LIGHTHOUSE LADY by JAN ETHERINGTON

Jan may have chosen this title for her extremely lively and entertaining talk to us  last night, but it really didn't set the scene for the next hour, which left us in awe of how much she has packed into her incredibly varied career as British writer, journalist, producer and last but not least Lighthouse Guide.

She took us through her early years when her hopes were dashed having a career as a " heart breaker" at Primary School - just too many knock backs but by secondary school she decided that a career as a vet was definitely on the cards until she fainted on the first day of her Saturday job in the surgery - even though there wasn't a drop of blood to be seen- another career path in tatters! Whilst attending Secondary School she thought that  writing a serious verse on her favourite subject of dogs in the school magazine might allow her to be seen in a different light and begin her career in journalism- the pupils thought it hilarious and so her career in comedy writing began
I need to précis some of the following years as there is just so much to say, Jan came to prominence as creator of "Second Thoughts " along with her husband Gavin Petrie, originally a Radio series this become an incredibly popular TV series with names such as Linda Bellingham and James Bolam starring in it and was broadcast for 5 years. They went on to create "Next of Kin" airing for 3 series and starring Penelope Keith and William Gaunt, her popularity as a comedy writer continued with "Faith in the Future" and "Duck Patrol"with stars such as David Tenant and Richard Wilson and many more followed
Jan moved from Sunbury on Thames to Walberswick following her daughter Lucy's move to Suffolk and continues to be a popular humorous newspaper writer, speaker and broadcaster, is currently involved in a new series on Radio 4 " Conversations from a Long Marriage" with Joanna Lumley , she is well known for her extremely witty sayings with quotes such as " no wonder beachcombing is the new metal detecting, when rewards range from pineapples to fridges"
She swims daily in the Sea from May onwards and says " It's ludicrous to be scared of swimming in the sea. Why don't you join me for a North Sea dip? " there's an invitation for us all! She is now heavily involved being a Tour Guide for Southwold Lighthouse - hence the name of her talk!


Christine Cook bought the evening to a close after thanking Jan for her superb talk (and Alva Semple for managing to find such a superb speaker) Refreshments were enjoyed, the raffle drawn and then she shared  the fantastic news that our recent Coffee Morning had raised a staggering £725.60 to be shared equally between the local Guides and Scouts- what an amazing achievement and she thanked all those who had donated gifts, cakes and their time to make this such a tremendous success.


Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 16th June at Reydon Village Hall at 7.30 when Jenny Gibbs will be giving us an insight into the world of Running a B& B - all welcome.