The compensation catches
Firstly here is my latest blog post on the delays to compensation for Subpostmasters. It follows on from my newsletter last week. Thanks to everyone who forwarded me information. Everything anyone sends me about any matter will be treated in the strictest confidence and never published without express permission. Sources will always be protected and never revealed without express permission. I am grateful to Deirdre for her willingness to go public in this latest post.
On Friday I drove three-and-a-half hours, mainly round a highly-congested M25 to get to Sudbury to talk about the Post Office Scandal, coasting at the appropriate speed through Castle Hedingham in Essex to do so.
Ian Warren was the former Subpostmaster in Castle Hedingham and he was due to speak on stage alongside me. Sadly, at around 1pm on Friday, Ian called to tell me he had tested positive for COVID-19.
Wishing Ian all the best, I wondered what I should do next. I need not have worried. Ian suggested I get in touch with Graham Ward, a founding member of the Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance. Graham apparently lived and worked not too far away, but Ian did not have his contact details.
I searched through my emails and was delighted to see that although Graham and I had never met, within the last couple of years Graham had become a secret emailer!
Not only that, he had kindly got in touch and put his mobile phone number in one of his emails. Graham had also put an incorrect number in another one of his emails, which is of course the one I dialled first. Eventually we got in touch and Graham somehow kindly agreed to finish work early, drive up to Sudbury from Chelmsford and tell a packed Quay Theatre what it was like to be a founding member of the JFSA.
Graham was a superb guest and I dearly hope it was a useful experience for him. The audience were delighted he had taken the time to come along and I am obviously endlessly grateful he spared the time to do so. Photo below:
In other Post Office news there is a play called False Accounts about the Horizon scandal which is playing in Birmingham in mid-October and then London at the beginning of November. You can buy tickets here.
I honestly know nothing about it. I’ve been approached several times by playwrights and directors about turning the story or my book into a play, and I’ve always fought shy. I might go along, I might not. It’s certainly intriguing.
Central London Horizon Scandal Fund Walk
If you’d like to support the newly-registered charity known as the Horizon Scandal Fund, there are a few more spaces left on the walk on 29 Sep (next week) which secret emailer Ian Fagelson is leading next Thursday.
We meet somewhere close to St Paul’s cathedral. All the details are here.
All Ian asks is a minimum £1 donation to the Horizon Scandal Fund. If you’ve been wondering why I’ve been plugging this walk so much it’s because Ian has been instrumental in achieving charitable status for the Fund in the face of what I would describe as deliberately gormless bureaucracy. I lost patience several months ago. Ian (and Helen and David at Bath Publishing) didn’t. I am grateful.
We are going to press release the launch of the Fund as a charity this week. If you want to interview our biggest donor or our chair of trustees for a media outlet, please do reply. We’d love to speak to you.
If you like Julain Worricker and/or Richard Osman, I am being interviewed by the former at the Cuckfield Book Festival, which being attended by the latter (in his home town of Cuckfield, West Sussex) on 9 October (although I think Richard is there on the 8th).
The link for tickets to the talk at 1pm is here: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/booking/select/RdiEJKhzXNnT
I am delighted to say our session is already doing well enough to be shifted into the Big Room from the Upstairs Room. Julian (one of my broadcasting heroes) was instrumental in getting me invited to the festival. Please do come along if you can.
Right. I have to get up at 5am to write another 1000 words on Johnny Depp before doing a podcast with legendary member of the 555 Deirdre Connolly about the lastest twist in her fight for compensation. That should be available as a podcast soon.