The Meeting this year at the White Hart Hotel was very successful. Jonathan Cooper - our most able and amusing Chairman- decided that we could start the meeting with the Channel 4 recording of the news item that went out on 28 June, the day that Anthony died.The fact that Anthony's death made the National news on radio and television was a tribute to his writing which we felt should be shared.
It was a particularly interesting and entertaining programme this year. Peter Singleton , Ellis Cory, Geoff Goodyear and Peter Hicks each read - very entertainingly -from the books illustrating different aspects of Anthony's writing.
Graham Taylor gave a most comprehensive summary of post war radio and illustrated the part that Anthony had played in its development.
Then, Bernard Elwen talked on REX MILLIGAN - Jennings's urban counterpart -and he speculated on the reasons why the books did not have the success of the Jennings series. I found his views very interesting although we had different ideas about this, but Bernard's views were no doubt equally valid.
The ten volumes of the Radio plays are now in print -very handsomely produced - and our dear friend Val Biro spoke of the pleasure he has derived from illustrating much of Anthony's work.
I gave a quick summary of the things that I have done since Anthony's death:
The Quentin Blake Jackanory illustrations I have bequeathed to the Victoria i and Albert Museum and the letters written by Anthony's father in the First World War have gone to the Imperial War Museum. These letters formed the core of the Radio 4 Programme "According to Buckeridge" which has been repeated on various occasions since it was first broadcast in 1997.
I have also done a Mailshot to schools hoping to bring attention to the musical "Jennings Abounding" which has been languishing on French's catalogue without much success for some years!
David Schutte decided to cast and direct a reading of one of the Radio plays JENNINGS TAKES THE WRONG TURNING and this proved to be so successful that David was besought to repeat the item with another radio play next year! (10th June 2006).
I have television recordings of two interviews which Antony made and we had time to show the PEBBLE MILL.interview with Bob Langley and decided to keep the WOGAN interview to show next year.
Such a successful meeting owed so much to Jonathan Cooper who in addition to his busy schedule has so ably re-written and extended the work begun by David Batthust. "The Jennings Companion" has now metamorphosed into this most handsome new book THE WORLD OF JENNINGS.