News

Hyde Pre-School

On Thursday 23 October Animals’ Voice Chairman Betty Price and staff took some animals and a slide-show created especially for young people to Stuckton Congregational Church just outside Fordingbridge.  The church is temporarily home to Hyde Pre-School until renovations at Hyde Church are complete where the children normally attend.

The children were aged from 2 years old and cared for by Rose Brown and her colleagues.  Although they were very young the children were eager to see, hold, and interact with a wild rabbit and a young hedgehog we had taken with us.  Princess the canary who is permanently cared for by Chairman Betty Price also came along and entertained everyone with regular outbursts of song!

During our visit the children of Hyde pre school asked questions about the animals including those they had seen in the slide show and also told us about their own pets including dogs, rabbits and chickens.

Michael Williams Writes…

Patron Michael Williams reflects on Animals Welfare Action and recalls some who inspired us.

Though campaigning for animal welfare can seem a lonely and often frustrating business, we should take strength and motivation from men and women who have or are working so heroically for our cause.  Mark Shand, who died in 2014, is such a case.  In the 1980’s he went to India and rescued a lovely elephant called Tara.  Their relationship changed his whole life: the beginning of his love affair with India and his work for the survival of Indian elephants.  He co-founded the charity, Elephant Family, and his death last year was a big blow.  But the great news is that his sister, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, and her husband Prince Charles, have become working Co-Presidents of Elephant Family—and they will never forget Tara or Mark Shand.  Such a legacy must hearten all of us who care about Asian elephants and the welfare of all animals.

I did not know Mr Shand but I did know Derek Tangye, the celebrated Cornish writer about country life and animals in particular.  Derek and his beautiful wife Jean were influential friends, demonstrating, in the conversation and their writing, how animals and birds have distinctive personalities.  Without knowing it, they set me on the animal welfare road.

They have been at the centre of many occasions, they both worked for MI5 in the war and had met numerous famous people.  A couple who lifted your spirit, boosted morale.  Not for nothing did The Irish Times say:  “Read the Tangye books, give them, and spread them.  They are hope and they are beautiful”.  Thankfully too, the books are all now back in print.

img-2818I have already written about the transforming chairmanship and friendship of John Hobhouse in his era at the RSPCA and, in that context, I must also mention Michael Seymour-Rouse, a marvellous director of publicity.  Both in publishing and animal welfare matters, Michael gave valuable guidelines.  Two powerful allies.

The fact that Sonia and I care for wild birds in our neck of the Cornish woods largely stems from the influence of the late Charles Simpson, a man rated as probably the best bird painter of his generation.  Charles and I did not agree on the subject of hunting—though I greatly admired his horse paintings, he opened eyes to the beauty of birds, especially gulls.  We feed Hubert most days, a gull named after Derek Tangye’s gull on the roof, and other wild birds any and every day.

Today, nationally and internationally, we can take great pride in the leadership of Prince William.  His bringing together of as many as seven organisations in the title  of United For Wildlife is a brilliant example of the cohesion we need to generate.

There must be a salute too for Virginia McKenna and all she and her family have done and continue to do with Born Free, now, I think in its 31st year.  Virginia surely deserves to be made a Dame.  There is nothing like a Dame.

And let us take pride in the industry and compassion of our Animals’ Voice Chairman Betty Price and her team for taking the AV message (and animals) into the community real missionary zeal.  Daily I think of the Cinnamon Trust, a national organisation based in West Cornwall.  Our dear black cat Donna is living evidence of their rehoming policy.  A truly wonderful organisation.

This article could easily turn into an essay of praise.  West of the Tamar, there are campaigners like Charles Lovell, a retired headmaster and a letter-writer to the press and politicians in the Premier League.

And over at Boscastle we have Vivienne Hircock, another AV member, whose pungent letters to the papers make such impact.  Finally I must not forget Peter Thomas, a retired farmer who once had working horses on his farm near St Just-in-Penwith.  Peter contributed constructive down-to-earth communications during the excessive whipping debate regarding race horses.

We are in good company.

Mrs Helen Hall

Animals’ Voice member Mrs Helen Hall with just two of the delicious Christmas cakes that she kindly makes and donates to raise funds towards our work every year.  Besides these cakes Mrs Hall also makes and donates a large gift boxed Christmas Cake for us to raise funds with in our Christmas Raffle!

