Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Recalling Sir Michael Shersby

For many years, I used to know Sir Michael Shersby, Conservative MP for Uxbridge and his family. I used to work for him in a garden just off Park Road, Stoke Poges. Like so many other people who knew, or met him, I found him to be very charming, and courteous.

Among other things, he pointed out to me that it was my statutory right to have  a break in my gardening work. Often, the break occurred in the  conservatory where we had some interesting chit chat along with pure coffee, and biscuits. His wife Barbara was usually present. Sometimes, his son Julian was also around. On rare occasions, there was a visitor such as Dominic West, the actor.

Working for Michael was a most pleasant experience, and difficult to express......

Just after he managed to win back his seat after the General Election of 1997 he died suddenly, and unexpectedly at his London Flat....Like everyone else who knew him I was in shock...

The following is a reproduction entry on him from Wikipedia plus photo....

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Sir Michael Shersby
Michael Shersby.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Uxbridge
In office
7 December 1972 – 8 May 1997
Preceded byCharles Curran
Succeeded byJohn Randall
Personal details
Born(1933-02-17)17 February 1933
Ickenham, Middlesex
Died8 May 1997(1997-05-08) (aged 64)
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)Barbara Barrow
Sir Michael Shersby (17 February 1933 – 8 May 1997) was a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. He was Member of Parliament for Uxbridge.

Early life[edit]

Shersby was born to Bill and Nora Shersby at his parents home at 9 Court Road, Ickenham (an area destined to become part of his Parliamentary constituency throughout his nearly 25 years as an MP) on 17 February 1933. Christened Julian Michael, he was known primarily as Michael by the age of ten. He had an older brother Dick (also known as Harold), an older sister Marjorie, and a younger brother Brian. Shersby's father Bill was employed for many years by the Port of London Authority, as an administration manager.
Shersby's parents were very keen for all of their four children to be academically successful. Accordingly, Michael Shersby first attended the local Breakspear primary state school [1] and was later sent by his parents to The John Lyon School, an independent school in Harrow, for his secondary education. However, for a variety of reasons, Shersby left school at sixteen and in 1949 he started his working career in a humble clerical position at a company in London. Shersby continued to live with his family in Ickenham until 1958, when, at the age of 25, he married Barbara Barrow from West Drayton (also part of the Uxbridge constituency), and they moved to London. Shersby qualified as a trained Conservative party agent during the 1950s and worked in that capacity in his early 20s for a number of years before then pursuing a career in the British industrial film industry between 1958 and 1966 and then subsequently between 1966 and 1988 he was Director General of the British Sugar Bureau, the trade association of the British sugar industry.


Shersby's career as an elected political representative began in 1959 when he was first elected as a borough councillor on Paddington Borough Council for Maida Vale North ward and he then continued to serve for the Maida Vale ward of Westminster City Council from 1964 to 1970 after Paddington was subsumed into the new larger unitary Council's area. He served as Deputy Lord Mayor on Westminster City Council from 1967 to 1968.[2]
Shersby was first elected to Parliament at a 1972 by-election that followed the sudden death of Charles Curran, who had re-taken the seat for the Conservatives from Labour's John Ryan in the 1970 general election. This was a by-election Shersby had not been expected to win since it took place in the depths of unpopularity of the Heath Government and on the same night that Shersby was elected to Parliament (December 7, 1972) the Conservatives lost the considerably safer seat of Sutton and Cheam by a large majority after a huge swing against the party there to the Liberal party. But in Uxbridge Shersby managed to hang on to a seat taken back from Labour for the Conservatives by Charles Curran in 1970, even though the majority fell from 1970's 3646 votes to a rather less comfortable 1,178 votes that night. His local roots as an Ickenham born lad probably helped him considerably in that election and over the years he consistently built up his majority to a high point of 15,970 votes in the 1987 general election by establishing a reputation as an extremely committed and hardworking backbench MP more interested in being able to pursue single issues he believed in rather than pursuing the trappings of power as a minister at what would have been the expense of his political independence.
He received an Honorary Doctorate from Brunel University in 1994[3] and was knighted in 1995 for his longstanding years of service in Parliament [4]

Private members' bills[edit]

In the period since the Second World War (and probably also over a much longer period than that) he holds a record by any single MP or member of the House of Lords, during their Parliamentary career, for the introduction of the largest number of Private Members Bills (eight) to receive the Royal Assent and become law as documented in the Parliamentary publication The Success of Private Members's Bills. The eight bills to be passed into law following his introduction of them into Parliament through the Private Members' Bill Route are as follows:-
1974 - Town and Country Amenities, 1974 - Parks Regulation (Amendment), 1975-76 Stock Exchange (Completion of Bargains) 1979-80 Gaming (Amendment), 1981-82 Copyright Act 1956 (Amendment), 1982-83 British Nationality (Falkland Islands), 1993-94 Firearms (Amendment), 1996-97 Pharmacists (Fitness To Practice)

Hillsborough disaster[edit]

His role as Parliamentary Adviser to the Police Federation following the Hillsborough disaster is described in the conclusions of the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report.[5]
Following a meeting with the Yorkshire Police Federation, Shersby was invited to assist in the development of a ‘counter attack’ to ‘repudiate’ Lord Justice Taylor’s Interim Report, which had condemned the evidence and testimony of senior police officers and rejected as exaggerated the allegations made against Liverpool fans. Lord Taylor had stated categorically that fans’ behaviour played no part in the disaster. Records of the meeting show that the Police Federation considered the Interim Report was unfair and unbalanced.


