The P.Wyndham Little Project 4

A new type of letter from Mr Wyndham, attached to the normal set, someone who has contacted me has received the following:

STATEMENT

I have prepared this statement to answer most of the usual questions that I am asked, when delivering my letters.

I have been distributing my letters since 1994, throughout Scotland, England and Wales. When I began, I thought that the difficulties, to which I draw your attention, would be resolved within a few years and that as a result, all of the jobless would have livings again. I still believe that soon there will be livings for all.

As I find more to say about it all, I have to return to towns that I have already delivered earlier letters to, with new letters. As I now have much less money than before, I cannot revisit in every year.

I now spend less per town delivery, than I did at first. Typically , I expect to spend each year, £600 on materiel and £500 on each of two trips. I continue to send letters via Royal Mail to remote addresses.

What I stress in these letters is that I produced ideas over nearly 50 years that have brought many revolutions to the ways we work, live and think. This new enlightenment has brought prosperity occupation and recreation that our grandparents could not even have dreamt of. What I say now, is that we all must participate in this prospecting for ideas for new products, services, management and government. I also stress that we all must have our livings protected from displacement by new ways.

P.Wyndham Little

P Wyndham Little 3 – New information!

It has been a little while, but as I mentioned, the day before yesterday I got another email about P Wyndham Little. I seem to get at least one a year, for the last 4 years or so. If you don’t know what I’m on about, the short explanation is that in 1997 I found a set of letters left neatly folded on my doorstep, from a person called P Wyndham Little. They weren’t in an envelope or addressed to me, they were just left there. In about 2002 (vague guess) I decided to put them onto my website, and see if anybody found them on there. And gradually the response has been quite surprising, as it turned out that several people had also had similar experiences. To see what I’ve had in the past, read:

The P Wyndham Little Project 1

The P Wyndham Little Project 2

So anyway, this is the bulk of the email I had recently:

“I don’t know why I googled P Wyndham Little, but I did! For a few years in the 90s, I lived just round the corner from Merchiston Crescent, in SW Edinburgh’s fairly well-to-do Merchiston suburbs – JK Rowling, Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall-Smith all live there these days.

Anyway, I used to happen upon these little scribblings in the street outside my front door all the time. A few friends who I still see these days remember them as well. I would think this guy had been made redundant from Farrant or BAE systems, a big defence / electronics firm in Edinburgh at the time, judging by his occasionally impressive engineering knowledge.

…. I note from my googling that his seems to still be hard at it, leaving messages for BBC’s Nick Robinson. Good to know someone collected this rambling opus.”

This is interesting on a few counts, firstly that this is the first person to have the same experience I did, of having the letters left on their doorstep. Everybody else seemed to have received them mailed to a workplace. Also the literary references are worth noting; I’ve said before that they reminded me of Alasdair Gray, but now I look into that, it is worth knowing that he seems to be very strongly based in Glasgow. Finally, that is the first sighting I’ve had of him online. Of course I’ve no proof that is him online, could just be someone’s choice of login who has also come across the letters, but given his interest in politics, maybe it could be him. I wonder if he’ll ever type himself into google…

The P.Wyndham Little Project 2

I received this email a couple of days ago. Very excited by this:

“I have just stumbled across the P.Wyndham Little area of your web site.

About 6 years ago, I moved into a house in a small village just south of Nottingham. That was in July 1999. Approximately three months later I received a letter through the post addressed to ‘The Occupier’ and the first half of the postcode. This letter had been posted in Edinburgh. It contained copies of seven letters, all written to The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP and all from a P.Wyndham Little.

The arrival of the letters was totally unexpected – I have never had any connections with anyone in Edinburgh. The person who owned the house before me was Scottish but this is probably just a coincidence.

The first letter starts with the words ‘ The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”? It is identical to the final letter contained on your web site (but it has an additional footnote referring to “…the fine movie Heavens Above”)

However the other letters, all in a similar eccentric vein, are different to the ones on your web site.

Like you, for no real reason, I decided to hang onto the letters, perhaps hoping that one day the mystery of their contents may become clear. This eventually led me to execute a Google search on the internet”

The letters were attached as word documents, and were indeed in the exact style of the ones I had myself received. They follow below.


The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP P. Wyndham Little
93 Causewayside
EDINBURGH
EH9 1QG

Saturday 11 January 1997

Dear Nigel Griffiths,

“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.”?

Until very recently, if your state had no coal you had no electric power. Where there is no electricity, every article produced has to be worked by hand. The result is poverty and unrest leading to peoples republics.

