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    The Brands’ first year in Thame passed in a merry convivial haze as waves of friends and relations treked across the Chilterns to visit them and help them sample the delights of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire restaurants.

     They fell in love with the town, made good friends of the neighbours and delighted in the local Kingsey church with its use of the 1662 Prayer Book and King James Bible.  Jean was made Electoral Roll Officer.

    They bought a new car, a fine dining room suite and installed a pond. Jean redecorated several rooms, managing to remove most of the wall as well as the paper in her office; when all was set to rights she bought a brand new computer and discovered the joys of XP.

    They appreciated being able to see more of Norman’s family in the High Wycombe area and Alison in Headington who continued her usual hectic round of global PR jaunts and singing engagements.

    They celebrated their Ruby Wedding with a large family gathering in The Old Trout and went for their usual adventure holiday in Sidmouth.

They missed the proximity of old friends but never regretted the move


And so no more I’ll take the Northern Line

To Finchley Central. No more mine

The comfortable bright “High Barnet” sign.


No more the calm of “Alverne’s” leafy shade

Where loving host and loving hostess made

The lush days glad with light that will not fade.


Farewell the Dollis Brook, the peeling plane,

The shattered pavements in the London rain,

The gentle rattle of the Mill Hill train.


The days grow shorter as the years grow old

And Autumn comes, - still in my heart I’ll hold

The Finchley memories that are pure gold.


Bard of Sarnia