Recorder letters: A Beatle’s visit, the Iona Club and events cancelled

PUBLISHED: 10:00 08 November 2020

The Beatles filming Help in 1965. Picture: PA Archive

The Beatles filming Help in 1965. Picture: PA Archive

PA Archive/PA Images

Letters sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Rumour has it a Beatle came to Upminster in 1965

Ron Ower, Derham Gardens, Upminster, writes:

It was around 15 years ago, early one evening, that I was walking down Corbets Tey Road, Upminster, and saw a magnificent coach painted in psychedelic colours.

Looking closely at it, it was the working vehicle for a Beatles tribute band who were playing at West Lodge banqueting suite, just off Corbets Tey Road, on the site where Bellmakers Mews is now.

West Lodge over the years had many acts, many of whom were well known. Some of the nights were legendary.

What prompted my memory is that next month sees the 55th anniversary of the release of the much acclaimed Rubber Soul Beatles album.

Rumour has it that in 1965 Paul McCartney, and possibly some of the rest of the group, came for a walk in Upminster before appearing at a concert in Romford.

Any readers aware of this or have any memories about this or other events, why not let the Recorder know?

Was dance studio the Iona Club?

Mrs Angela Reynolds, Cornsland, Brentwood, replied to James’s letter (Remember Eddie and Lou’s studio):

James, could the place where you learnt to dance be the Iona Club above the Co-Op in Hornchurch?

I used to live in the Homes near the bus garage and passed this place every day not knowing what went on in there.

There was also a small hairdressers/barbers shop to the left of an archway below the club. I believe both are still there since the 1950s. Hope the lessons paid off.

Upminster festive event cancelled

Cllr Linda Hawthorn, Upminster and Cranham Residents Association, writes:

With there being no ease with the Covid restrictions, I wish to update you on a few local events.

The popular Christmas event, normally held the third week of November in Upminster town centre has been cancelled, with a possibility of a small virtual one instead.

We know how much children enjoy this, and we are very disappointed ourselves, but when my colleague Cllr Chris Wilkins and I had a virtual meeting with the council officers we decided there was no other option.

We can only promise, fingers crossed, and conditions favourable, for a special big event in 2021.

Likewise, many public firework displays have been cancelled too, this might increase the number of people having their own events in their own gardens.

Can I please ask all to take care and check any pets are safe

Time to condemn atrocities

Michael J Frost, Peartree Gardens, Romford, writes:

Can any local Imam explain why there appears to be no public condemnation of the murderous beheadings said to be carried out in the name of Islam.

Covid a worrying time for diabetics

Roz Rosenblatt, London head, Diabetes UK, writes:

Many people have already started Christmas shopping - and there’s a way we can all combine enjoying the festivities whilst supporting people with diabetes.

The Covid-19 pandemic affects everyone, but for people living with any type of diabetes, it is particularly worrying time.

This year we’ve seen demand for our services reach record levels, while our own funding has been significantly impacted. More so than ever, people with diabetes need us, but we need your support to be able to continue fighting their corner.

That’s why we are working to support people – and you can be a part of this vital effort by simply browsing our Christmas shop from the comfort of your home and choosing from a wonderful range of Christmas cards and gifts.

The shop can be found at

As well as a great range of cards, there are presents and stocking fillers for all your family and friends

It’s a great way to help a good cause and make the most of the upcoming festive season.

Be transparent about TfL finances

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Dr Alison Moore, Londonwide Assembly member, writes:

Last week, we saw the campaigning efforts of City Hall, charities, business leaders and Londoners pay off.

As part of a last-minute emergency funding deal with TfL, the government dropped the worst of its proposed conditions, including the removal of travel concessions for under 18s and older people and the extension of the congestion charge zone to the North and South Circulars.

However, the government still fell far short of providing the long-term and sustainable financial package that TfL asked for. This is despite the fact the first lockdown caused their fare revenue to drop by 90 per cent.

During the recent negotiations, the government commissioned KPMG to deliver a review of TfL’s finances. So far, this has been kept hidden, even from the TfL Commissioner himself.

If ministers are intent upon interfering in how the transport system in our capital should be run, they need to be transparent with Londoners and publish the findings of the report as soon as possible.

What we do know is that before the Covid-19 outbreak, Sadiq Khan had reduced the operating deficit at TfL, that he had inherited from Boris Johnson, by 71pc, whilst boosting TfL’s cash balance by 13pc.

Fairer way needed to pay for travel

Caroline Russell, Green Party London Assembly member and spokesperson for transport, writes:

After weeks of worrying speculation about congestion zone expansion and the removal of free travel for younger and older people, this new funding deal for Transport for London removes the immediate threat.

But, the government and the mayor must now work urgently to put TfL’s funding on a resilient footing.

If the mayor had listened to my suggestions four years ago, a smart, fair, privacy friendly road pricing scheme would be up and running.

Those that drive all over London would be covering the cost of road maintenance.

It is not fair that people travelling by bus and Tube are paying to fix potholes in London.

There needs to be new, fairer ways of funding TfL.

Instead of ever-increasing bus and Tube fares and council tax or congestion charge hikes, we need an honest conversation with Londoners about who pays for transport in London.

London faces a further £160m of cuts to Transport for London, and investment in walking and cycling has already more than halved.

We have seen how even small budgets like the £60m spent on Streetspace since May has been transformative, but it seems there’s no further money coming.

With public transport continuing to be at reduced capacity and a further national lockdown, Londoners need more safe places to walk and cycle.

Used stamps can help charity

Myrna Chave, PO Box 91, Virginia Water, Surrey GU25 9AR, writes:

I am appealing for used postage stamps which help me raise funds which I then donate to the Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Recycling used postage stamps is such an easy way to raise money for the charity and I am always in need of all types of postage stamps, including British, foreign and Christmas stamps.

If you are able to help I would be grateful if you could cut the stamps from their envelopes (leaving approx 1cm margin around the stamp) and send them to the address above.

If you would like to contact me my email address is

Thank you to everyone who has donated in the past, your assistance in helping me to support this very worthy cause is greatly appreciated.

Your child can get letter from Santa

Sarah Lambley, NSPCC supporter fundraising manager for London, writes:

It’s been a difficult year for Santa and the Elves. Social distancing in the workshop has meant production has been tricky at times but they are still on target to have everything ready for Christmas Eve.

Amazingly, Santa has still found time to team up with us at the NSPCC, to send personalised letters all the way from Lapland.

Each ‘Letter from Santa’ is printed and posted directly to your child in a festive envelope.

You can choose the background design and fill in your child’s personal information such as age, best friend’s name or particular achievements throughout the year.

All we ask in return is a donation to help us be there for children, whatever their worries, this Christmas and beyond.

£5 could buy art materials to help a child who has been abused to express their feelings when they can’t find the words.

£4 could pay for one of our trained volunteer counsellors to answer a child’s call to Childline. In 2019/20 our volunteers handled an estimated 34,100 counselling sessions with children in London.

Without the support of people in London we simply wouldn’t be able to deliver our vital services which offer a lifeline to many children and young people whose lives have been affected by abuse.

Everything we do protects children today and prevents abuse tomorrow, to transform society for every childhood.

That’s why we’re here and that’s what drives all of our work. But it’s only possible with your support.

To find out more about the NSPCC’s Letter from Santa visit

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