I wanted to see film of the nuclear tests. These pictures still amaze me. I wondered if “they” could make electricity with it….make what? How? I was familiar with the insides of a torch battery and imagined that if carbon rods were introduced, they could be used to slow it down so that The Bomb could be used to boil water. What nonsense!..?

Nevertheless, some time later I was asked what name One would call Her new nuclear power station. What would One call Her hall? And so it was called Her hall: Calder Hall (Caulder/colder). I cannot now remember if the name of the local river brought the inspiration or if the river was named later. I imagined One switching it on and a giant indicator showing the power fed to The National Grid.

I wondered if submarines could use nuclear fuel instead of diesel. I believed that they might be able to stay submerged for weeks at a time, enabling them to cross under the North Pole. Hence the name Polaris. Ice Station Zebra, the Alastair Maclean chiller movie, came during The Cold War to support Polaris and decisions made about The Mission* to The Moon.

Yours sincerely,

P.Wyndham Little.

*so called after the fine movie Heavens Above.


The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP P.Wyndham Little
93 Causewayside
EDINBURGH
EH9 1QG

Thursday 19 June 1997

Dear Nigel Griffiths,

“It will see me out.”

When I lived at Merchiston Crescent, I would often come home from work to find a note from a neighbour and always I would exclaim …“Oh Lord no! or worse. As we all saw, a combination of factors led to the neglect of the tenements. Many in Glasgow had to he demolished.

So it is as well in the nation. We learn the procedures, the codes, and our place from birth. Any attempt to depart from these, runs the risk of being shunned.* Some may take pride in their skill in these. Most leave their lives in the hands of “the experts’. While this all seems to bring order and prosperity, every government starts to run up a list of problems. I suppose that parliament with its party system was introduced to ensure that government always has the support of the people. That has always been the case in this united kingdom?

There is no policy for a return to full employment. While you say that the number of people out of work is falling, I think you will find that the long-term unemployed believe that what you say is untrue. Perhaps unemployment will see you out before the end of term. Who will the electors vote for then to waste their time? Perhaps there will be no election.

Do the electors now understand that you cannot govern the unemployment situation because it is a job for experts who you cannot know$ until it is generally known$?

Yours sincerely,

P .Wyndham Little.

*from the movie Witness
$from the TV series Yes Minister


The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP P.Wyndham Little
31 Minto Street
ED INBURGH
EH9 2BT

Tuesday 13 April 1999

Dear Nigel Griffiths,

A Day At The Races#?

I was shocked to learn that cancer was killing people in thousands. What was more shockinq was that those I called The Patients were left to die untreated.

I understood that X-rays had to be used sparingly as they destroyed the human body. I wondered if the X-ray machines could be used to destroy what I called Tumours. (You have to chew gristle more.) I was horrified by the pictures of the results of the first trials. However I was encouraged by the news that the X-rays had indeed destroyed cancer tissue. The patients had very extensive radiation burns.

I thought that the radiation would have to be made into a narrow beam and the patient rocked back and forth to concentrate the treatment more on the tumour. But where exactly were the tumours? I came up with the notion that something radioactive would have to be found which would concentrate in the tumours and kill the cancer cells. Why could the patient not be placed behind a fluorescent screen which would show cancer cells up as bright spots? I suggested a name for this treatment: Key Mo Therapy and I was quite correct.

I do not need to know very much before I have an idea for something. As you can see for yourself, I did not need to be trained as a doctor. I do have to have the means to learn about the problem itself and I do need to be left to get on with it unmolested.

Yours sincerely,

P.Wyndham Little.

#The title I suggested for that fine mov…Dr Hack & Pus.


The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP P. Wyndham Little
93 Causewayside
EDINBURGH
EH9 1QG

Sunday 21 June 1998

Dear Nigel Griffiths,

So-sighety. Thoughts of Mao or just Ma Guffie?

My father’s Austin 16 was so small that on wet days we used to picnic in the shelter of Waverley Station. I used to dash from platform to platform to watch the arrivals and departures. I could see it all there…. 1st Class, 2nd Class, 3rd Class and the stoker busting his ass to keep it all running.

The railway, WWII and The Wild West became the sets for many classic movies which are now of historic importance. The 39 Steps, North By Northwest, Mrs Minever, Brief Encounter, Double Indemnity, Von Ryan’s Express, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, Murder on The Orient Express, The Bridge On The River Kwai, The Bridge At Remagen, Schindler’s List, The Lady Vanishes, Witness, The Railway Children….

