Jan Leeming Blog

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.

 

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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

VETERANS' HORTICULTURAL REHAB, SOCIAL & COMMUNITY CENTRE - APPEAL

Date: 20th September 2021

THIS IS THE FULL STORY.  

Ex- military or from a Military family, please think of a donation.  If you are unable to donate, please pass on the message. 

THE PRINCESS OF WALES’S ROYAL REGIMENT
The County Regiment of Surrey, Kent, Sussex, Middlesex and Hampshire
Colonel in Chief: Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark?Charity Number 1024418
?VETERANS’ HORTICULTURAL REHABILITATION, SOCIAL AND COMMUNITY CENTRE

Introduction
Regrettably, the Regiment has seen a marked increase in the number of mental health cases (some sadly have resulted in suicide – six since 2018), as well as receiving an increased number of veterans requesting assistance. We researched ways in which we could support veterans and believe that the use of horticulture, tied into social and community would be the most effective. The Queen’s Regimental Association (QRA), a forebear regiment of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (PWRR), requested from the Trustees of the PWRR Benevolent Fund (PWRRBF) an investment to purchase a plot of land to establish a ‘Veterans’ Horticultural Rehabilitation, Social and Community Centre’ near Faversham. The investment will be to the benefit of the wider Regimental family but, in the immediate future, of the Queen’s Regiment Riders Association (QRRA) which has volunteered to take the QRA lead on the project. This project was approved by the Trustees in May 2019 and the land was purchased. The project has won the backing of the Armed Forces Covenant Fund.

The horticultural side of the initiative (a proven way to help in dealing with mental health problems) has been supported by local farmers, one of whom purchased a section of land enabling us to complete the purchase. To date over 300 trees and shrubs have been planted with another 400 to go. The social and community element will be developed using the QRRA as the base providing a place where veterans can meet, exchange stories of their service and still feel part of the regimental family while also engaging with the local community.

This project directly supports the aims of the Regiment’s Benevolent Fund: ‘To relieve hardship or distress of former and serving members of the Regiment or former members of the forebear regiments and their dependents’.

Purchase of land and planning
The purchase of the land is now complete, and the planning has been supported by local residents and approved by Swale Borough Council.

The Build
The QRRA have sufficient construction expertise within the branch to erect the building and indeed the construction of the building is seen as part of the project. The build has continued throughout the pandemic and great progress has been made and the roof is about to be put on

Costs
Around a £210K are calculated to be needed in materials. It is intended that as this will be a self-build that there will be minimal labour costs. To date £130K has already been raised but we need to raise a further £80K to complete the build start to work with the veterans who need our help. Any offer of assistance either in sponsorship or provision of materials would be most gratefully received and acknowledged when the Centre is completed. Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/pwrr-veterans-rehabilitation-social-and-community-centre

Contact Details
For further details please contact:
Major (Retd) Alasdair Goulden
Project Manager ?Email: queensregimentassociation@gmail.com
Tel: 0771 484 4069

 

THANK YOU FOR ANY HELP YOU ARE ABLE TO GIVE
 

VETERANS' HORTICULTURAL REHAB, SOCIAL & COMMUNITY CENTRE - APPEAL

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


PEN FARTHING & NOWZAD - THE FACTS not the Fictionalized journalism

Date: 20th September 2021

NOWZAD - PEN-PAUL FARTHING

FACTS not the Fiction perpetrated by Journalists.

Here are the basic, accurate, unvarnished facts.

Pen is a retired Royal Marine Commando. He and other marines were on duty and happened to break up some dog fights organised by Afghans. Most of the dogs ran off but one with cut off ears and covered in battle scars followed PEN who adopted him in the village of NOWZAD and thus the Charity was born. In 2004, Pen was demobbed and returned to Afghanistan to set up his Charity originally to look after the strays who’d adopted Marines and provided comfort and companionship to them and also to reunite those he could with their retired service personnel back in the UK. The Clinic developed into a centre vaccinating and neutering and acting as a Training Centre for Trainee Vets.

