School. I did an undergraduate degree in medical science at the University of Birmingham, graduating with first class honours in 2005.

Following graduation, I spent two years in academic research. One year at the institute for cancer studies at the University of Birmingham working for Dr Tatjana Stankovic on chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. The second year was spent working at the MRC Toxicology Unit based at the University of Leicester. I worked with Prof. Ian Forsythe investigating potassium currents in the auditory brainstem.

O have now returned to the University of Birmingham to study graduate entry medicine. Although the course is very intensive I relish the challenge that lies ahead.

Once again, thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,

Claire Baker

 

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Letter from Walford Gillison  (via the website response page)

August 2007

This is a knee-jerk response to Barrie's reprimand.
 

Yes, the new format is appreciated and I hope at this eleventh hour the electronic version survives.
We have a little news that may be of interest to a one or two people, nothing rivetting I'm afraid.
 
Sue and I, like so many others, thoroughly enjoyed our later professional lifetimes working with both hsospital and general practice colleagues for about 24 years, and for example will never forget the camaraderie that was always to be found at Monday lunchtimes in the old P.G. Centre.
 
On the domestic front, having had three terrific daughters we now are the proud grandparents of three grandsons. They are exhausting and great fun at the same time, and the majority of you know more than we do on this subject!
 
Sue finally retired as a district paediatric physio last year and now is a fully trained C.A.B  advisor working as a volunteer on Mondays in Taunton. She confirms much of the advice and practical help that is needed is on debt management. It is amazing how many people with limited resources expect to have holidays, cars and designer clothes as well as go to exotic holiday places like the so-called "celebrities" that are common knowledge from the tabloids.
 
I have just finished and published a book that I have wanted to produce for at least 30 years but never had the time, while in Kidderminster. To get down to it. I was fortunate to get bright people like John Murray and experts from the U.K., France, Netherlands as well as the U.S. to contribute the 16 chapters in this book called "Pioneers in Surgical Gastroenterology". It is essentially a history of the people who got surgeons in this field to where we are today. Thanks to some support from U.S. Ethicon we managed to get over 200 portraits and illustrations into the book which should enable people to use for presentations in the future, like Johannes Brahm's friend Billroth as well as some pioneers (not all surgeons) who are still alive today. I hope by now there is a copy in the Post-Garduate library so no-one is obliged to spend any money!
 
Enough said.I recommend reading Richard Taylor's contributions from Parliament in his web-site, which as you expect are both interesting and infomative showing how young 72 year-olds like him can still keep working for others as always.
 

Best wishes to all who can still remember us!

 

Walford Gillison.
(KGH 1973-1996).

 

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Letter from Lucien Gunaratne in Sri Lanka

Dr Lucian Weliwita - Gunaratne                               Waters Reach
MBBS (Cey)   FRCS (Eng)                                      40 North Lake Road
( now in total retirement)                                                        Kurunegala
                                                                               Sri Lanka        60000

August 2007

Hello Dr Boyle,

 This is Mr Gunaratne's younger daughter Chintra e-mailing you from "Waters Reach", Kurunegala.  At last I have bought a Notebook and printer etc.  So, from now on you can send the Kidderminster Medical Society Newsletters straight to our home -  my email address is:                                       

 chintrawg@gmail.com                                                                          

We look forward to having news of Kiddy.  I hope this finds you well.  My parents and I are keeping fine.  Here in Kurunegala we have had very little rain and the lake is getting empty. The last good shower we had was in Mid June when it rained for about 2 hours.  It does try to rain and we had a few drops of rain these past few days but it does not last for more than 10 seconds or so!  Most peculiar!

We did see all the flooding in UK on BBC World and CNN.  I hope the weather in Kidderminster has improved.  I spoke to a friend of ours who lives on Comberton Hill and she said it ws raining and the wind was quite cold - that was last Saturday I think.

This is all the news for now.  Do you have Skype by any chance?  I do and my Skype name is chintra007.  I'm sure that you are aware that Skype to skype calls are free.  If you do have it, please let me know your Skype name and I shall then try and put dad on the screen for you!

Bye for now,

                                  With Best Wishes,                                     

Chintra  (W-G.)

(PP Lucien  Weliwita - Gunaratne)      

 

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