We are so grateful to Mrs Hall for her kind support for our work and for the wonderful cakes that she makes all of which are hand decorated and then beautifully gift wrapped ready for us to sell at our annual Christmas Table-Top Sale.

Mrs Hall visited our offices on Friday the 28th November (the day before our sale) to deliver the cakes.  We are truly grateful for her wonderful support for our work as each year sales of her Christmas cakes contribute towards the final total we raise.

Thank you, Helen

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In Memory of Mrs Diane Pike

9 March 1925 – 31 December 2014

It is with sadness we inform members of the passing of Mrs Diane Pike (Retired), Trustee of Animals’ Voice who sadly departed this world on the 31st December 2014.

Mrs Pike became a Trustee of our organisation then know as Animals’ Vigilantes in the early 70’s dedicating her life to helping animals.  Looking back over correspondence we found a letter from Diane which read that she had been encouraged by Lady Dowding who founded BWC to join the Board of Trustees of Animals’ Vigilantes.  Lady Dowding hoped that the two organisations might work together and encourage all ages to campaign against vivisection and to use Beauty Without Cruelty Cosmetics which had not been tested on animals and produced using only natural products.  Mrs Price remembers when Mrs Pike and herself would often attend charity functions demonstrating the Beauty Without Cruelty cosmetic range and giving out information about Animals’ Vigilantes work (back then our work focused more on abolishing vivisection in schools and colleges). Between them they spent many hours travelling the country giving talks and demonstrations using the Beauty Without Cruelty cosmetic range.

Over the years Mrs Pike supported our work attending many functions and events—one being the opening of James Mason House in November 1976.   Meeting our joint Presidents James Mason and his wife Clarissa who kindly opened the building along with various other Patrons, the late Harry Corbett (with sooty and sweep).  Another such occasion was our 25th Anniversary held at the Ashburn Hotel also attend by many of our Patrons such as Jill Gomez, the late Leslie Crowther to name but a few!

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Diane, front seated, at the opening of James Mason House with the late Ted Cox, James and Clarissa Mason, Animals’ Vigilantes staff.

It was in 1978 the organisation started a petition campaigning against the culling of seals for furs.  Mrs Pike was very much involved in this campaign helping to raise awareness of the barbaric slaughter of innocent seals and helped to raise thousands of signatures which was later presented to Canada House by the late Spike Milligan and Ted Cox Chairman.

Everyone that knew Mrs Pike will know her first love was her beloved cats and working along side the Cats Protection Society. We understand that with a group of like minded ladies they set up the charity called PAWS which later expanded and became the Cat Protection Society. Her fund raising for the organisation was incredible over the years but she also loved and cared for many cats during her life time.

img-057-061eThis lady is a great loss to the world of animals and to ourselves she was a true inspiration over the years and we can imagine she has already set about caring for our heavenly creatures.  Her love for all animals was incredible and like us all she campaigned for the day that all animals would be treated fairly, to be loved and cared by us all.

We could not have wished for a more dedicated person and we are so glad she was part of our team for so many years.

She may have retired from Animals’ Voice in June 2009 but she never stopped caring!

A truly marvellous and wonderful lady—who will be deeply missed by so many. God Bless!

Cream Tea Afternoon

This year we have organised our afternoon Cream Tea to take place on Sunday July 27th and will commence from 2.30pm through until 5.30 pm.

We hope that all local members will come along and support us with family and friends and enjoy an afternoon of tea, scones and a variety of home baked cakes!

The hall itself is situated in a small village called Godshill which is approximately three miles from our headquarters in Fordingbridge and sits on the edge of the New Forest.  So if you fancy a stroll before or after your cream tea the choice is yours.  Sadly the halls health and safety rules does not allow dogs in to the hall but we will make sure seating is arranged outside providing the weather is good.

We are hoping to entice visitors pasing through the New Forest to come in an partake in our event and hopefully raise much needed funds for our work.  So there will be plenty of signs to slow them down and think cream tea would be nice!

At the event we would very much like to hold a stall selling our sales goods from the office which would include tea towels, aprons, overn gloves, tea cosies and shopping bags etc!  But in order for us to achieve this we do need voluntary help for the afternoon.  We are always looking for volunteers at our events as there is alway so much to be organised.  So if any members or friends out ther would like to help during the afternoon we would be delighted to hear from you so please call Tracy or Jayne on 01425 653663.

We look forward to seeing you there and hopefully we can make this year even better that last year!