Pen went to Kabul in March 2021 with Medical Supplies but was trapped there due to Covid.

OPERATION ARK WAS FUNDED ENTIRELY BY DONATION AND HUGE GENEROSITY FROM AMERICAN PHILANTHROPIST SPENCER HABER.

Pen and his team plus the animals were within the Airport Perimeter but were halted by changed requirements issued by the American Government. They had to return to the Sanctuary. On their second attempt the Taliban refused to allow the Afghan staff and their families through the Perimeter Fence.

The Staff begged PEN to continue with the animals.

Some of the dogs were already about to enter the UK to be adopted by their service personnel ‘Owners’ and will be subject to a short period in quarantine because they have the appropriate medical certification- others will be in for longer. Some are ex service dogs or cats from diplomatic staff who had already left Kabul and they will be reunited.

The plane was commercial and Pen offered all the extra seats - over and above his staff - to over 100 Afghans who had clearance but again they were prohibited from entering the Airport.

PEOPLE BEFORE PETS (A headline grabbing piece of journalism) is a load of nonsense. The Hold of the plane was empty and could not be used for Passengers. Holds on Commercial Airlines are only fit to take luggage and freight. This is quite different from Military planes like the Hercules - where their huge bodies are pressurised and take troops - albeit in not very comfortable conditions. (You will have seen pictures of some military planes with Afghan refugees nothing like a Commercial airliner sitting in comfortable seats)

Pen had to take the flight with most of the available seats EMPTY. As for the Animals, they were loaded onto the Aircraft by off duty American servicemen who had nothing to do and offered their help to PEN. No British Military personnel were engaged in the operation.

We could see Pen’s pain at having to leave his staff behind - they begged him to go.

Fortunately Pen’s staff and their families are now at the High Commission in Islamabad waiting for transit to the UK - they escaped overland.

Pen has worked tirelessly and is still having to fight off false accusations appearing in the Press.

Having worked in News as a reporter and Newsreader for several decades I know how easily a story can be altered and how the Press will inevitably seek a ‘Headline Grabber’ - many are simply not bothered with the truth and the facts.

I hope this has gone some way to righting the wrongs aimed at PEN FARTHING and the wonderful work he has done.


Just for the record - his Vets are women who would not have been able to work freely under the Taliban (the same old Taliban, imposing strict Sharia Law, who’ve already put a stop to most of the freedoms and education gained by women over the last 2 decades). These Vets have already been made offers of employment etc here in the UK where they will contribute to a valuable veterinary service.

The charity NOWZAD is still desperately in need of funds for the quarantine etc. of animals brought in on the Commercial Airliner. PLEASE DONATE

Many thanks for reading this and I hope you will spread the word about all the misinformation surrounding Pen Farthing and Nowzad.

Jan xx
 

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


Battle of Britain - Wonderful signed Print for Auction

Date: 15th July 2021

My regular followers will know that I have a soft spot for the Battle of Britain Memorial and all that goes with it.

Discovered the other day that Chaucer Collectables are having an Auction on 21st July with many Prints from that period. One which I’ve seen and which I think is stunning and unique is a Print of a Spitfire and Hurricane with 150 Authentic signatures of Pilots and Air Crew who took part in that historic Battle of Britain from 10th July 1040 - October 31st 1940

I suppose it means a lot to me because I had the honour of meeting and counting as my friends many of the Veterans - sadly now all dead and gone.

I’m not an Auctioneer but am surprised at what I see as the relatively low reserve of £700. I’m sure the price will rise.

Chaucer Collectables have told me they will donate 50% of the Buyer’s Premium to a Charity of my choice and I will name Miracle Missions. It won’t be a huge amount but they are desperate to fund the fencing for their centre which will Assess, Treat and where appropriate fit Disabled Animals with Wheels and Prosthetics. The cost of the fencing is eye watering - £66,000.

