To: Mrs D. Collins, Ivy House, Swainsthorpe, Norwich, Norfolk
Dear Daphne [?] & Jill
Having a lovely time here in London. Went to the top of this Post Office Tower yesterday & what a wonderful view one gets of London. Going to see Anona Winn etc. at the B.B.C. studios tonight. Hope you are both OK also animals. I don’t think we shall be coming home until Saturday morning. See City won last night. Hope the girls are enjoying themselves.
Love to you both Winn & Ken
[Twenty Questions was broadcast that night at 7pm on the Home Service, presumably live. Radio Times lists the participants as Anona Winn, Joy Adamson, Norman Hackforth and Peter Glaze, with Kenneth Horne in the chair. Anona Winn (Anona Edna Wilkins) was an Australian born singer, composer, actress and broadcaster. She trained under Dame Nellie Melba who apparently persuaded her to change her name to Winn and called her “a human flute”. She settled in the UK and was a regular on the Home Service, first as a performer in programmes such as Songs from the Shows (from 1930) and Variety Bandbox, later as a regular in panel shows such as Just a Minute and Twenty Questions. She was in the very first edition of Twenty Questions in 1947 as well as the last, thirty years later, in 1976. She devised (with Ian Messiter) and chaired Petticoat Line, an all-women panel show which discussed listeners’ letters and problems. Her obituary in the Independent notes “This was before the women’s lib movement reached its present status.” Anona Winn died aged 90 in 1994.]
To: Carisbrooke, Miss S Westcott, Edgehill College, Bideford, N. Devon
Thought you would like a pretty card this week. This is the tower where someone let off a bomb a few months ago – somewhere up at the top, I think where I’ve marked it. The top floor is a restaurant which keeps going round so you can see London whilst you eat.
Lots of love Dad xx
[The Post Office Tower was opened in October 1965. A bomb exploded at the point marked by the correspondent on 31 October 1971. Contemporary reports record that a caller claimed it was planted by the “Kilburn Battalion” of the IRA but both the official and provisional wings of the IRA denied this. Other newspaper reports speak of a caller claiming it was planted by the Angry Brigade as “a protest against the government’s taking the British people into the Common Market”. However, the Angry Brigade suspects had been arrested in the summer of 1971 and although the Brigade undoubtedly caused a number of explosions (most sources attribute 25 bombings to them between 1968 and 1971, and 33 sticks of gelignite were found at a flat they used in Amhurst Road), none of the suspects were convicted of planting explosives. As far as I can see, who planted the bomb remains a mystery (happy to be corrected). Nobody was hurt and the restaurant reopened within a month. Butlins held the lease on the restaurant until 1980, after which it closed and public access to the building ended.
Carisbrooke was one of four houses at Edgehill College, an independent school for girls owned by the Methodist Church.]