Any who have seen that fine movie The 39 Steps will recall that “Mr Memory” was used to convey secret details of a new engine. I thought it would he grand if I invented a new engine, and I did. I invented two new engines: The Deltic Engine and The Jet Engine (W.Littles engine). It was the start of what Scilly Willy called “The White Heat*of this technological revolution.”

I was shocked to learn that both the French and the Russian people had murdered their aristocracy to achieve their revolution. What I thought was far worse and much more dangerous to mankind was that those nations which had chosen communism now turned their backs on the rest of the world. How uncivilized! I suppose that this was the inspiration for The United Nations, George Orwell’s Animal Farm and the British Colony I first thought to call King Kong (Hong Kong)

I thought that two new leaders should appear in the USA to capture the imagination of the American People and to express some of my sentiments. Both were shot dead.

I thought that The 39 Steps should be remade for the American audience. I suggested new scenes and the title North By Northwest. Clews were inserted as reminders of its origin …“Eve Kendal”’s “drawing room E car 3901” on the train, “The 20th Century” and the place chosen for the stop looked like the approaches to The Forth Bridge. Just as Alastair Maclean introduced us all to RADAR in The Guns of Navarone and Ian Flemming introduced us to Nuclear Power in Dr No, so too did the “extra” I called Hitchcock in North By Northwest introduce
us to The United Nations and the concept of the Cold War. Nations on this side of The Iron Curtain were thereafter referred to as The West. The Soviets later nicknamed her The Iron Lady.

“All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”$
if you have seen the Without Prejudice episode of Steptoe & Son you will have seen that occupations prevented equality in the 1950’s and 1960’s. There were no pithead baths and work clothes for the miners. How could the labourer sit next to the director in the train? How would the communists survive? Would they be murdered?…..Romania.

A people will only be civilized if a reason can he seen for it… Western Technology … Wyndham’s Way#. “The Nazis will give you a medal for this Von Ryan”? What kind of way is this to treat a “Hero of The Soviet Union”? All these In-dust-try-
all, bored room jobs sacrificed …. for nothing? As Gregory Peck put it in The Guns Of Navarone, “You are all in it now, and you had better think of something or by thunder …

Yours sincerely,

P.Wyndham Little.

^ just as Livingstone became Livingston, so too did Memory become Membury. Membury Services, M4 Motorway near Swindon Rail Works.
* a reference to the fine movie White Heat
$ from George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
# a dual carriageway is so named near Weston


The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths HP P.Wyndham Little
93 Causewayside
EDINBURGH
EH9 1QG

Friday 25 October 1996

Dear Nigel Griffiths,

Baa Baa Black Sheep?

Many who have read mathematics will tell you that usually mathematical techniques evolved in answer to needs for simplification of calculation for some often repeated task. I wonder if many students ask as I did: “What did the 18th century Charles Boule need his algebra for?” The only thing I can think of that it has any application is for simplification of requirements for logic gates. To what else do these rules of algebra refer? Nothing else! There was no electricity in the 18th century.

I sometimes visited the grand hall of The Edinburgh Savings Bank on Hanover Street*. I wondered why my mother had to draw money to pay bills. Why could she not pay with a note telling the bank to give the bearer the money? I suggested a name for this note: The Cheque. Much later I suggested another means of cashless payment: The Credit Card. Both of these devices brought a massive expansion in banking employment.

When I learned that transistors could he used to turn lamps on and off, I wondered if “they” could make an adding machine with transistors. While I could not see how it could be done, I realised that the semiconductor industries would sell billions more transistors. Since we can calculate using 1 to 9 (Base 10), why could not the transistors produce off and on to represent 0 and 1 (Base 2)? 1 thought that the banks would pay for these Electronic machines for which I suggested the name: Computer

Much later I was shown the resu]ts. The engineers were able to control the type of task the computer would undertake…but it was quite clear to me that no one in the banks or anywhere else would be able to. I suggested that the computer operator would use a typewriter keyboard with teletype and that the instructions he typed in (compiled) using a language just as you would speak French to a french man. I pictured the operator as if playing the piano at this keyboard and my first thought name for this language was Forte again, but later settled on Fortran and Cobal.

Some years after this “a friend” was showing me how transistors were arranged to provide functions. It occurred to me that engineers could easily become muddled by the quantity of Gates.
As there seemed to be rules involved I thought that the mathematicians should be given the task of creating a new algebra to reduce complicated requirements down to reliable simple solutions. I thought that a new Barnes Wallace of mathematics should be created who I called Charles Boule as in boulevard. (Anyway it would seem like a load of balls to most people.) I used this new algebra on the HNC course I took at Napier College and thought at that time that it worked like magic! I understand that now computers solve these problems as what is referred to as Computer Aided Engineering CAE.

