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Feelgood Saturday 11th September 2010

This week Phoenix FM presenter Russell Quirk popped in with his lovely daughter Kaia to tell us about their visit to the opening of brand new shop Piccola in Brentwood High Street, where Kaia was excited to have met Peppa Pig! Russell also told us about his Soap Box every Friday on Phoenix FM at 7pm, when he’s joined by local movers and shakers.

I was also delighted to welcome what seemed like the whole of Billericay into the studio in the form of some of the members of the Billericay Operatic Society. They’re putting on Pirates of Penzance 2010 at the Brentwood Theatre in October, and were doing a singathon in the Baytree Centre to promote the show. They’re a tremendously lively bunch who obviously have a great time, and the show’s producer, Jane, said they’re always on the look out for new members. Billericay Operatic Society has been running for an incredible 80 years, but there are no original members left – although good friend of Phoenix, Mark Reed, who now manages Brentwood Theatre, did phone in to say that he appeared in an earlier production of Pirates when he joined the Society 20 years ago! Their website is at

Being 9/11 I asked for memories of what people were doing when they first heard the dreadful news of the terror attacks on the USA 9 years ago. It was one of those rare events in history - like the death of Princess Diana or, if you’re a bit older, Kennedy’s assassination – that became engraved on everyone’s memory, and what struck me was the stark contrast between the mundanity of ordinary life one moment and the next learning of an event that not only destroyed the lives of thousands of people but also was to change the future of the World. Joanne got in touch to say that she’d just settled down in front of the TV with a cup of tea after a morning’s work; Beth remembered hearing the news of the first attack from colleagues at work, when it was still being reported as an accident, and recalled feeling cold and numb when the second plane struck and it became apparent that it was no accident. Perhaps most poignant were Clive’s recollections – he remembered being in New York a few months before and seeing the Twin Towers from across the Hudson River, thinking at the time what a great symbol of achievement in the man-made world that they were, and how hard it was to imagine that they could ever have been brought down in the way that they were. Clive also said that he’d recently been to an art exhibition at The Barbican where one of the exhibits was a film of a burning house, showing the family that had lived in it running for their lives - it struck him that what we take for granted, even the place we establish as our home, can be gone in a moment.

On a more cheerful note, the Stuck in a moment quiz was a brief clip from a 90s hit; my (probably not very helpful) clue being that it was by an American band with a Scottish singer.*

And my cryptic Where am I? clue to a location somewhere in our area was “the small shelters weigh 2,240 pounds up there,” with a somewhat more helpful clue that it was a location between Brentwood and Billericay.*

*The answer to Stuck in a moment was Stupid Girl by Garbage. Where am I? was Hutton Mount.

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