“Pen and Polisher” was the intriguing title of Di Alexander’s talk on March 28. The pen was explained by her job as a journalist on the ‘Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard’ and as a contributor to ‘Cotswold Life’.

This took her over a wide area interviewing people, including members of the Royal family who, of course, live in the area. As a rule she found the not-so-famous people had amazing lives and several became firm friends.

She recounted how 35-40 years ago copy was produced on a manual typewriter with carbon copies, then electric typewriter and finally to word processing. She always relied on pen and notebook for interviews rather than recording them.

There were a few wry smiles at her journalistic credo: tell the truth, get it right and never use a complicated phrase or long word, in other words, keep it simple.

When the children were young she stayed at home and, needing extra cash, she took on a cleaning job, hence the polisher.

It turned out that her employer, Pamela Jackson, was one of the Mitford sisters, the not-so-famous one.

This must have been a journalist’s dream come true. She was a gardener and cook, also a great raconteur.

Many other members of the family came to stay. Having become close friends, Pamela agreed to Di writing a book about her life and this was published in 2012 under the title “The Other Mitford” – Pamela’s story.

This was a fascinating talk and we look forward to Di’s next visit. We meet at 10:00 every Thursday at The Boathouse, Evesham Rowing Club. Our speaker on April 4 will be Paddy Hannigan speaking on “From Civil War to Civil Rights” and on April 11 the title of Ginny Davies’s talk will be “From the Pillory to the Prison Cell”.

Full details can be found on our website eveshamprobus.co.uk

Alan Smith