London calling book club

The Titlewave Book Club in Blind Bay was contacted recently by a club with the same name in, of all places, Buckingham Palace.

A pen pal was a special friend when I was a child. Getting that letter in the mailbox with a stamp and postmark from a foreign land was exciting. Today’s email is certainly reminiscent – I marvel at the speed which we are able to communicate around the globe.

Sharing common interests is a way of connecting with each other, even though we are physically a vast distance apart. Reading a book is even more enjoyable when we can share our perspective with others.

The Titlewave Book Club in Blind Bay was contacted recently by a club with the same name in, of all places, Buckingham Palace in London, England.

With the search engine tools available online, the Buckingham Palace group discovered the twin club and mailed a meeting invitation, on official stationery, to the Blind Bay group.

The London Titlewave Book Club is made up of staff who work at Buckingham Palace, and no, Queen Elizabeth II is not a member. The club members take turns hosting meetings at their homes.

Upminster, Cranham, Hornchurch, and Gidea Park (where most of the members live) are some of the towns which make up the London Borough of Havering. It is some 15 miles east of central London, and forms part of outer London.

Because of the proximity to London, many commute to London, where they work in a variety of mostly financial services institutions – banks, insurance companies, the stock market and accountants.

Havering is part of a large suburban sprawl, bordering on green spaces. There are some 230,000 people in 43 square miles, and more than half the borough is metropolitan green belt. Havering has the lowest unemployment rate in Greater London, and one of the lowest crime rates.

According to Wikipedia, the modern settlement originated in Anglo Saxon times when it consisted of Havering Palace, and the surrounding lands that belonged to Edward the Confessor, being one of his primary residences.

Queen Elizabeth I is said to have ridden with her courtiers down what is now Upminster’s high street, commanding “Corbettstay,” whereupon the street became known as Corbets Tey.

King Henry VIII (he of the six wives fame) used to hunt in Havering-atte-Bower.

Following the Second World War, when there was a lot of bombing in London and many were made homeless, people moved out of London particularly, from the east end, to what was then the countryside. A large proportion of those now living in Havering have progressively moved here since the last generation. The area is known for good schools, largely owner-occupied houses, and some with large gardens.

As we know, a significant number of Brits emigrated to British Columbia after the Second World War, some settled in the South Shuswap.