This editorial bemoans the loss of David Sheppard, the cricketing vicar, and welcomes the approach of spring. But finally, Ray has a rant at decisions which prevent the flying of St George's flag on 23 April; he will, whatever!
I suppose that very few people of my generation could start this months editorial without some reference to David Sheppard who died at the beginning of March. I still have the most treasured memories of his elegance as an opening batsman and captain of the England test side in the early 1950's. He made his test debut against the West Indies in 1950. He scored 2000 runs each season from 1951 to 1953 making 24 hundreds. He topped the national averages in 1952, his year as Cambridge captain. In 1953 he captained Sussex and almost won the county championship.
David Sheppard was ordained in 1955 a few months before he scored 113 runs to help build the platform for that wonderful bowling performance by Jim Laker against Australia when he took 19 wickets in the test match at Old Trafford. He served as Bishop of Liverpool from 1975 to 1997, when he retired through ill health.
Another sad note is much closer to home. The announcement last month that The Geoff Allen wood yard was to close came as a shock to many. The Allen family have had an enormous influence on our community for the past 40 odd years; the closure of the wood yard and the departure of the Allen family will be great losses to Stoke Ferry. We wish them well in their new life.
By the time you read this, the wintry weather of early March should be well behind us. We were lucky in the Wissey community in that the snow didn't lie for very long (much to the disappointment of a certain lady who works in The Corner Shop!) But even where the snow did linger a while, political correctness prevented the kids having any fun with snow balls or even the making of angels . One school only permitted snowball fights between pupils who were a minimum of 65 metres apart; I ask you, where's the fun in that?
Council tenants in our community will be well aware that the transfer of Council Housing stock to the Freebridge Community Housing Association is moving forward apace. A ballot amongst tenants won a resounding vote of approval and the transfer is likely to take place in October of this year. This will be good news for all tenants who at long last will have their homes brought up to the minimum standards defined by the government. No doubt there will be some initial teething problems but these could be greatly eased if the Council can appoint street wardens to help resolve any problems being encountered by tenants. If you are willing to act as a street warden, do contact Rita O'Donnell , the Tenants Participation Offer at the King's Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council (01553 616393).
I have just read in the national press that one London borough has forbidden the flying of the national flag of England on St George's Day on the grounds that it would be divisive! The very same borough did permit the flying of the Israeli flag on their national day and the Irish flag on St Patrick's Day. Can some one please tell me why proclaiming your English nationality in an English city is divisive? I for one will fly my St George's cross with pride on 23rd April.