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Programme 23 from Forest Radio "Christmas Special", 2020

Running time: 2 hrs. 6 min. 33 sec. approximately

For the convenience of our listeners, as well as the full version above, this programme has also been broken down into smaller "bite size" portions so that people can go straight to the pieces that interest them most. It is also now possible for you to link to a specific item from websites, Facebook pages or any social media location. Just use the link on the menu below to visit or to connect to the the item's dedicated page.


Part One
The opening section, including a description of our new "easy access" format, and an interview with two people from the Christian Kitched charity based at St Michaels and All Angels Church, Northcote Road, E17 6PQ. Every evening, 365 days a year, this charity provides a hot meal for 70 - 100 homeless people in Waltham Forest. You can learn more about The Christian Kitchen including how to donate (either money or food) and how to volunteer, by visiting their website. The item concludes with the song "Say Grace" by Gretchen Peters.

Part Two
A brief word about the widely-held belief that suicide reaches a peak around Christmas time, which turns out to be untrue, followed by an introduction and Mary Gauthier's song "Christmas in Paradise" about the folks who sleep underneath the Cow Key Bridge on the US Hoghway 1 linking Monroe County in Florida to Key Largo.

Part Three
A telephone interview with JJ of the Wiilma charity, whose mission is to relieve isolation by connecting up individuals and creating commumities and friendship groups "through Diversity, Community, Music, Arts, Crafts, Heritage & Culture." They run such things as art, music, dance and writing workshops and are planning, among other things, a free Christmas Day online concert which will be partly a George Michael tribute but will include World and Classical musicians and Victorian Music Hall. Just by logging-on you earn the charity 1. They are also running an art competition whose deadline has been extended from Tomorrow 18th December to Tuesday 5th January 2021.

Part Four
Adele Tinman, who has co-presented most of the programme, let's us hear some of her favourite songs for Christmas. Artists included are: Bessie Smith, The Ronettes (produced by Phil Spector), Charles Brown, Lightnin' Hopkins and Louis Armstrong.

Part Five
Listeners will have heard about the plans to replace the red brick Victorian edifice that is Whipps Cross Hospital with a shiny new state-of-the art one, or so they would have us believe. However, most of the people who work there, including especially the clinical staff, and most of the hospital's patients who have studied the proposals, are far from satisfied that sufficient money and thought is going into the project to serve the immediate needs of the borough's people let alone their longer term needs. Those with the greatest stake in the project's success have come together under the banner of the Action4Whipps campaigning group, making sure the government and its agents are held to account, and we have the honour of hosting their website.

Part Six
Harmony Hall on Truro Road, E17 7BY, is a much-loved and very well used local community centre, meeting place and performance venue close to the centre of Walthamstow. For some years it has been under threat of closure because the charity Livability which owns it has decided to sell the building to solve its own financial issues. The charity Crest which rents and manages the centre has been trying to raise the money to buy it since 2018, and has found ways to put legal pressure on the owners not to sell to others, but the situation is still delicately balanced and it remains to be seen wheher enough money can be raised in time to prevent the building being sold into private commercial hands. We interview Alan Horne, the manager of Crest, on a rather dodgy telephone line, to learn about the latest developments.

Part Seven
We finish off with an informal chat between Jean, David and a local lady named Elsie Wilson who has lived all of her life in or near the borough and is a great great great grandmother. We start talking about Christmases we have known but end up expressing our opinions about the efficiency and integrity of our local council. I don't know how that happened. Finally we end with a short poem about that pesky virus, writtten and read by Trudi Warner.

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