'National Writing Day' June 24

Our theme for this week's virtual 'CST Friendship Group' s focused around 'Communication', as June 24 marks 'National Writing Day'.

We asked when was the last time anyone wrote a letter?

What about a postcard or birthday card?

What about an email or text message?

How much is a first and second class stamp these days? (First class 76p, Second class 65p)

We moved on to ask if members had a favourite piece of writing - a book, short story or poem?

We asked members to come to the session with their favourite piece of writing to hand, so they could read some lines out should they wish (or we could read for them).


Next, we completed these phrases together, by way of a shout out ...

Talk something OVER

Touch BASE


Drop someone a LINE

Hot off the PRESS

Keep someone POSTED


Put somebody in the PICTURE


Like talking to a BRICK WALL

Straight from the horse’s MOUTH

Take something with a pinch of SALT

Beat around the BUSH

Beside the POINT

Bite your TONGUE

Bring someone up to SPEED

Bottom LINE

Call someone’s BLUFF

Clear the AIR

Get your wires CROSSED

Out of the LOOP


Keep something under your HAT

Pull somebody’s LEG

Get a word in EDGEWISE

Get something off your CHEST

Speak your MIND

To put it in a nut SHELL

Put your foot in your MOUTH


Stay in TOUCH


1. What telephone number would you call in an emergency?

What are the four main emergency services?

2. What number would you have called to reach the operator?

Does anyone remember having a party line?

3. What were the old black dialer telephones made out of?

Did anyone have one?

4. In a telephone box, when your money was running out, what would sound?

5. In a mobile phone, what card do you have to put inside to make a call?

6. Which UK city has a prefix dial code of 01633?

7. SONG. 'Hanging On The Telephone', by Blondie. Link here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWhkbDMISl8

What was the name of the lead singer with Blondie?

8. Who invented the long distance radio in 1901?

9. Who invented the telephone in 1876?

10. Who invented the television in 1927?

11. What is the name of this camera, introduced in 1900 by Eastmann Kodak?

12. What is the name of this more modern camera?

13. What is the name of this screen which was played in-between programmes?

What game are they playing?

14. SONG. 'Radio Ga Ga', by Queen. Link here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMYCOYjIKrE

Who is pictured here and who is he married to?

15. Which bird helped advertise BT services?

16. What was JR Hartley advertising when he was searching for his book on fly fishing?

17. What emergency service did Petunia help advertise? ("Oo look, he's waving at us!")

18. Which man helped us safely cross the road?

19. What was the name of the cat in the child safety adverts?

20. What is this actresses name? She did the Beattie 'Ology' adverts.

21. SONG. 'Telephone Man', by Marie Wilson. Link here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MahswYBewb0

True or False. When HM Queen got her first mobile and William and Harry helped set it up they left this message as her answerphone greeting - "Hey wassup! This is Liz. Sorry I'm away from the throne. For a hotline to Philip, press one. For Charles, press two. And for the corgis, press three."?

22. What was the TV comedy series which had a giant cat climbing up the 'Post Office Tower'?

Name the three comedians in this photo?

23. Which TV sitcom had Hyacinth Bucket answer the phone with the catchphrase "The Bouquet residence, the lady of the house speaking"?

Which actress played her?

24. What was the name of this TV sitcom about a paper/stationary wholesale business called Wernham Hogg?

Who wrote and starred in it?

25. What was the name of the TV sitcom about Tom who gave up his job as a breakfast cereal advertiser to become self sufficient with his wife Barbara?

Name the actors in this photo?

26. What was the name of the TV sitcom about a man who was disillusioned with his job as a manager in 'Sunshine Deserts'?

Which actor played him?

He always imagined his mother-in-law as what animal?

27. Which character, in the TV comedy series 'Allo Allo', had the catchphrase "I shall say this only once!"?

28. Which TV quiz show did Robert Robinson present as well as 'Call My Bluff'?

29. What are the names of these two characters?

30. SONG. 'Please Mr Postman', by The Carpenters. Link here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQrIKOhIclo

Why were some postboxes painted gold in 2012?

31. What are the first five letters on a typewriter keyboard?

32. What does the 'www' stand for in an Internet address?

33. Who is pictured here, launching the first iPhone in 2007?

34. What social media network has a small blue bird as its logo?

35. Which social media network did Mark Zuckerberg launch?

36. What does 'BSL' stand for?

Can anyone communicate using it?

