Former voice of the shipping forecast, Peter Jefferson reveals his perfect Surrey weekend
PUBLISHED: 19:22 10 June 2011 | UPDATED: 19:31 20 February 2013
Having read the shipping news on Radio 4 for many years, Peter Jefferson has now written an affectionate book about this much-loved British institution. Here, the Weybridge resident reveals all
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine May 2011
Having read the shipping news on Radio 4 for many years, Peter Jefferson has now written an affectionate book about this much-loved British institution. Here, the Weybridge resident reveals what he likes to get up to when hes not tapping away on his computer about coastal stations and south westerly gales
Gosh, we are so lucky to live in Surrey. Of course, it has its less than glamorous bits, but overall it really is such a fabulous place to eat, work and play. I have lived in the county for 60 years, so lots of changes and yet... somehow it has managed to absorb these changes without being changed by them. I started off in Walton, then Send, Burpham and finally Weybridge.
I have just completed my first book, which is about the shipping forecast on Radio 4. Previously, I worked at the BBC between 1964 and 2009, mostly as a presenter and newsreader, during which time I must have read the forecast many hundreds of times. The research and writing has taken the thick end of a year at the behest of a publisher who approached me last May.
I have to admit that weekdays and weekends since then have tended to merge into one. My wife put her foot down on one occasion and said, this weekend we are having a proper weekend and I took her point and dutifully turned off the PC. She works in London for a theatrical wig maker and we often go to see the productions her company has been involved in, either in London or when they go on tour and come to the New Victoria Theatre in Woking, so a Friday evening is quite often a visit to one of the many Surrey theatres.
Saturday morning is generally the weekly shop, made less onerous by starting the day with a decent cup of coffee and a croissant at one of the many coffee shops in Weybridge, be it Dandini, who also sell the most wonderful flowers, in Church Street, or Cafe One in Baker Street where we often see Max Clifford.
If our grandsons are staying, one of their favourite visits is to Bocketts Farm near Leatherhead to mingle with the animals while I go mad with the camera. We also love going up on the North Downs (only in England could you go up the downs!) for that spectacular view from Newlands Corner looking south and one I have never tired of.
Of course, its only a hop, skip and a jump to Shere from here and we love eating at The William Bray, either on our own or with friends, and the food and service there never disappoints. We have also been known to pop round to The Minnow in Thames Street in Weybridge for Sunday lunch, which also serves delicious food with the bonus of a roaring log fire in winter. What more could one want!
Being a keen follower of F1 motor racing, I have been known to sneak off on a Sunday morning to the Brooklands Museum and racetrack the home of motor racing in this country (my uncle used to race Norton motorbikes there in the 1920s). Mercedes-Benz World there also makes for a fascinating visit and I have promised myself a go one weekend on one of their driving experiences or the skid pan.
- And Now The Shipping Forecast by Peter Jefferson is published on Thursday May 19 by UIT Cambridge. Priced at 10.99, it will be available at most bookshops.