From what I write here, perhaps some of the long-term unemployed would say that the last thing needed now is an army of inventors. I again remind you that my ideas have created millions of new jobs across many spheres of endeavour and that those ideas for what I called Electronics have helped to bring affordable computers which provide tedium reduction, and competence to manv dull tasks. These same techniques used to make computers are now applied in conjunction with more of my ideas for inventions to provide Television, RADAR, Satellite Communications, Nuclear Electricity Generation and much more. These have created new wealth for nations and millions of new good quality jobs just on their own. Safety, security, quality, economy and reliability which the thermionic valve never delivered.

Yours sincerely,

P.Wyndham Little.

Babbage was just another of my inventions. Perhaps that giant brass calculating engine does work, unlike Logie Baird’s Televisor which I believe never could. I suggested that those pictures of Colossus be of radio broadcasting equipment racks.

* the location for that scene in the fine movie The Man Who Never Was.


P.Wyndham Littl2 The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP
The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP
93 Causewayside
EDINBURGH
EH9 1QG
Sunday 24 January 1999
Dear Nigel Griffiths

Bye-bye to “The Hello Girls”

As a child, I was shocked to learn that all telephone calls were connected by hand by an operator at the exchange. What was more shocking was that there was a waiting list some years long to have the phone “put in”.

I was fascinated by the house bell indicator panel at. home. I knew that electromagnets made the stars wag. I had a notion that what I called a Dial could be used to switch an electro~ magnet off and on, at the exchange, which would in turn drive a rotary switch, which would connect the calls. (perhaps the inspiration for that song I suggested, about WWII factory work…”which drives the thingammybob”). Soon after that idea we had a new telephone and Morningside and Fountainbridge had new exchanges. I played with the dial. It was the inspiration for that fine Hitchcock movie Dial M for Murder. A London district was named Maida Vale after the exchange name in the movie to remind all.

I think that I had already suggested the name Transistor for the new radio valve, but it was not until after I had the idea that Transistors could be used (in the first Computers) instead of the teeth in adding machines did telephone calls start to become electronically switched. Just as I thought that RADAR helped our WWII pilots to see in the dark, I thought that what I called Computers would have helped military intelligence to break Hitler’s codes at a place I called Bletchley Park. Considering the state and availability of wireless at that time it seems unlikely that there was much need for code.

From what I write here you can see that it is not, sufficient to just invent a new technology. Stories have to be invented about it, to introduce it and to make it all Big Medicine. Just as a new technology builds on an existing technology, so too do the stories it seems. That Channel 4 TV series: Station X has bits that I made up in it. So what is the rest of it? Lure twaddle~

As each new technology appears, boring old jobs which called for endurance rather than ability, disappear much to the relief of all. If you have read even some of my letters you will appreciate that I have invented much to keep you all busy. Considering that full employment is the foundation of any civilization surely efforts should he now made to replicate my “art” rather than to use Nurse Ratchet to keep me out of your way, “This country needs every grain of corn it can get!” “This is important work!” “Isn’t it .. er Wilson?”.. “Jones knows how it works.”*

Yours sincerely,

P.Wyndham Little.

* from The Harvesters episode of Dad’s Army


P.Wyndham Little
Sunday 26 April 1998
Dear Neighbour

“Je ne puis pas jouer avec toi, dit le renard. Je ne suis pas apprivoise….. Les hommes, dit le renard, ils ont des fusils et ils chassent. C’est bien genant! Ils elevent aussi des poules. C’est leur seul interet. Tu cherches des poules?”*

Just as with the ideas for the fine movie Casablanca, I stumbled into the story of those who continue to found The United States of America, with the ideas for the movie, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, I stumbled into the story of parliament and of civilization. Perhaps some would also say that it is the story of the United Kingdom parliament and of The Clearances. I just thought it was a grand tale for the actors I called John Wayne and James Stewart to act out.

It is so long ago that I cannot now remember what SaintExupery’s book was for. However the book seems partly to expose the view that every position of authority in any civilisation is based on a pack of lies and confidence tricks. (I should know. I make many of them up for you all.) As any church will not tell you, there is no truth like a pack of lies. Where would we all be without those I called The Rt Honourable. Would our civilization exist without them?

Those who read Saint-Exupery’s book will see many occupations as administering the administrative affairs, specializing in specialist affairs. These cameos were repeated in the role of the scientist in the fine movie The Man Who Never Was. As I said then, unless we all know what to ask these experts for what we want, they will spend their time on what may seem relevant to their own lives instead of the needs of civilization. The universities turn out more and more every year. The government now pretends that they pay for their own education by tuition fees. Taxation still pays tor further education.