If you are interested in the Auction on 21st July. Go to
https://chaucer.atgportals.net/auctions/7875/srchau10366 

Not a brilliant photo but it will give you some idea.  It is the signatures which interest me including that of Bomber Harris.

I'm tempted to bid myself but having posted this information on Twitter and my Website I've probably shot myself in the foot!  But I want the Lot to fetch the best price possible which means more for Miracles Mission.

When I sang the praises on 'Cash in the Attic'  of my Adult Eduction Silversmithing and Jewellery Making Teacher - I couldn't sign up for the next session as the course was fully booked.

Battle of Britain - Wonderful signed Print for Auction

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


RISK ASSESSMENT - SENSIBLE LIVING

Date: 15th July 2021

RISK ASSESSMENT - SENSIBLE LIVING.

The other day I was walking my dogs at The Bay. There was a group of tinies obviously having a day out all lined up by the railings of the Promenade.

My dogs are beautiful and very appealing and there were lots of Oohs and Aahs as we passed. I stopped and offered to let the children pat them.

A very nice teacher stepped in and said they couldn’t touch the dogs because of RISK ASSESSMENT.

I don’t blame or criticise her because she was doing her job but what kind of world are we living in? No wonder children shy away from dogs - are scared - because they’ve never been taught how to approach one.
There are so many Do’s and Don’ts - many absolutely blindingly obvious. Life in itself is a risk and we have to learn to live with all the ups and downs

Today our houses are over sanitised - I don’t mean Bleach for the Loo or cleaning products but all the perfumes and odours we stick around the home which are not doing us any good. Lovely though they are, all the scented candles have the opposite effect from that which we intend.

There’s an increase in Child Asthma and Eczema - it can’t all be down to Pollution. I’m no Medic but we need to be exposed to certain elements in order to strengthen our immunity. Not sure if they still do it but when I was a child we would be exposed to Chicken pox so that we would get it and build up immunity. Chicken pox in children is unpleasant, itchy and inconvenient. It is very serious in an adult.

I could go on but won’t - you know what I’m talking about don’t you.

Sometimes I wonder how oldies like myself actually got to the ages we have - we grew up without all the sanitisation, without all the Risk Assessment, without Air Conditioning and Central Heating; we walked to the Bus stop to catch a bus to school. I see Yummy Mummies driving less than a mile to take their children to school. Apart from in the worst of weather they’d be doing themselves and their offspring a favour to walk.

I attended an incredibly small and pared down ceremony at the Battle of Britain Memorial on Sunday 4th July - 60 of us instead of thousands. (We don’t have the Monetary appeal of a Footie Match or Wimbledon) Most of us were well advanced in years and not one of us was overweight let alone obese - WHY because we were War babies with a very limited diet of good food well produced. We’d no idea what FAST FOOD was - and as for Sweets and Cakes - Sugar was rationed and those goodies were for special occasions. Today I see youngsters walking around scoffing sweets and crisps - continually grazing instead of having proper meals at proper times.

Our diets were set for life in those early and formative years.

The latest News today is that the Government is considering more Sugar Taxes - WRONG. What they should be doing is tackling the root cause of Obesity at the Coal Face - and putting money into the School Curriculum for classes on Nutrition and Cookery Classes for Boys and Girls. It is possible to produce a nutritious meal for 4 for around £10 - a small chicken, potatoes and vegetables. That’s the cost of one Pizza with very little nutritional value.

I know I’m on a soapbox but Diabetes is hugely eating into the NHS Budget and it doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be like that. We have the highest Obesity rate in Europe and a large percentage of our children are overweight and even obese. Just think what that is storing up for them in the future. Apart from having to go on permanent medication there’s danger of amputation and all sorts of nasties associated with the disease. Now we have Magazines featuring Obese and overweight models - this enables those who are overweight to feel that this is quite normal and acceptable. And the problem escalates.

