Very sadly, we have lost two members of long standing recently.

SIMON EVANS Rosalind Ambler writes:

Simon, who died on January 3rd, joined DWG on his return from living in America. He made his presence felt straight away with his trenchant views and talented writing. 

He did a stint as Group Co-Ordinator and was meticulous in supporting all the different sections of the organisation, rarely missing a DWG1, DWG2 or Publications meeting. 

He was always up for a writing challenge, be it editing his parents in law’s wartime correspondence, ghosting an autobiography, creating the imaginary country of Burumia, or introducing fiendish storylines for a radio soap opera.

It was impossible to ignore Simon’s presence at a meeting, and over the years we had quite a few angry exchanges. I was delighted to learn from his widow that ‘Simon enjoyed your rows’ as I did, too. His contribution of magnificent pork pies made by his daughter for the annual party will also be remembered fondly. 

He  will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

THE REVEREND FRANCIS CHADWICK. A tribute from Mike Williams

Following so soon after Simon’s death, news that Francis Chadwick had died in Salisbury Hospital on 17th February has added greatly to our group’s already grievous sense of loss. An ordained Anglican Minister, Francis had contributed regularly as an author and a writer to our meetings until failing health over the last couple of years forced him to reduce his membership commitments.

Never one to be idle, Francis turned his hand – and his very agile creative mind – to writing and publishing two most readable books of seemingly different genres. The first – The Winding Road of Faith – takes a serious yet eminently digestible look at our journey through the changing scenes of life. While the core message is for Christians, living a life well spent, Francis’s essential theme lends itself well to other faiths. Devoid of ritual and dogma, there are many passages where this down-to-earth book also has a humanist relevance.

His second self-published volume – Creeping behind the Iron Curtain – describes an adventurous journey that he and his wife Jill made by car through Eastern Europe in 1973, when political tension between the East and West was particularly fraught and unpredictable. Despite the vagaries and frustrations of clashing ideologies and over-restrictive protocols, humankind and its indestructible capacity for love and friendship, will always find ways to allow good to triumph in the end. On this issue of the importance of fellowship his second, apparently more secular, book parallels his first volume.

Both in the marketing and selling of his books Francis put in a great deal of commercial energy and flair.

Whenever his kindly eyes began twinkling and you heard his fruity tones claim – ‘I‘ve got a little story about that . . .’ – you knew you were in for a rare treat. His heart-warming company will be sorely missed by his fellow writers.