My ideas have helped to create new university jobs: Physics (what makes my inventions fizz), Psychology (what makes us all sigh), Electronics, Computing, Boulean Algebra (a load of balls to most people) . What I say now is that we all need to take an interest. We all need to mind the shop, so that the ideas of the many and not just the learned will re-invent civilization.

While there is mass unemployment, the employers can pay next-to-nothing wages, favour any without any thought of fairness, sack any at a moment’s notice because the long-term unemployed do not mind being called scab. New businesses only bring more competition to further force down wages. Only new industries will mop up the unemployed. The ideas for The Jet Engine, The Deltic Engine, The Television, The Transistor, The Computer, The Silicon Chip, The Motorway, Nuclear Power Generation, RADAR, LASER, The Giro, …..helped to found whole new industries. Just my ideas. What would it be like if government gathered the ideas of the many? Scope for what I called DIY.

I understand that The Thin Blue Line is stretched by a crime wave and that Her Prisons are full to bursting. I can only remind you all that a people will only be civilized if a good reason can he seen for it. We need an economic system which is based on ideas just as much as knowledge.

“Nothing is too good for the man who shot Liberty Valence.”$?

Yours sincerely,

P.Wyndham Little

* from the Saint-Exupery story Le Petit Prince
$ from the fine movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence

The P.Wyndham Little Project

P.Wyndham Little
45 Merchiston Crescent
Edinburgh EH10 5AH
Tel.0131 229 2700

Monday 20 November 1995
Dear Neighbour,
NOT FAIRCHILD
In the 1960’s even a minor “outside” T.V. broadcast called for several vans packed with power greedy and unreliable heavy equipment. I could not see how NASA could send equipment based on this technology to The Moon. You may recall that there were very many rocket launches. In my impatience, I asked for books on electronics and component manufacture to be placed in the new Blair Library at George Watson’s College. Before long I suggested a new way to make power transistors which I named The Silicon Epitaxial Planner Process. Perhaps you know that the first of these cheaper, more reliable and more capable transistors was coded 2N3055 (ZN3055). Some months later came my ideas for what I called Silicon Chips and the Fairchild 723 Regulator, the first Microcircuit.

I asked for “Shake-yer-money” to raise oil prices so that we may bring home the North Sea Oil and Gas, which I suggested “Sir Humphry” should look for, and fund the all new micro electronics industry.
I asked if we may all have the chance to own the roof over our heads, even if it be only made out of straw. I asked if Mrs Thatcher would make available funds from North Sea Oil and Gas to grant you money to repair your home.

I ask you today if you will help to secure a fair deal for those who pay for this technological revolution daily.
Yours sincerely,
P.Wyndham Little


P.Wyndham Little
The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP
93 Causewayside
EDINBURGH
EH9 1QG
Saturday 10 August 1996
Dear Nigel Griffiths,
“Sir Frank Whittle”
The 39 Steps?
Anyone visiting Pitlochry (Pit-Loch as in coal) is likely to be impressed by the hydro-electric schemes as I was. I had a notion that the an engine could be made for an aeroplane. Often I would watch the oscillating fans run in Binns shop on Princes Street while my mother shopped there. I knew that the air coming through a fan was spread out and that a case was needed to direct the thrust only in one direction. I also knew that a piston engine would get in the way of the flow. It is now so long ago I wonder if I did suggest the fuel be burnt in the air flow. What I do remember is that I suggested the name Jet Engine and that a large intake fan, driven by the exhaust, would be needed to prevent a backfire (twaddle). I believe that Rolls Royce still name their engine models after rivers to remind those who work with them.
I wanted there to be a Barns Wallace who I called Sir Frank Whittle with a tale I made up as “big medicine” for all those who worked with this equipment. I made up the name Whittle to remind me that the idea for it came from me…Little.