I get annoyed at the number of people who comment ‘It’s all right for you, you are naturally slim’. When in Australia my weight ballooned to almost 10 stones - my weight should be around 8 stones. I spent several years getting that weight off and, apart from having Jonathan, have kept my weight around 8 stones ever since. I get on the Bathroom scales every morning and if I’ve put on a few pounds ( a birthday party or that extra drink or a small piece of cake) I eat accordingly till I’ve shed the weight. Apart from anything else, I couldn’t afford and don’t want a whole new wardrobe.??

I’ll get off my Soapbox now and go to bed - At least I’ve got that lot off my chest.

Night Night all - Stay safe and keep wearing the masks in places where you are in close proximity with others.

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


JEWELLERY CHALLENGE - All that Glitters

Date: 22nd May 2021

I’ve said before that Journalists ‘piggy back’ on the ideas of others.

It’s happened again - a friend sent me this link - and of course I wasn’t approached for my views.  It'a a very emotive accusation - Stolen - hijacked more like.

https://www.professionaljeweller.com/all-that-glitters-jewellery-show-idea-was-stolen-claims-gutted-tv-presenter/

Actually they’ve written a relatively accurate and comprehensive article. What they missed is that, although the programme very closely represents my original concept, my whole idea was that a Challenge - like the Cookery, Pottery, Sewing and Painting Challenges - would be to encourage the viewer at home to say ‘Hey that looks good, perhaps I could try my hand at Jewellery making or Silversmithing’.

With my Concept, Amateur jewellers would have been used - not total beginners obviously - but people who’d reached the stage I did at Adult Education Jewellery Classes. They would have competed for a prize something like a Year’s Apprenticeship with one of the Celebrity Judges. That really would have been exciting to see a Semi-Amateur coached to take up Jewellery Making as a profession - and could have been the subject for another programme.

As it was they had professional jewellers competing for a Trophy - there was no thought to the involvement of the public. The pieces they made were way beyond the ability of an ordinary member of the public embarking upon Jewellery making.

Not only do Adult Education Classes and Classes in general teach a valuable lesson but they also perform a Social Role. I joined up two decades ago because I was actually rather lonely - loved jewellery and Classes served both purposes. I made one friend at the class and he and his wife have remained firm friends ever since.

Having forced myself to watch all six of the All That Glitters programmes they were to me interesting because I know the basics of jewellery creation and as a Competition for a Trophy it certainly filled the bill. I very much doubt the series will have encouraged members of the public to take up the craft - the level of achievement was Highly Professional.

The judges improved as the programmes continued, but I found them rather stiff and stilted and not the fun kind of judges I’d suggested in my initial brief.

And what can I say about the Presenter? Well, I’m only human and can’t imagine why the BBC chose to use a Left Wing Canadian Comedienne who knew damn all about jewellery making.

Having said that, Television companies in general appear to be using Actors and Comedians to front any programme vaguely resembling a Documentary.

They are different arts - an Actor or Comedian usually works to a script - and indeed the All that Glitters Presenter was out of vision for much of the time delivering a Voice Over in that Harsh Accent which anyone could have read. A Presenter/Interviewer researches the subject and then directs meaningful questions at the participants to elicit information about their craft.

I know the first programme in the series received poor reviews and have no idea how it has fared since then or what size of audience it attracted but what saddens me is that if the series didn’t fare well, then ‘Jewellery’ will be a No-No subject for future programming. I can think of almost endless possibilities for programmes revolving around Jewellery down the ages - History; Love; Famous Gems; Famous Collections etc - the list is endless.

It is interesting to remember when I first started out on the road attempting to launch a series on Jewellery Challenge (long before I approached the BBC in 2017) I was turned down and told that Jewellery was Elitist. What absolute rubbish. What woman and indeed more men these days, doesn’t want to have a piece or pieces of gorgeous jewellery.