37. SONG. 'Stop That Pigeon', Dick Dastardly & Muttley - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sj6-LG5VpGk

What was the name of the car racing cartoon they also featured in?

Can anyone give their best 'Muttley' snigger?

38. SONG. 'Convoy', by CW McCall. Link here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd5ZLJWQmss

What radio did truckers use to communicate with 'handles'?

Who is pictured here, from the 1977 film 'Smokey And The Bandit'?

39. SONG. 'Return To Sender', by Elvis Presley. Link here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PU5xxh5UX4U

What was the name of his ranch and who had a hit album of the same name in 1986?

40. SONG. 'Letter From America', by The Proclaimers. Link here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yy9GmieAEaQ

How would you send a letter to America?

41. SONG. 'Whichita Lineman', by Glen Campbell. Link here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QN82RHGNLK4

What was the man in this songs job?

Which DJ had the closing bars of this song on his show every day?

42. SONG. 'Shaddupa Your Face', by Joe Dolce. Link here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFacWGBJ_cs

Make some gestures for members to interpret (some good old non-verbal communication).

PEACE, OKAY, SHH, HIGH FIVE & COME HERE (Add the Vulcan Salute for fun!)

43. FINAL SONG. 'Tie A Yellow Ribbon', by Dawn. Link here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vie94KQcRXY

As the song plays, think of colours and symbols of charities and causes, e.g. red ribbon for HIV/AIDS?


Play a game of CHARADES

Play in pairs with a supporter if members wish.

Here’s a few ideas to start you off …




















Or you could play a game of CHINESE WHISPERS (taking into account current social distancing guidelines).

Whisper one of these (or another) messages to your partner and ask them to pass it on …

Unlucky Lavinia lost her lunch at the library last week. She was eating lamb and mint sauce.

Nobody's favorite food is Brussels sprouts. But everyone likes pigs in blankets.

My sexy dance moves have been described as a blend of Marilyn Monroe and Mr. Bean.

Sally sells sushi by the seashore. She hates raw fish though, to be sure.

Chinese food is made with sugar and spice, and lots of rice. Noodles are also nice.

The only thing better than a tall, dark, and handsome man, is one carrying a pizza box.

My favorite thing to do on a rainy afternoon is watch Lord of the Rings and party like a hobbit.

Jokers, jesters, and jugglers jingled, jumped, and jigged for King John.

A dog named Moose ran loose through the spruce forest chasing a goose.


Or another game which has worked well (it requires some prep time), is to write four or five facts about each person (with them) and put them in a hat. (Don’t forget to remember to note which facts are about whom!)

For example, mine could be;

1. I would generally refer to myself as being vegan. But I do love a fishfinger sandwich.

2. I was both an altar boy AND a trainspotter. But not at the same time!

3. I used to work in a Chinese restaurant full of cockroaches. And then have a free meal there after work finished.

4. Prince William shook my hand and gave me a medal. But the person’s hand I would really love to shake (or kiss) is Kate Bush.

Then go around the group, pulling a card out of the hat each in turn and guessing which fact relates to which person. (If you pull out your own card, pick another.)

This game allows for interesting, funny and sometimes moving facts to be shared, helping the group to get to know each other a little better. It also helps individual members to feel recognised and appreciated.


Finally, you could ask members if they would like to write a short poem, either as individuals or as a group.

Perhaps, by way of writing a ‘Haiku’? Here’s a great ‘How To …’ talk through. But maybe relax the rules and summarise as follows.


Write a three line poem (non rhyming is fine).

Line one. Theme of your ‘Haiku’ - 5 syllables or so.

Line two. Sensory or feeling focus - 7 syllables or so.

Line three. An uplifting or surprising summing up - 5 syllables or so.

Write your ‘Haiku’ in the present tense.

Use concrete images and descriptions.

Many ‘Haikus’ are based in nature.

Here’s my quick attempt …

Colour adds life to years 🌈
You feel and almost smell it 👅
Like rainbows through clouds ⛅️

Obviously, display members’ efforts and celebrate their work.


1. 999

Police, Ambulance, Fire Service & Coastguard

2. 100

3. Bakelite

4. The Pips

5. SIM card

6. Newport

7. Debbie Harry

8. Guglielmo Marconi

9. Alexander Graham Bell

10. John Logi Baird

11. Box Brownie

12. Polaroid Instamatic

13. Testcard

Noughts and Crosses

14. Brian May / Anita Dobson

15. Buzby