I do not suppose the tale was ever believed since any who have worked on jet engines will tell you that “in them days” design and development of such a system took many times more man hours than there is in a human lifetime. In addition such a radically new engine type would be full of newly invented components and materials.
I enclose a fees and expenses letter from The Royal Bank’s solicitor, Mr Tick. Since where I would like to see you thrust that would be unparliamentary, perhaps you could return it to me once you have read it.
Yours sincerely,
P.Wyndham Little


P.Wyndham Little
The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP
93 Causewayside
EDINBURGH
EH9 1QG

Saturday 27 April 1996

Dear Nigel Griffiths,
I expect this will all create a very great deal of confusion.*
While still only an infant, I used to enjoy the deep tones from my father’s radiogram. I gazed inside this cathedral for the worship of the thermionic valve where “High tension” electricity prohibited touching or cleaning. I understood that the crystal detector in a crystal set was a diode and wondered why “they” could not just add another whisker to make it do the same as a triode. What an advantage! A portable radiogram! Wireless policeman! I do not suppose that the “point contact” device ever worked, but the idea of it must have driven the researchers, because soon after this the M’Lord OC71 and OC72 devices appeared. Within 10 years almost every teenager owned a transistor set by the end of the 1960’s. Wireless policeman did not appear on the beat until the Silicon Chip reduced the weight and size of new electronic designs.

Yesterday I again sent out 260 CVs to employers and employment agents who refuse me employment on the excuse that I have no relevant qualifications or experience. I ask today: “What use is a man or woman with qualifications and or experience if he or she has no ideas to bring to work.”
Yours sincerely,
P.Wyndham Little.
* from a British made movie


P.Wyndham Little
The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP
93 Causewayside
EDINBURGH
EH9 1QG

Tuesday 13 February 1996

Dear Nigel Griffiths,
The Mrs Minever Rose *
I suppose it was the platform garden at Craiglockhart Station.Themovie pretended to be an appeal for American aid. The story however exposes a social psychology which makes it almost impossible to make any alteration to any aspect of life without at the same time creating a conflict.
I thought that the reason for the squalor of Fountainbridge and Easter Road must be due to industrial and commercial failure. While not yet a teenager I suggested that my school arrange visits to local workplaces for classes, so that I could see what was needed.

My main impression was that automation was needed throughout to free the slaves. I was told that automatic equipment was much too expensive and unreliable. This only confirmed what I has already concluded as I gazed at the transistor radios in Methuen & Simpson’s shop window, that an advance in electronics was needed.

On Wednesday 31 January 1996, agents of the Royal Bank of Scotland attacked my front door and put me out of 45 Merchiston Crescent. I can only now suppose that banks and building societies now take the homes of the long-term jobless.

I can only remind you that I indicated in 1980 that it was my hope that these financial instituations would make provision to write off these debts from the money they made from high interest loans to buy all the new goodies which my ideas have brought to the market.
Perhaps Lady Beldon is needed on Tobacco Road $.
Yours sincerely,
P.Wyndham Little.

* from that fine movie Mrs Minever
$ the title I suggested for that fine movie.


P.Wyndham Little
The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP
93 Causewayside
EDINBURGH
EH9 1QG

Friday 15 June 1996
Dear Nigel Griffiths,
Another fine mess.
While still an infant I wondered sometimes why some had enough while others were left with nothing. I thought that not enough was produced to go around and that the “foolish notions”* of some upset those who did the producing. In particular those who wore bowler hats seemed not to do so for protection from the climate but as a crown. Expensive highland evening dress seemed to have become a status symbol also. I did not care for either the dress or the manners of the wearers. I was my idea that two clowns from the circus should sent these people up in the movies The Music Box and Bonnie Scotland. I suggested the names Laurel and Hardy and Stanley and Ollie. I thought much later that a tool maker should take the name Stanley to remind all of The Boys.

As I may have mentioned, I suggested that super bands playing music which had been carefully composed by a classical guitar player (“Julian Breem”) were needed to help sell transistor radios and build an electronics industry with better jobs. I proposed the names The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. These bands also played their part by promoting Jeans and by painting up their Rolls Royce motor cars. The Two Ronnies took over from The Boys some years later

There seemed also to be strong stigmas. Overalls were an indication of low rank. I believed that if trousers to flatter any figure which I called Jeans were made out of Denim the same material used for overalls, these would sell like hot cakes and give youths of all walks of life something in common.

All of those great strides in social engineering, through common education and experience, seem now to be eroded by the new class structure which has appeared: Those who have done well under the Conservatives and those who have not.

I ask you today if you will urge The Prime Minister to call the general election sooner rather than later and before the wounds of those who have done badly under his government become any deeper.
Yours sincerely,
P.Wyndham Little.
* “Robert Burns”


P.Wyndham Little
The Rt Hon John Major
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London
SW1A 2AA

Monday 29 July 1996

Dear Prime Minister,
“Lloyds of London”

As for the movies Reach for the Sky and The Dam Busters I came up with a fanciful tale which I thought would be big medicine to all those who had dealings with insurance. The men with the wavers near the place I called Waverley as I watched many a fond farewell.

