Dame Vera Lynn celebrates her 100th birthday today. She lives in Ditchling, Sussex and is still going strong. I wrote about her last year (see link below) and have little to add except to wish her well and thank her for stopping the British National Party from using her famous White Cliffs of Dover song to promote their message. The white in the song is from the colour on the cliffs not of anyone’s skin. The song will certainly appear in the album of her songs to be released shortly together with the other one I sometimes put on at the end of a long tour: We’ll Meet Again. She will probably beat her own record of being by the oldest person to have a number one hit, last achieved when she was ninety-two. Happy birthday, Dame Vera.
For more on Vera Lynn go to: http://diaryofatouristguide.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/the-original-essex-girl.html
A DOUBLE CENTURY
Dame Vera was always a reassuring and uncontroversial figure. Jane Austen, however, could be quite spiky. Only forty-one when she died 200 years ago, she was buried in Winchester Cathedral thanks to her brother’s influence, although he neglected to mention in her epitaph that she wrote some of the best loved books in the English language such as Pride and Prejudice and Emma. I have written about her in my other blog and she will be remembered soon on the new plastic ten-pound note. (More on money in a future post.)
Jane Austen is a much loved figure around the world, one of those people you can guarantee most of the group will have heard of, if only because her stories have been adapted into films and television series so often, so guides should have at least a passing familiarity with her work. I love her books and have read them all six so I can call myself a ‘Janeite’.
For more on Jane Austen go to my other blog: http://menfriday.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/lady-jane.html
AND AN ANNIVERSARY
As we are celebrating famous women this week we should remember Jo Cox, who was murdered by a far right maniac just over a year ago. I must admit that I was not aware of her before she was shot but she seemed to be the epitome of a good Member of Parliament. She was in touch with the people in the area she represented and was one of them. She combined being a wife and mother with her work as an MP and there was no touch of scandal or greed attached to her. She even cycled to the Palace of Westminster every day from her houseboat on the River Thames. (I always point these out if we are going along the embankment.) You can contribute to a charitable fund in Jo’s memory at: www.jocoxfoundation.org