Phil King

It is with great sadness that I report the death of our Councillor/North West Regional Executive Phil King.

I had known Phil through business and as a good friend since he became the Tourism & Attractions Director for Sefton Borough Council in 1977.  He was affectionately known as ‘Mr Southport’ both in showbusiness circles and through his hard work for many charities.  In 2012 he was awarded the BEM in the Queen’s Honours List for his outstanding work in the resort’s tourism and charity activities.  He was an Ambassador for PGF’s Roy Castle Fund (in aid of Cancer Research UK) and, of course, his hard work for our National Campaign for Courtesy.

Only a recently he appeared on BBC TV’s ‘Great British Railway Journeys’ programme when he was interviewed by Michael Portillo on Southport Pier.  He and Ken Dodd were close friends, as were so many showbusiness stars who all enjoyed the unrivalled hospitality that always awaited them when playing Southport Theatre.  The theatre world and many charities – not least our Campaign – have lost a most amicable character and friend.  He leaves two loves – his wife Maureen and daughter Sara.

Thank you Phil for being such an inspiration.

Peter Foot, chairman

Courtesy Call magazine now online

The latest edition of our Courtesy Call magazine is now available online for download.

Click this link or the cover page below to download the PDF.

Courtesy Call: the magazine of the National Campaign for Courtesy

Have a safe, enjoyable and courteous bank holiday drive

As thousands prepare for journeys of all descriptions over the bank holiday weekend, David Williams MBE, Vice-Chairman of the National Campaign for Courtesy and CEO of GEM Motoring Assist, wishes all drivers and passengers safe, enjoyable and courteous journeys.

“Taking a bit of extra time to prepare your car and plan your journey will help to ease the stress of travelling this weekend,” said David. “With more traffic likely to hit the roads during the bank holiday break, we strongly urge people to take the necessary precautions, and we hope that the tips below help with the planning.”

To find out how preparation can ensure a better experience for all, visit GEM Motoring Assist’s website for its bank holiday driving suggestions.

Campaign comments on mobile phone etiquette

Peter Foot, chairman of the National Campaign for Courtesy, commented in the Daily Mail today on the nuisance that can  be caused by mobile phones on trains.

Peter has also been quoted on this topic in the Daily Express  and on BBC News.

Doddy delights at memorable Southport lunch

On 10 July 2012, PHIL KING invited our Chairman to a Summer Lunch date on behalf of the Institute of Municipal Entertainment at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Southport.

Ken Dodd at the Southport National Campaign for Courtesy lunch

Also invited was our new North West (North) Regional Executive ALAN COLES and his wife ADELE, which provided an opportunity for the couple to meet Phil and East Anglian Regional Executive PETER CRESSWELL and his wife ROSLYN (who kindly took the above photo of (right to left) Peter, Alan, Guest Speaker KEN DODD, Phil and our Chairman).

It was wonderful to get three of our Regional Executives together at such an enjoyable occasion. Phil did invite our Chairman to say a few words about the Campaign, which he just about managed in spite of some hilarious barracking from Mr Dodd.

Motorists on their mobiles: GEM mobile phone code for on the road

GEM Motoring AssistGEM Motoring Assist considers the mobile phone to be the most dangerous distraction on the road and produced a leaflet detailing a safety and courtesy code for motorists and mobile phones in conjunction with the National Campaign for Courtesy.

GEM CEO and National Campaign for Courtesy vice-chairman David Williams explains that the solution to this widespread problem is elusive: “in truth, most road safety professionals, police and the public have such mixed views…there could be more enforcement, but that is so costly and police numbers are being cut. Another option is bigger penalties, but culprits have to be caught first.”

Download the GEM Motoring Assist safety and courtesy code for motorists and mobile phones.

See more details at GEM Motoring Assist.

Are Motorists Becoming More Polite?

by Maria McCarthy

Are we responding to tougher economic times by becoming more caring towards our fellow drivers, asks motoring journalist Maria McCarthy?

motoring-articleWe’ve become used to thinking of the UK as being racked by road rage. Whether it’s traffic jams, boy racers, tailgaters, someone nipping into a parking space before us – the list of potential annoyances is endless. Scarcely a day goes past without us hearing of someone who responds to them in an over-the-top manner, whether that’s shouting and abuse, or actual violence.

Less aggressive

But according to a recent survey of 2,000 motorists carried out by car supermarket Carcraft, people are becoming less aggressive behind the wheel. According to the survey, 33 per cent of motorists said they smiled at other drivers when pushing into a queue or changing lanes, while 20 per cent use a friendly wave. But 30 per cent of motorists said they don’t push at all and are happy to wait until a space becomes available. And only 3 per cent admitted to losing their temper and swearing, with motorists aged 45 to 54 the worst offenders.