I did a lot of work on another aspect of Jewellery but I don’t feel much like trying to market it. I don’t have the wherewithal to make a full Pilot programme and have already spent many hundreds on a 3 minute video promoting another aspect of Jewellery

Unfortunately I don’t have the funds or friends in high places and have explained in a previous Blog that trying to get an idea further than the drawing board is almost impossible. There are hundreds of Production Companies and each time you approach one, you leave yourself open to Plagiarism because it is impossible to Patent an Idea.

GOW (GRUMPY OLD - definitely not rich - WOMAN)

Stay Safe - Jan xx

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


CELEBRITY MESSAGES - CELEBVm

Date: 19th May 2021

When visiting some lovely friends recently, they had as a house guest Christopher Biggins - one of the kindest men you could hope to meet.

He suggested that I join up to Celebrity Video  Messages - I’d never thought of it before as my Glory days are well past. However he showed me how to do it - so I did.

I don’t use Facebook and Instagram though I have an account with both - find that Twitter takes up so much time covering all sorts of Petitions etc with regard to Animals and Animal Charities. However if you do have Facebook and Instagram, if you click on the appropriate link it will come through to my Request Box. 

Anyway even though I’ve set the Fee on the low side, I will donate 20% of any fees I receive to be divided between Miracles Mission http://info@miraclesmissionof which I am an Ambassador and Animals SOS Sri Lankahttp://@AnimalSOSlanka of which I am a Patron alongside the lovely Peter Egan.

I’d mention more charities but don’t think there’s going to be a huge Cashflow. Don’t hold your breath.

If you are interested in perhaps having a personalised message for a loved one rather than sending flowers, then here are the links.  All you do is type the message or simply state whether it is for a Birthday or some other Momentus Occasion - the date - who it is from and to - and I do the rest. Just give me due warning so that I can put on the make up and do the hair :)

https://twitter.com/CelebVM/status/1395020139876257795

https://www.instagram.com/p/CPDrkc_tpBp/

https://www.facebook.com/celebvm/posts/3056431077922638

Many thanks.  Remember your message which makes someone's day will also be helping Animals in distress 

Stay safe.  Jan

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


FANNY FANACKAPAN

Date: 10th May 2021

A propos of nothing, I find it strange that every week when I get my Website Analytics there's always a large percentage of readers clicking on to 

John Masefield poem - Reynard's last run (very very sad)

and 

Fanny Fanackapan - which was my Father's pet name for me - shortened to Fanny most of the time.  He only called me Janet when I was due to be reprimanded.   I'd love to know why people are so interested.

This is what I wrote as long ago as 2016

 A 'fanackapan' is a Lincolnshire term meaning 'little dear' - it is a term of endearment from a mother to a daughter. My father was born in India and, so far as I knew, had no links with East Anglia - but it is a rather lovely term. Where Fanny came from I have no idea.

Stay safe,

Best wishes,  Jan

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


All that Glitters - Jewellery Challenge

Date: 7th May 2021

I suppose I should have expected Press reaction to my Blog and Tweet regarding my chagrin at seeing virtually all of my Proposal with regard to ‘Jewellery Challenge’ replicated on BBC TV as All That Glitters.

With the press you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

I spoke to a charming journalist from the Daily Telegraph and she dealt with the story very sympathetically. Obviously many details were omitted because journalists are always up against word count.

This is a link to what she wrote.

http://digitaleditions.telegraph.co.uk/data/592/reader/reader.html?social#!preferred/0/package/592/pub/592/page/20/article/171041

The Daily Mail piggy-backed on the story but we won’t bother with that.

I’ve written at length how I saw the project of ‘Jewellery Challenge’ but one element was omitted and that is what I will still attempt to have made into a short series.

I think it will be my last effort with regard to TV programmes. I’ve worked on many projects over the years but found it well nigh impossible to progress them and eventually you run out of steam.

I return to where I began - Decades ago if you had an idea for a TV programme you could, as an ordinary member of the public, approach a Commissioning Editor and if that person thought the idea had legs it would be passed around the Production teams and rather like a game of Rugby - the ball would have been picked up and run with.