After nearly 25 years in Parliament he died completely unexpectedly at the age of only 64, from a heart attack, only seven days after being re-elected to Parliament in the 1997 general election. The resulting by-election was won by local department store owner John Randall.
Sir Michael was survived by his wife of 39 years (Barbara) and his two children, Julian and Lucy. Lucy stood as Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Battersea in the 2001 general election but was not elected while Julian served as a Conservative councillor on Mole Valley District Council between 1999 and 2006.



  1. Jump up ^ Skinner, James (2005). Images of England: Ickenham. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-3411-X. 
  2. Jump up ^ Obituary: Sir Michael Shersby Patrick Cosgrove. The Independent. 9 May 1997
  3. Jump up ^ Brunel University (1 April 2011). "Sir Michael Shersby - 1994". Brunel University. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  4. Jump up ^ London Gazette Supplement - 17th June 2005
  5. Jump up ^ http://hillsborough.independent.gov.uk/repository/report/HIP_report.pdf

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Curran
Member of Parliament for Uxbridge
Succeeded by
John Randall

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Eton College

Eton, and Eton College is very close to where I live.  The latter is famous for having had many pupils who have gone onto to having very successful high flying careers..
Anyhow, in order to get to Windsor I have to go through Eton.....This is a pleasant trip. To get to Windsor just takes under an hour on foot.
It was at Eton College back in the 1970s that I went to a lecture by David Fanshawe on his musical magnus opus of African Sanctus. It was intriguing.
Towards the end of every year, the College has a Fair which can be very crowded, and interesting with an abundant supply of goods for sale. The proceeds go to charity.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the school in Canada, see Eton College (Vancouver). For the school in Mexico City, see Eton School (Mexico).
Eton College
MottoLatin: Floreat Etona
Let Eton flourish
TypeIndependent boarding school
Public school
ReligionChurch of England
Head MasterTony Little
ProvostLord Waldegrave
FounderHenry VI
England Coordinates: 51°29′31″N 0°36′29″W / 51.492°N 0.608°W / 51.492; -0.608
Local authorityWindsor and Maidenhead
DfE number868/6016
DfE URN110158 Tables
Colours     Eton blue
PublicationThe Chronicle
The MJP House Chronicle
The Arts Review
The Lexicon
Former pupilsOld Etonians
School SongCarmen Etonense
Eton College, often informally referred to simply as Eton, is an English single-sex boys' independent boarding school located in Eton, Berkshire, near Windsor. It educates over 1,300 pupils, aged 13 to 18 years. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor",[1] making it the 18th oldest HMC school.
Eton is one of nine English independent schools, commonly referred to as "public schools", regulated by the Public Schools Act of 1868. Following the public school tradition, Eton is a full boarding school, which means all pupils live at the school, and it is one of four such remaining single-sex boys' public schools in the United Kingdom (the others being Harrow, Radley,and Winchester) to continue this practice. Eton has educated nineteen British prime ministers and generations of the aristocracy and has been referred to[who?] as the chief nurse of England's statesmen. Charging up to £11,478 per term (there are three terms per academic year) in 2014/15, Eton is the 6th most expensive HMC boarding school in the UK.[2]

Windsor, and Windsor Castle

From around 1966 to 1977 I lived in Royal Windsor. The following are two articles. One on the town, and the other on the famous Windsor Castle.

Windsor (/ˈwɪnzər/) is a town and unparished area in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in Berkshire, England. It is widely known as the site of Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of the British Royal Family.
The town is situated 21 miles (34 km) west of Charing Cross, London. It is immediately south of the River Thames, which forms its boundary with Eton. The village of Old Windsor, just over 2 miles (3 km) to the south, predates what is now called Windsor by around 300 years; in the past Windsor was formally referred to as New Windsor to distinguish the two.[1]

Links lead to the Wikipedia entry on Windsor Castle

A photograph of a white-grey stone castle, running left to right; trees are in the foreground, with a large white tower the most prominent part of the castle in the middle of the shot.