Older drivers have worst manners

Apparently older drivers – those aged over 55 – are the least smiley of any age group, which I think is a bit disappointing. I’m in my forties rather than fifties, but feel I’ve mellowed as the years have passed. So surely those of us in the older generation should be setting a good example to young drivers rather than scowling at them? Though having said that, it is annoying when you do let someone out and they don’t smile or acknowledge you. As my friend Lucy says, “I instantly regret my good deed and wish I could take it back. I usually wave my hand and mouth ‘thanks’ sarcastically, it makes me feel marginally better.” Another interesting discovery in the survey was that 60 per cent of motorists are happy to sit in queuing traffic till it moves with 25 per cent prepared to find an alternative route. I’d be one of the 15 per cent either annoyed at the traffic or dithering about whether trying another way would get me to my destination quicker.

Friendliest drivers by region

The survey also looks at where drivers are the friendliest. Norwich, Belfast and Edinburgh all score highly. I’ve never driven in any of those places, but I can say from experience that I think overall rural areas are friendlier and more laidback to drive in than more urban ones. That’s hardly surprising though. Quite apart from the lack of traffic jams, the lovely views, the slower pace of life and a lower population in rural areas means that if you were rude to someone you’d likely later discover it was your best friend’s new partner or a new neighbour. You might be able to get away with bad behaviour in more anonymous city environments, but in the countryside news will spread and you’ll be in trouble!

Good manners cost nothing

But if road rage really is declining, what might be the reason? Is it because the rising cost of running a car means there’s fewer of us on the road and hence less jams and other stressful situations? Or maybe we’re so busy worrying about paying our bills, that motoring-related upsets seem petty in comparison? Or perhaps we’re starting to value things that are free and, as my grandmother used to say, “good manners don’t cost anything”.

This article is reproduced in collaboration with GEM Motoring Assist

The Courtesy Driving Code

Once again we are delighted to support GEM MOTORING ASSIST with its ‘Courtesy Driving Code’ which is part of that company’s Courtesy on the Road Campaign. Our name and logo is being featured on another large print run of GEM’s colour leaflet which carries ten items of sound advice . . . see it here.

Radio Interview Courtesy Topics Ranked by Frequency

Swearing tops the list of topics that we have responded to in recent radio interviews. The following list puts topics in order of frequency:

  1. Swearing
  2. The notorious F-word (first uttered on TV by Kenneth Tynan 40 years ago)
  3. Foul language on stage, TV and radio
  4. Use of language/is the art of conversation dying
  5. Spitting
  6. Litter
  7. Mobile usage including decibel level/telephone manners
  8. Road rage
  9. Modern Day Manners/is age of chivalry dead?
  10. ‘Sod-casting’ – music on buses, trains, etc.
  11. Feet on Seats (public transport)
  12. Eating food and drink on public transport
  13. Pregnant women having to stand on public transport
  14. Shaking hands
  15. Tipping
  16. Queuing at the Post Office
  17. Customer courtesy
  18. Reluctance to Complain
  19. Teaching manners at school or in the home?

What aspects of courtesy do you think are important?

Campaign for Courtesy Patrons

As a result of their participating in the ‘Good Motoring’ Magazine’s ‘Stars and their Cars’ series, Patrons Baroness RACHAEL HEYHOE-FLINT OBE and ROY HUDD OBE have kindly agreed to donate the £100 received from the magazine to their “chosen charity” the National Campaign for Courtesy. ‘Good Motoring’ – which is published by Campaign for Courtesy Sponsors GEM MOTORING ASSIST and edited by our Vice Chairman DAVID WILLIAMS – carried full-page articles on Rachael and Roy in its summer and autumn issues respectively. Naturally, many of the questions asked got hilarious responses!

Our Patrons spend eventful lives. In September, comedian JIMMY CRICKET took time while he was bill-topping in his own show at Eastbourne’s Royal Hippodrome to present a Campaign Certificate to JACK POUT and his Seaside Furniture store. It was our Treasurer EDWARD THOMAS who recommended that Jack and his store merited the Award. Edward was recently elected as Chairman of the Ashridge Circle Lecture Society, believed to be one of the largest (founded 1947) and one of the largest in the country. It is now Edward’s duty to deliver an introduction to all the famous speakers who address large audiences in Eastbourne’s Congress Theatre. On 8 October, Edward welcomed our Patron, the amazingly sprite 86-year-old Dame BERYL GREY on stage. He reports that she received a great ovation from the 1,300-strong audience.

There were some wonderful responses from our Patrons when – on Executive Councillor PETER CRESSWELL’s initiative – we wrote inviting fundraising ideas. MOIRA ANDERSON OBE and WYN CALVIN MBE kindly sent fund donations, while Col. JOHN BLASHFORD-SNELL OBE – who had just returned from a two-month expedition in the South American jungle – wrote offering to do a fund-raising lecture for us in the Dorset region. Our new South England Regional Executive MARY CHAMPION has taken on the task of finding a suitable venue in the Poole area.


We acknowledge with gratitude the very generous donations we have recently received from:
SUE BOURNE – Stoke on Trent
GEM MOTORING ASSIST – on behalf of
ROY HUDD OBE – Ipswich