Now this is not possible. You have to approach a Production Company of which there are legions and discuss your project - so ideas are no longer your property alone. The Companies in turn have to approach the Commissioning Editors so at every step of the way people are privy to what you suggested so there’s virtually no way you can protect your intellectual property.

A Production Company would need to produce a Prototype to present to the Editors - an expensive process. (I did make a simple Video and posted it on YouTube even before I sent my project to the BBC in 2017) I’ve neither influential friends nor the wherewithal to make a proper demonstration video

I had enough work and stress attempting to get a Documentary made about the WW2 Free French Pilot René Mouchotte - a fascinating story of a brave and honourable man who wrote diaries which were published and on which I based my research which took me from the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel le Ferne, to Belgium, to France and the fascinating cemetery of Père Lachaise outside Paris and to having his missing Battle of Britain medals presented to his family in the Ambassadorial Residence in Paris by the then Ambassador -Sir now Lord Peter Ricketts.

My project was rejected by The History Channel who declared it was a Military Subject; it was rejected by the Biography Channel and Yesterday said Mouchotte wasn’t ‘famous enough’. BBC 2 and BBC 4 sat on it for months and then turned it down. Finally by sheer chance I met a retired BBC Director who knew the Kent local Commissioning Editor. Off and on I’d done 6 years of research which I was happy to hand over to the BBC. Eventually I researched, wrote and presented the short documentary ‘Searching for René’ for BBC South East. It was always a Labour of Love and was the piece of work of which I am most proud out of 5 decades working in Television. The subject could easily have filled a half hour (or even an hour) but I was happy for small mercies and at 15 minutes the documentary exceeded the usual ‘Inside Out’ slot of 5 minutes.

(Mouchotte’s grandfather started the famous Duvelleroy Fan Business in Paris in 1825 - newly resurrected by 2 young French girls and thriving)

‘Searching for René https://youtu.be/oVNwEZ8KriM.

If you are interested in Jewellery and History - please wish me luck with my last project.

Best wishes to you all, Jan x

 

Gave away most of my work.  Attended Jewellery and Silversmithing classes.

Biscuit holder was the first and only time I tried 'Piercing' .  The little box took many weeks of classes

The ring and bracelet  - I did get help with the stone setting which is a very complicated process.  You would be surprised how inexpensive are semi precious stones.

 


 

All that Glitters -   Jewellery Challenge

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


GOOD NEWS - CELEBVM

Date: 7th May 2021

First taste of freedom last weekend was a coffee in the garden of friends in Deal.  They had as their house guest the kind and lovely Christopher Biggins whom I'd met before.

He suggested that I join CelebVm - Video messages and showed me how to do so.

So if any of you would like a personalized message for a loved one this is the link

https://celebvm.com/janleeming

I've just made a couple and found it fun.  

After years of delivering mostly bad news - It's lovely to be  sharing in and imparting and celebrating GOOD NEWS 

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.


THE PRESS - damned if you do and damned if you don't

Date: 5th May 2021

THE PRESS - Damned if you do and damned if you don’t

Some time ago a journalist took what I’d written on Twitter and on my Website and somehow turned it round to adversely affect me. I had declined the opportunity to give an interview over what I’d said regarding the payment of the Licence Fee. What I actually said and how it was interpreted were totally different. The Headline was that JL attacked the BBC.

I was certainly not attacking the BBC by saying that I slightly objected to paying the Licence Fee as there was little on Terrestrial TV that I watched it being full of repeats, Reality and Woke programmes.

Having refused an interview the journalist wrote an article anyway and made me out to be attacking the BBC.

The BBC has been my employer on and off over many decades and I’ve been please and proud to work for the Corporation as a Secretary when I left College and in programmes such as ‘Tom Tom’ ‘Pebble Mill at One’ ; Reading the news for 7 years; getting a taste of the wild in ‘Safari School’; visiting India with The Real Marigold Hotel and Argentina and Cuba with Marigolds on tour.
I’m hardly likely to bite the hand that feeds me.