From the year 1990 I have lived in Slough, and know its roads, and shops very well....The High Street has been my special haunt, and on occasion I have whistled many a tune!!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Slough (disambiguation).
Slough, England
Unitary authority area, Borough
Slough Trading Estate
Slough Trading Estate
Shown within Berkshire
Shown within Berkshire
Coordinates: 51°31′N 0°35′W / 51.51°N 0.59°W / 51.51; -0.59Coordinates: 51°31′N 0°35′W / 51.51°N 0.59°W / 51.51; -0.59
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth East England
Ceremonial countyBerkshire
Historic countyBuckinghamshire
(including town centre)
(part of east of town)
StatusUnitary authority
Incorporated1 April 1974
Admin HQBath Road, Slough
 • TypeUnitary authority
 • BodySlough Borough Council
 • LeadershipLeader & Cabinet (Labour)
 • MPsFiona Mactaggart
 • Total12.56 sq mi (32.54 km2)
Area rank306th (of 326)
Population (2011 est.)
 • Total140,700
 • Rank137th (of 326)
 • Density11,000/sq mi (4,300/km2)
 • Ethnicity45.7% White
39.7% Asian or British Asian
8.6% Black or Black British
3.4% Mixed Race
2.6% Other[1]
Time zoneGMT (UTC0)
 • Summer (DST)BST (UTC+1)
ONS code00MD (ONS) E06000039 (GSS)
OS grid referenceSU978797
Slough (Listeni/ˈsl/) is a town in Berkshire, England, about 20 miles (30 kilometres) west of central London. It is bisected by the A4 and the Great Western Main Line. In 2011, the population of Slough was 140,200 and the most ethnically diverse outside London in the United Kingdom[2] with the highest proportion of religious adherents in England.[3] Before 1974, Slough was in Buckinghamshire. Slough is home to the Slough Trading Estate, the largest industrial estate in single private ownership in Europe.[4]


Chalvey is part of Slough, and is the place I live in at the time of writing this note. Not much about it appears in the Wikipedia  article but I have done a copy of it pasted below plus some other stuff.

There are quite a lot of Bulgarians, and Polish people living in Chalvey. As it is part of Slough it also has a high proportion of Indians.

I live in a council flat nearly opposite St Peter's Church. The latter sometimes hosts jumble sales, and second-hand book sales......


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Chalvey - St Peter's Church - geograph.org.uk - 1114632.jpg
St Peter's Church
Chalvey is located in Berkshire
 Chalvey shown within Berkshire
OS grid referenceSU965795
Ceremonial countyBerkshire
RegionSouth East
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townSlough
Postcode districtSL1
Dialling code01753
PoliceThames Valley
FireRoyal Berkshire
AmbulanceSouth Central
EU ParliamentSouth East England
UK ParliamentSlough
List of places
Coordinates: 51°30′24″N 0°36′37″W / 51.5066°N 0.6102°W / 51.5066; -0.6102
Chalvey is a former village which is now a suburb of Slough in the unitary authority of Slough in Berkshire, England. It was transferred to Berkshire from Buckinghamshire in 1974.
It was first recorded in 1217 by an Old English word meaning "Calf Island", from Cealf meaning calf. As the name implies, Chalvey lies low on the plain of the River Thames and there may have been enough of a rise for an island to stand above the slough from which the later town takes its name.
Chalvey never formed a parish on its own, being twinned with Upton in the parish of Upton-cum-Chalvey.
As Slough developed, Chalvey developed as a working-class community of small terraced houses. Nonconformist churches were established starting with the Congregationalists in 1806.[1]:37
In 1849, the Slough to Windsor railway was built, passing through the middle of Chalvey. A halt was opened by the Great Western Railway in 1929 but closed the following year.[2]
At some point between 1850 and 1880, a local legend developed about the "Chalvey Stab Monkey" involving an organ grinder and a stabbed monkey; the first person to get blind drunk on the anniversary of the monkey's funeral is declared "Mayor of Chalvey". Traditionally, residents of Chalvey have been known as "stab-monks".[1]:40 A long-standing local joke suggests that Chalvey's main industry is in the Treacle Mines. On occasion, this has been taken to be a reference to the local sewage works.[3]
It was stated on the "Immigration - How We Lost Count" edition of the BBC1 documentary Panorama on 23 July 2007 that Chalvey is severely overcrowded, and that most of its residents are immigrants and members of ethnic minorities. Chalvey has a large Asian population.[4]
The first recorded Lord of the Manor of Chalvey was recorded in the year 1502. The current Lord of Chalvey, Christopher Johnson, lives in the United States.


  1. ^ Jump up to: a b Fraser, Maxwell (1973). The History of Slough. Slough Corporation. ASIN B001GN44T8. 
  2. Jump up ^ Hunter, Judith; Hunter, Karen (1992). Around Slough in Old Photographs. Alan Sutton Publishing. p. 53. ISBN 978-1845884628. 
  3. Jump up ^ Slough Museum (2003). The Changing Face of Slough. Breedon Books. p. 58. ISBN 978-1859833155. 
  4. Jump up ^ 2001 - Key Statistics Slough Borough Council Chalvey Ward

Images of Windsor Castle in the Georgian Era.....

One of the most interesting books I have ever come across is a collection of colourful images of Windsor Castle in the 18th Century. The ar...