The Winston Club

One of the last remaining Commercial Buildings in the High Road

There have been a number of references to the Winston Club and the part it played in the social life of the members of our community.

The Winston Club before The Corporation got to work

The Winston Club before The Corporation got to work

The Winston Club is one of the few remaining old buildings left in Laindon. It has changed its name over the years and I am sure that our contributors will tell the full story.

I will collect the contributions already submitted in other articles to get this started.

The Winston Club Today

The Winston Club Today

Gloria Sewell (link to article)

My father was always known as Nobby Sewell although his name was Fred. Maybe you may remember him because he would sing every Saturday in the Winston club near the railway station. I would sit in raptures when he sang “daddies little girl” to me. We had a great Christmas party there for all the members’ kids every year. It was the highlight of our year then.

My grandad Mr. Jack Davies also ran the loan club there so people could pay money in all year round and then draw it out for Christmas for extra money and also have small loans out through the year for little emergencies. He was a very popular and trusted member.

Mens day out from Winstone Club approx 1945

Mens day out from Winstone Club approx 1945

Harry Bartley______?

Mr.Ted Burton Snr.

Mr George BartleyTom Thomas Snr.Arthur Brown______?
______?Tommy Thomas______?

Eric Pasco

For as long as I can remember my Dad was a member and in fact became a Life Member eventually. I remember that the men used to go on a “BEANO” each year and before they left in the coach the men used to toss out sweets and their loose change for the kids to collect. We loved that and collected some tidy sums. I also recall going to the club Christmas parties and the little gifts all the kids got. Later (around 1959) Mum & Dad would take me and my younger sister to the club which was dance night Mum & Dad loved to dance. Jill & I would just watch and listen to Sid Blackwell playing the piano and singing (after he had a few pints). The Club at this time was run by Ted Burton (Snr.) and then by Ted Burton (Jnr.) and the last time I went there (maybe 1990) by one of the daughters and her husband. May still be the case?
I recall Dad’s drinking buddies were ‘Nobby’ Clark, Sid Rosser?, ? Gibson, whose sons were Trevor & Ivan, and I think he was the rival removals company to Jeakins. One year when on a visit from Australia (around 1976) I won the jackpot on the ‘one armed bandit’ in the club. It is great that in my memory, externally, it is one things that had not changed a great deal in Laindon.

Jean Pattle (link to article)
In 1949 my parents moved into one of the new houses in King Edward Road where they lived the rest of their lives. My Mum worked at the Dartboard Factory and my dad was a lorry driver. He worked a number of years for Charlie Markham of Markham’s Dairies collecting milk churns from the farms.They went to the Winston club where Dad would sing and play piano.

Patsy Mott née Tyler (link to article)

My grandfather Herbert Tyler was well known at the Winston Club that was at the top end of Northumberland Avenue at the junction with the High Road. In the 1930s and 40s, making their own entertainment, the older folks enjoyed the club, playing cards and dominoes and drinking. Younger guys hardly ever beat the wily old fellows at the games. As children we tried but never succeeded.
John Bathurst (link to article)
The “Laindon Advertiser” of  April 1931 contains a report of a meeting of the Little Burstead Parish Council held on the 10th of March at the Carlton Club Hall which was then the name of the still existent Winston Club on the corner of Northumberland Avenue

Alice Jackson (link to article)

We went out at night. We had to make our own pleasure but there were Youth Clubs, a Cycle Polo Team, boxing clubs, football teams and before the Radion Cinema was built, we had picture shows in what is now the Winston Club. We had an annual Carnival and a Publicans wheelchair race. This was started from the Prince of Wales and stopped at all the pubs on the way to the Crown Hotel

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  • I was surprised to read of the unkind remark received by Donald “that if he had no car he had no chance”. My recollection is that even if, for whatever reason, the girl had no further interest in seeing me again, her response was always kind. Of course the male ego was bruised but I never encountered a girl who was unkind or cruel. 

    I do remember a particular occasion at the Archer Hall in Billericay. There were two girls who gained my admiration from the svelte manner in which they executed the Gay Gordons. A dance way beyond the capabilities of we mere males. I danced a couple of times with one of them, learnt she was from Little Burstead, and asked if I could escort her home. She agreed with the comment that, to this day, I remember, “We wondered how long it would take one of your group to ask one of us.” Apparently the Archer Hall attracted a large crowd and it takes time to approach all of the young women. After all one can only walk home one girl a week.

