The Other News From England.

24 Jan 2000.

Index of earlier issues - click here.

(Those who like digging about will find that there are hundreds of articles on many subjects to be found on this site.)

Old issues.

I am working again on old issues of Other News (1993) and hope soon to put a few more of them on the site.

Further reduced edition.

Another boring week.

Does this mean I've been going about with my eyes and ears closed?

The papers showed various media hacks and a member or two of a 'prominent family' doing absolutely nothing of any interest and being acclaimed for doing it, shares went up and down a bit and ended the week either up or down, somebody waited two hours in the middle of the day for a no. 185 bus, the temperature fell briefly below zero, and for a few moments there was a thin coating of what looked like snow but turned out to be hale. Then it was the weekend again (mind you, there was a very enjoyable rehearsal on Tuesday).

Estate Agents.

True market value has always been thought to have been discovered by offering a property 'to the market' and seeing who bids most. Quite scientific really. So scientific, as far as I know, that your average executor in a will or receiver winding up a company would accept this way of selling assets.

In Bromley (and probably in several other places) they have a slightly different way of doing things. The building (or estate, or whatever) is put on the market, boards are erected and the punters (me, in some cases) come along and make their enquiries, and ask for details through the post. The agents say yes, yes, thank you they will be with you in the next couple of days, and then when you ring off they throw your name and address in the bin (if they bothered to write them down in the first place). If you telephone them to remind them they will say Oh dear me, we must have made a mistake for that to happen, we will post you one immediately - and then don't. On the third try they promise you they have sent them and suggest that they must have got held up in the with you in a day or two, and on the fourth occasion most people give up.

Then in a few weeks you discover the property was sold for a song because there were no bidders. I am asking you to read between the lines here.

Over the years, I have seen this happen with two church halls in Bromley, one small estate near Bromley (40 or so acres and a farmhouse, buildings, cottage, etc) , and a very large pub in Bermondsey. This last item not completed yet, because although I requested the details a few times and have not yet received them, there is no sign of the agent having sold it to anyone.

Needless to say, I was not acting for myself when trying to get these details, but it would be interesting to know what kind of freemasonry organises this kind of thing, how much the vendors lose, and how much the freemasonry gain. The church halls would be relatively easy to get away with, because no individual in a church is likely to be that interested in how much it fetches, and of course the same for the executors in a will, especially as they might have a friend who would like to get such a property on the cheap, but the bankruptcy is a more difficult area, because the person or firm going bankrupt would like to maximise the price for the sale of assets.

Ideas about what really happens please, by email.

London Rent Assessment Panel.

These people have done near enough exactly what I had suggested they might do, except they have made a little bit of effort to disguise the fact. Considering themsleves beaten on the issue of rarity (ie that there is no shortage of private rented accomodation) they were unable to take the rent officer's suggested 'market rent' (miles below the true market rent) and then adjust it downwards using distorted mathematics, and so re-measured the floor area and declared it to be even less than the rent officer's underestimate and 'adjusted' figures, made a comparision with a far smaller place in a far cheaper street in marginally better order, and decided that it was only worth 5 oer week more on the basis of the dubious evidence they were able to put together.

Furthermore, they are keeping it a secret what further action one might legally take to rectify their damage, yet it is a relative certainty that they know the answer. Any proper employee would not object to answering a simple question.

These people are not interested in the law, court rulings (I've already frequently commented on the quality of these in earlier issues, I believe), helping people to get out of a dependant state of mind, social reform, or any other thing that might change the status quo - and it is not difficult to perceive that they would be unemployed if they were.

The question is - why do we have the "Citizens' Charter" if our civil servants (our employees) cannot adhere to the terms of it but expect us (their employers) to do so? This must surely be the tail wagging the dog.

I think I shall campaign for their dismissal and replacement with persons whose brief is to do the job both honestly and properly.

LETSSwing at Crawley January 29, 2000.

Please note Gabriele Gad is not available for this particular gig. The rest are.

(this item held over from last 3 issues).

LETSSwing have become very slick over the last couple of years. A well laid back group playing a great mixture of stuff - harmonised vocals, smooth old saxophone, Gabriele Gad on piano (so unique I can't describe it), instrumentals on flute and/or saxophone, old, new, LETS songs, folksy songs, jazz pop and swing, reggae, bluebeat - and all of it danceable.

Many LETSSwing engagements are in hospitals and homes (working for Council for Music in Hospitals), and so are not open to the general public, but on January 29 LETSSwing is doing another show that is open to the public (last one was 8 Dec 99). This will also be an opportunity to see what LETS' are about if you are interested.

at Northgate Community Centre, Crawley, W. Sussex, 10 minutes walk from Station.

