At first I thought I would write about the time I was invited to a meal in honour of Lady Baden Powell in Dar-es-Salam when I was doing a two year stint as a teacher for Voluntary Service Overseas in Tanzania, but then my husband mentioned something about the long campaign he was involved in to restore the pensions of 500 workers lost when the BUSM company went bust and the workers faced financial disaster. I immediately thought of the afternoon when an ITV company visited our home and burned £20 notes in our garden for a documentary about lost pensions called “Money to Burn”, so we decided to make this a joint effort.
I am so proud of the part my husband played in getting these pensions restored, he was interviewed by local and national newspapers and appeared on the politics today programme as well as in the documentary
But to return to the money to burn; as well as the interview with my husband, the film crew wanted to film the opening shots over which the titles and credits would roll, showing the burning money. Fear not, it was not real money. They had painstakingly got permission to print pictures of £20 notes, on one side only, on ordinary paper. They looked very realistic.
All we needed was the money and a match or other sure-fire way of igniting it at the start of the interview. Umm no – Murphy’s law takes priority! There was all the money, there was the camera man but money refused to burn!
Now my Girl Guide experience came into play and my Tanzanian Guides would have been proud of me as I made a pyramid of notes in my commandeered grill pan and got a good fire going with only one match. I still have the charred ashes and burnt pan as a souvenir.