I suppose it was made into a movie at about the same time as that other tale The Bovery. The tale came before the New York street name as in Sunset Boulevard and Sierra Madre.

I wonder if any in the present government or at The Bank have ever seen these great movies. Surely not.

I have to point out to you today just what you have done by allowing the debt collectors to storm the homes of the long-term jobless. Until the dust settles few will have the confidence to buy or rent a used house, lest they later meet a confrontation with the previous occupant. In my own case I wonder if I will ever have a house. The council say I have low priority. The previous owner of any house I could pay for is likely to be homeless and angry like myself. How would he view the new owner, the man who had the ideas which brought a second industrial and commercial revolution and ruin to the displaced? It is clear to me that if I do not buy at once the money I now have will be frittered away.

You and your miserable government bring shame and international indignation on our nation by your negligence. I shall be glad when you are put out!

Yours sincerely,
P.Wyndham Little.


P.Wyndham Little
The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP
93 Causewayside
EDINBURGH
EH9 1QG

Sunday 1 September 1996

Dear Nigel Griffiths,
Hunt for Red October?
I ask you today to look at the contents of your pay packet and ask yourself: “How much of this did I earn?” and “How much of this is as a result of the productivity brought by new ideas and inventions?” “Do I work harder today than I did ten years ago, twenty years ago, thirty years ago?” “Do I now have more in my pay packet than ten, twenty, thirty years ago?” “How much of this pay is as a result of investment by previous generations in new capital projects such as; Nuclear Power, North Sea Oil and Gas, University and other Further Education, The Deltic Diesel, The Jet Engine, The Transistor, The Silicon Chip, The Liquid Crystal, Sellotape and Magnetic Recording Tape, New Technologies for White Goods, Home Building, Improvement and Maintenance, New Technologies for Office and Factory Automation, New Technologies for Food Production and Packaging, New Technologies for improvement of Motor Vehicles.”

What would “Sir Humphry Davy” and “Sir Frank Whittle” think about these so called fat cats grabbing all the cream which “their” ideas have laid out for all to sup? What would they think about the displaced being turned out onto the streets by the money lenders? What would those whose hard labour built the railways, the factories, the power stations, the oil fields and the mines say about the displaced being turned out onto the streets by the money lenders? I say that if they could, they would rise up from their graves to give you all “the biggest punch right up the froat”*

Yours sincerely,
P.Wyndham Little.
* from the TV series “Steptoe & Son”


P.Wyndham Little
The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP
93 Causewayside
EDINBURGH
EH9 1QG

Monday 9 September 1996
Dear Nigel Griffiths,
“General McCullie?..Who was he?” “Well , he wasn’t very important but .. he always used to say, “Take it in turns”.”
*
As I may have mentioned before, my grandmother lived at 45a George Street, from where we used to go out on expeditions around the grand Princes Street shops during the 1950s. One day I was admiring the portable wireless set in the sitting room. I thought that it would be better if it had a picture on the front where you could see the newsreader. I did not know how “they” could no it, but I thought about it.

Later at home, my mother asked me the same question. I thought that “they” could make the picture out of lines with something like the “magic eye”” (the model for the modern L.E.D.) on my father’s radiogram. I proposed a name for this new type of wireless set: TELEVISION.

Much later during the 1960s I thought we needed a Barns Wallace/Sir Frank Whittle to “explain” how Television developed from early beginnings. To the best of my knowledge, and as many will tell you, there was no television or anything remotely like it before the 1950s. I thought that the story should be that a Scot invented Television and that the first devices were based on a mechanical technology. If you look at Saturday’s Weekend edition of The Scotsman, you will see the device for which I suggested the name:”THE “TELEVISOR””. I do not suppose that this machine ever worked. However, I still hope that there will be as good a movie about “the inventor” who I called John Logie Baird as was made out of the other tales I made up for Wallace, Bader and Gandi.

I have to tell you today that I have had no response whatever to the papers I have distributed over the last two years. I believe that but for wireless broadcasting “Sir Humphry” would have no means of communication with many of the people of this nation, and further that without its moderating influence on the foolish notions of some, World War III would have started years ago.
Yours sincerely,
P.Wyndham Little.
* from Dad’s Army : “The Harvesters”


P.Wyndham Little
The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP

93 Causewayside
EDINBURGH
EH9 1QG
Friday 10 January 1997
Dear Nigel Griffiths,
Motorway Madness
We sometimes had a picnic at Aberlady. There is a section of the A198 outside Longniddry where the East Coast Main Line runs next to the road. I thought it was exciting when we were able to outpace the trains and frustrating when a slow lorry got in the way. I imagined that it would be grand if there was a Dual Carriageway…a what? The next time we passed, work had started on a second carriageway. One day there was a breakdown on this new carriageway. I believed it would be safer if there were a breakdown lane…but no breakdown lane was built. I hoped the busy sections of the A1 would be improved by dual carriageways…and there were.

