No to no Brexit deal

THE Government has tried to rebrand a No-Deal Brexit as an “Australian-style” one - because Australia does not have trading arrangements with the European Union beyond minimal World Trading Organisation ones.

Now I read that Australia wants to negotiate something better than “fairly fractured and limited access." It will be terribly ironic, then – and terrible for Britain – if we end up on worse terms with our closest and most important trading partners than Australia!

The time to avoid that is short, with our EU transitional arrangements ending in December and the Government failing so far to agree with Brussels on what comes next. Readers might wish to join me and local pro-European organisations, such as Swindon for Europe, in a national online lobbying effort - #NO2NODEAL - this Thursday (October 8) organised by the European Movement UK. Further details can be found at

Steve Cowdry

Saddleback Road


Sweden an example

Covid-19 seems to be getting worse in Britain. The figures for positive cases are rising every day and much of Britain has gone back into lockdown.

The government has spent over 100 billion pounds financing the furlough scheme but I cannot see what has actually been achieved. We seem to be back at square one. The lockdown has destroyed much of British industry and additional businesses are collapsing every day.

Sweden on the other hand chose not to lockdown although they brought in a lot of social restrictions. Sweden got much better results through voluntary social distancing, working from home, discourage using public transport, ban on gatherings over 50 people, restrict care homes visits, table-only service in bars and restaurants.

Sweden has made these changes permanent and therefore has avoided a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Steve Halden

Beaufort Green

Search for ex-wrens

I am looking for ex-wrens - anyone who joined during 1946-81 and trained at HMS Dauntless (Reading). I'm compiling a searchable, accessible archive of Divisional class photos that only ex-wrens may access. The collection also encourages old friends to be rediscovered, memories shared and new friendships/support groups formed.

With permission from various wrens support groups, I started this archive and for want of anywhere better or more accessible, I stored the collection in a private FB group and contacted all the Wrens I could trace using normal social media sources. But I know that there are many hundreds of ladies out there who don't use social media.

Within days I realised the idea was much bigger than just photo storage. A friend came on board to help with the deluge of information and within a month we had over 1000 members. That's when we realised that this was so much more than just an archive of old photos. Especially during lockdown, it became a place of memories, finding old friends, making new ones, adding photos of adventures and escapades. It brought isolated ladies together, occasionally offered moral support and gave us all things to think and talk about. Within the first month of existence there were over 10.5k social interactions within the Group.

30,000 wrens went through the gates of HMS Dauntless during the 34 years in operation. Approximately 40 divisions (classes) per year which means a rough total of 1,360 classes which equals the potential for 1,360 class photos. We currently have around 600 photos.

We've published in the usual naval and military publications but we'd like to reach those who don't read these or use social media. If you were, or you know of any who were, in the Wrens, please get in touch with us because we'd love to hear from you and give the opportunity to reconnect with old classmates.

Mandy Whitham

Coordinator Dauntless Div Phots