I am now being accused of ‘Attacking the BBC again’ because I wrote on Twitter and my Website how gutted I was to see All that Glitters with a Comedian as the Presenter and using Jewellers with years of experience rather than gifted Amateurs who might have encouraged the public to take up Jewellery Making as a hobby- sometimes lucrative. (I bought pieces from other students) I took Jewellery making and Silver smithing at Adult Education classes and was amazed at what some of the students were producing. Not only did I enjoy the creative process but it was a chance to meet and make friends with members of the public from all walks of life. Adult Education classes are a very good antidote to Social Isolation.

Most of the Challenge Programmes have led to Take Up by members of the public and that is what I wanted with my “Jewellery Challenge’ - All that Glitters is hardly likely to do that. For a start the jewellers are working in a fully equipped Jewellery Department with all the machinery needed to produce the kind of pieces being made by the competitors on the current programme. It is possible to make relatively simple pieces at home on the kitchen table - even setting jewels - with the minimum of equipment. For the more advanced pieces, yes you do need the rolling machines and the high intensity heat which is not possible at home and for which you would need to attend a fully equipped workshop as would be available at Adult Education Establishments.

I took part in a ‘Cash in the Attic’ and gave away some of my artefacts; praising my Teacher to the heights. The result was that the following term, I couldn’t get a place in the class! Also I’d reached the extent of my capability so the classes stopped for me.

I spent a long time and fruitless approaches trying to get a ‘Jewellery Challenge’ off the ground (was met with the comment that Jewellery is Elitist) and did send my proposal to a Commissioning Editor for BBC 2 in 2017 who asked if she could pass on the Proposal to a Production Company. Of course, I agreed as how else am I going to get my project off the ground. I heard no more for months and when I finally got in touch was told that the talks with the Production Company had come to nought. (I never knew the name of the Company). Then 4 years later I see a programme series so close to my original proposal as to wonder whether my idea was hijacked.

You can’t patent an idea - all I have is an unopened registered envelope addressed to myself (a tip given me by Michael Grade (Lord) decades ago) with the Proposal. There is no way I can prove that my concept led to All that Glitters.

I was approached by a lady from the Telegraph with regard to my attacking the BBC. I didn’t want to give an interview but as I said at the top ‘You are damned if you do and Damned if you don’t’. I did speak with her and she seemed charming so I hope I don’t get a misrepresentative press.
I’m very thin skinned and hurt easily and in the past many is the time I’ve wept over what journalists have written about me - very little of which was actually true. Unless one is very rich, you can’t take on the Press and have to take the Blows on the chin.

So Yes I am gutted that All that Glitters has been made the way it has and that I am not the Presenter - I’m only human but I do know a lot about Jewellery, Jewels and Jewellery Making which I doubt the Comedian does. I’m even more upset that as I see it an opportunity had been missed to introduce members of the public to the joys and creativity of making a piece of Jewellery for yourself.

But there is a trend - heaven knows why - to use Actors and Comedians to present Documentaries etc. Actors and Comedians perform to a script. Interviewers and Presenters interview the guests and present them in the best light - they are not the stars of the Programme.

There was one element I suggested which has not been taken up and I’m keeping that close to my bosom as it were! However if All that Glitters does not elicit a favourable press, I feel that any programmes about or surrounding Jewellery will be dead in the water. Programme makers and Commissioning Editors only want to build success on success. They don’t often stick their noses above the Parapet. 

 

Below a few of the pieces I made at Adult Education Classes.  I cut out the silver cross but the elaborate interior is from a brooch left to me by a very good Friend.  I don't wear brooches so it seemed the best way of honouring her memory.  RIP Griselle Linday/Beauchamp

THE PRESS - damned if you do and damned if you don't

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