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Last weekend saw the finale of this year’s Cheltenham Literature Festival, which has brought bibliophiles and culture vultures from across the country to Evergreen and This England’s hometown. It was a marvellous 10 days of events featuring authors, historians, politicians, actors, comedians, musicians, journalists, poets, photographers and many more. On Saturday afternoon I joined a packed audience to see an interview with a lady whose face symbolised a decade and became part of Britain's cultural history. She was – and indeed still is - a style icon and, like many who made the headlines at the time, she captured the youthful spirit, creativity and British quirky charm, which characterised that era. She is Neasden’s most famous daughter. Any ideas?

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There are certain things that, due to technological progress or changing tastes, we no longer tend to see in everyday life. But every now and then you come across a refreshing glimpse of yesteryear amid the 21st-century. This happened to me a couple of weeks ago during my lunch-hour as I walked into Cheltenham town centre. Outside a shop, I saw a tall gentleman, smartly dressed in a tweed suit. He had a contented and reflective look on his face as he engaged in a seldom-seen pursuit and I instantly thought: “Now, there’s a sight you don’t see very often these days.” At once the memories started to flood back. I have seen him on several occasions since, doing exactly the same thing and, as I walk past him, I know that he is enjoying a moment’s peace within the frantically paced world. You see, dear reader, the tweed-suited gentleman of whom I write, is one of a particularly rare breed in these times; he is a pipe smoker.

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Back in 1979 I recall my parents tuning in to a new programme one Sunday afternoon on BBC1. By the time the credits rolled they were hooked and the subsequent series became a "must-see" in our house. All these years later my parents are still watching and I too have become a keen viewer. The fact that the "Antiques Roadshow" has just embarked on its 40th series is testament to its enduring appeal and success. Like many objects featured on the programme, it has become a much-loved treasure and I think that is largely because it is so wonderfully and reassuringly British. Where else in the world would people queue patiently, in all weathers, to have their collectables and curiosities valued?

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Just like sand in sandwiches, sticks of rock and wrestling with a windbreak on a windswept beach, sending a postcard has been an intrinsic part of the British holiday tradition since the 1900s. It coined the expressions "Wish you were here" and "Having a lovely time", and generations of holidaymakers have penned and posted a few lines to the folks back home from much-loved resorts and destinations across the country. From souvenir shops and beach-side kiosks we would purchase scenes of coast, countryside, towns, villages, famous landmarks and customs, or even throngs of happy holidaymakers - like ourselves - paddling in the briny, basking in the sun or savouring the bracing sea air. And, among the picturesque panoramas and subtle watercolours who can forget those cheeky colourful cartoon postcards famed for their own saucy blend of humour!

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We love books here at Evergreen and in each issue we feature articles about much-loved or lesser-known literary creations and their authors. All types of reading material are represented on the Evergreen bookshelves, from adventure to historical fiction and detective novels to the great classics. In our forthcoming winter edition, published on 22nd November (click here to order your copy), our regular “Literary Pilgrim” series will be turning the pages of some spine-chilling tales of the supernatural by the likes of Charles Dickens, M.R. James, Bram Stoker and Edith Nesbit. The latter, of course, is famous for her children's literature, so it is fascinating to discover her literary exploration of the ghost world.

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It is fascinating how everyday objects can awaken memories and take us back in time. Many of the items featured in Evergreen transport you through the decades, and when discussing articles for each issue it also prompts us here in the office to share recollections, which is a real tonic. Music and places are frequent sparks for reminiscing, but so too is food as I discovered in my local supermarket the other day.

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In the summer edition of Evergreen I wrote about my love of radio, which I know is something that is shared by many readers and is the subject of one of our regular features "On the Air". This week I was given the opportunity to take to the airwaves and talk about the magazine (click here to order our autumn issue) on a marvellous station called Angel Radio (www.angelradio.co.uk), which is based in Havant, Hampshire.

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It is time to turn the calendar as we welcome the ninth month of the year and I can hardly believe that we are three-quarters of the way through 2017. September heralds many things including the publication of the autumn issue of Evergreen on the 6th, although lucky subscribers receive their copies well in advance of publication date (click here to arrange a subscription).

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Last Friday we lost one of our great Knights of Entertainment, Sir Bruce Forsyth. Many of the wonderful heartfelt tributes that flooded in after the announcement of his death referred to him as the “King of Saturday Night Television”. Of that there is no doubt; his small-screen career encompassed an astonishing 75 years and earned him a place in the "Guinness Book of Records". But although most of our memories are filled with his game-show antics and inimitable catchphrases there was much more to this star who was loved and respected by all ages, by fellow performers and the public alike.

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What is your favourite word? I have to admit to being rather partial to “serendipity”, and another one I favour is “mellifluous”. “Recalcitrant” is satisfyingly sharp and sculpted, while “erudite”, “eloquence” and “nuance” roll off the tongue pleasingly. “Gumption” is another good one, then there’s “insouciance” and, as we’re in that area of the alphabet, how about “indefatigable”? For me it’s not just the definition of the word that attracts me to it, but the sound it makes – the musical and rhythmic quality it possesses.

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