Anyone who has crawled up the A6 between Kendal and Shap behind a smoking lorry can imagine what it was like to travel on Britain’s trunk roads in the 1950’s. I thought that trunk roads should be built like the railway lines…like what? I meant with no sharp curves or steep hills to slow the traffic. I suggested a name for this special new type of roadway: Motorway and that the first of these should run between London and Leeds and be referred to as The M1. I thought the idea for the motorway would have come from Germany…and you know, they now say that Hitler built all the German Motorways.
No one has ideas like I have ideas? I say that “Sir Humphry” will have to find out.

Yours sincerely,
P.Wyndham Little.


P.Wyndham Little
The Rt Hon Nigel Griffiths MP
93 Causewayside
EDINBURGH
EH9 1QG
Saturday 11 January 1997
Dear Nigel Griffiths,
“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want.”?

Until very recently, if your state had no coal, you had no electrical power. Where there is no electricity, every article produced has to be worked by hand. The result is poverty and unrest leading to peoples republics.

I wanted to see film of the nuclear tests. These pictures still amaze me. I wondered if “they” could make electricity with it….make what? How? I was familiar with the insides of a torch battery and imagined that if carbon rods were introduced, they could be used to slow it down so that The Bomb could be used to boil water. What nonsense!..?

Nevertheless, some time later I was asked what name One would call Her new nuclear power station. What would One call Her hall? And so it was called Her hall: Calder Hall (Caulder/colder). I cannot now remember if the name of the local river brought the inspiration or if the river was named later. I imagined One switching it on and a giant indicator showing the power fed to The National Grid.

I wondered if submarines could use nuclear fuel instead of diesel. I believed that they might be able to stay submerged for weeks at a time, enabling them to cross under the North Pole. Hence the name Polaris. Ice Station Zebra, the Alastair Maclean chiller movie, came during The Cold War to support Polaris and decisions made about the mission to The Moon.

Yours sincerely,

P.Wyndham Little.


An Explanation of Sorts

Sometime in 1997 I found the above on my doorstep, typed exactly as above, folded as if for an A4 envelope, stapled once. I’ve no idea how it got there, who put it there, why it was there. I read it, put it down, shook my head then read it again.
For some reason I decided to hang on to it, and about a month ago remembered it and read it again. Talking to a friend about it reawakened my curiosity, and I decided to do something about it. So I’ve put it up here, to see if it would shed some light on itself.

So what else do I know about it? Well, its clearly written by someone Scottish, and it suggests they grew up in the 50’s. I’m a fan of the writer Alasdair Gray, and the tone is reminiscent of his style, particularly of his book “The Fall of Kelvin Walker”. I strongly doubt it is actually written by him, and even in the circumstance that it was, how did it end up in on a doorstep in Oxfordshire?

I’ve searched online for any form of reference to P.Wyndham Little, but with no success whatsoever. Nigel Griffiths is the Labour MP for Edinburgh South, and did work at the DTI at the time. The OC71 transistor appears to have been around in 1955, so timing is a little out, but is is true the transistors were in many of the radios of the 60’s.

This sort of thing doesn’t happen to me every day, but it happens often enough to keep me off-kilter. If you have any ideas at all that you thing might help, or you find something related, please mail me at mail@flotsky.co.uk

Update 20th April 2003

Major developments. I’ve had e-mails from two seperate people in Edinburgh who have received very similar sets of letters, hand-delivered just like mine were. Both found me via google, and one of them has found an
interesting link. Its for a reunion of the class of 1972 at George Watson’s College in Edinburgh. They were trying to contact a Wyndham Little. As the person who brought this to my attention pointed out, this would make him from Edinburgh, in his fifties and fairly well educated, all of which fits in with what the letters suggest. In the first letter he does make reference to having been at the college.

Update 25th July 2005

I have recently had an e-mail from someone who remembers a P Wyndham Little from University:

I studied at Edinburgh University in the 70s and there was a chap of this name in the class. I think the P stood for Paul, but he was always known as P Wyndham Little. He was clearly quite eccentric, as he wore a suit and carried everything in a smart case. He also drove an old black car, something like an old Riley or a Wolseley.

Update 19th November 2005

Completely new entry about new letters

2000-2005

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