7pm till 11pm, admission 5, 2 for 10-15 year olds, under 10 free! (I believe Crawley LETS members can pay part or all in the Crawley currency).

You could email for extra info.

LETSSwing at Bonnington Cafe.

Some of LETSSwing will also be at the Bonnington Cafe on the 5th and 12th Feb. No charge for entry, but you need to buy a meal. The food is high quality vegetarian and quite cheap. Usually 7 a head would cover the meal, but bring your own wine. Rather Bohemian atmosphere. Booking is difficult, and it gets very crowded when such acts are there.

Bonnington Cafe, Vauxhall Grove, London SW8 UK. Near Vauxhall underground and mainline station, and many buses. Booking is difficult.


IF YOU WANT A REAL COCKUP, see if you can get Southwark to help you.


The stuff that doesn`t often get changed now follows:

Wanted: Established musical act performing to reasonably sophisticated adult audiences needs an agent. This act is already on the road but needs help with increasing it's profile, and getting in front of a wider variety of audiences. Please email or if that doesn't work.

This website is about the destruction of countryside and agriculture. Worth a visit if you want to find out about how it is thought the British countryside will fair under the ongoing creep of the multinationals.

This website is one to do with monetary reform. If you are interested in economics it is worth a look.

This is a website about alternative currencies.Might be worth a look to those who have realised that you don't necessarily have to have money as such to be prosperous.

This is a website for something called The Green Guide. I know nothing about it, but am hoping it is something worthy. Please let me know if it is questionable.

This is a site concerned with one of the most unpopular planning decisions ever made in Greater London, the Crystal Palace Complex. It is so stunningly awful that only a handful of people who do not live near it appear to approve, whilst the rest are not entirely uninclined to mention such things as payola, name it! The site belongs to the London Borough of Bromley, but the aggro generated by it and the destruction of amenity caused by it will be almost entirely suffered by residents of adjoining boroughs and not the people of Bromley themselves.

This is a recycling site based in London, and offering materials to anybody. The organisation is a charity seeking to link suppliers of surplus materials with users. Especially good for the more ingenious designers amongst us.

The email of the people who run the above site is They are called Creative Supplies. Look them up for more info.

Here's an interesting education site - particularly for those who have young children and are not quite sure what to do to avoid the worst of what`s on offer in the mainstream of education.They are called

early Othernews - 1992, 93, 94.

Early Other News essays.

There were a few essays that went out with the early Other News as a freestanding item. You can read these by clicking below.


The Soup Designer`s Handbook.

The Soup Designer`s Handbook.

London Journey - a trip from Docklands through Beckenham and back to Docklands.

Friday Woodworkers.

(Friday Woodworkers are suffering a temporary break due to some of the episodes not having been fully edited at the time of writing. It may take some timne to fix this problem.

Episode 17.

(These articles were written in 1988, and were my first attempt at writing. Some people when shown these fell about laughing, some smiled faintly - and some yawned. I thought I was going to write a technical book, but it soon became apparent that I was much more interested in the people than the technology - and that is the main reason there are no drawings - although it might be rather good to do a couple of caricatures sometime.)

Index of Friday Woodorker articles (and a means of access).

Index of earlier issues.

Gabriele Gad on alternative therapy.

A READER COMPLAINED that it was not possible to go back more than 6 articles in Gabriele`s area. Regrettably this is because there is no index, and I have not the time to organise one yet. However, for those determined enough to find the early ones, they should be accessible by going to an early Other News and clicking through from it. This will not be fast, but I think will do the job. They started about November 1997 I think.

Cartoons and graphics.

drawings click here.

sheet music click here.



In an earlier issue I told you about my feelings regarding Tempo retailers and the Lexmark 3200 printer I bought from them.

The Lexmark 3200 printer I got from Tempo must surely be the most uneconomical printer I could possibly have bought. The black cartridge only does about 250 pages of ordinary type - for 28! That makes each sheet cost 11.2 pence plus the cost of the paper and probably another 11.2 pence more if any colour is used! - ABOUT 22.4 PENCE A SHEET! Nearly a pound for every four sheets!

I wouldn`t recommend you to buy it - but also look at my earlier article for an idea of Tempo`s service.


A person to help make up a subject index for the growing numbers of articles on The Other News From England. Email

8- or more-track tape recorder. email

All material on this site is copyright. Contact me if you want to use it. I am quite flexible. Educational non-profit use is free - but ask for permission and print an acknowledgement. If you can`t think what to print, put:

From The Other News From England.

That`s all this week folks