    By Alan Davies (20/02/2017)
  • I think the harsh treatment I received, was from girls recently moved into the Laindon area from London. Unlike local bred girls and girls that had moved to the area some time previously, city girls lacked the manners, good grace and social skills we lads had come to expect. City girls thought themselves a cut above us “yokels” and who knows maybe they were but we were nicer people. Somewhat contentious I know but ???

    By Donald Joy (20/02/2017)
  • Really happy to see that I wasn’t the only one. Alan’s long walks just for a little female company are tales that I should find amusing but the feeling they engender in me is one of relief. I thought maybe I was the only mug to do this kind of thing. One time, all macho, I told this girl that I’d walk her home from the youth club in Basildon, she said o.k. What she didn’t say and I, all pleased with myself, didn’t bother to ask where she lived. It was a damned long walk to Thundersley just to say goodnight and then walk all the way back to Laindon. This was not the only occasion that this happened. At the Mecca, again in Basildon, met a gorgeous young lady and a small part of me sweeping her off her feet was my insistence to be walking her home. You can see where this is going much better than I could see where I was going that night. Basildon to Corringham and then back to Laindon with just a short break in the middle to say goodnight and nothing more. This never happened again as it would appear that I had learned a good lesson. Strangely enough I can still remember both girls names all this time later. I wonder if Alan and I were the only ones to do this or maybe the only ones to admit to it?

    By Donald Joy (19/02/2017)
  • Alan and Donald’s exploits are amusing, but how did the girls get to Basildon/Laindon and how did they expect to get home?

    Perhaps word got out that the Laindon boys were good walkers!

    Don’t forget the girls were probably in stilettos and roads etc., were not that even.

    My husband also saw me home and walked back to his home but that was Langdon Hills to Wash Road.

    By Ellen English Nee Burr (19/02/2017)
  • Any potential beau of mine, when offering to walk me home, had the unwelcome surprise of a ¼ mile of unmade road to negotiate – a quagmire in winter!   Thankfully, by the time I met my future husband, we had access through our hedge onto a proper made up road, so he never got his shoes muddy.  However, without any transport during our early courting days, my fiancé would walk the several miles home late each evening, from where I lived, close to what is now Fords Research Centre, all the way to Frierns!  

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (19/02/2017)
  • Ellen poses a very good question and one that I’d never thought of myself, how did these girls get there and how did they expect to get home?  Maybe they had heard that Laindon lads were good walkers or was it that they were mugs? There was for me no follow up date to either of these trials. This was not from a lack of charm on my part (?), I was told quite bluntly that as I had no car then I had no chance. Girls, I was always led to believe, were the “gentle” sex. How gentle was that rejection? One girl even told me that “if God had intended for us to walk, he wouldn’t have given us brains to invent the wheel and the engine”. I don’t think she earned herself a place in Heaven. 

    By Donald Joy (19/02/2017)
  • In response to Ellen’s questions, I can only guess at the answers. There was really only one way to get to the hops in surrounding villages. By bus. A few exceptions might have existed such as Donald on a motor bike or me in a Farmer’s Taxi (one way only). Or perhaps walking was practical if the hop was local. The Basildon Country Club next to Donaldson’s for example. By the end of the hop, all buses had stopped and everyone was left to their own devices. That usually meant Shank’s pony.

    There are references in other articles in these archives of those girls living on unmade roads routinely carrying a second (spare) pair of shoes. Particularly those working in the City. I have no specific memory of that occurring at the Saturday night hops but it seems reasonable. A pair to wear at the hop, maybe high heels, and a “sensible” pair (maybe wellies) to wear for the long walk home, partly perhaps, across dark and muddy fields. I had not thought of the young women who had not been asked to be walked home. Did her pal refuse an escort so as not to leave her friend alone? Interesting thought. I cannot remember encountering that problem.

    Today the whole concept of a young woman walking some miles home, in the wee hours, with a lusty lad she may have just met a couple of hours earlier, raises all sorts of alarm bells. But that was such an innocent and naive age.

    By Alan Davies (19/02/2017)
  • Donald, I must hasten to add that I started in July 1950 and it was not until 1952 that my salary reached the grandiose heights of three pounds fifteen weekly. I cannot remember the cost of a weekly season ticket into Fenchurch Street in 1952 but it had gone up markedly from the eight shillings and four pence when I started in 1950. Of course one also had to dress a little more smartly in the city so it was not all peaches and cream. Incidentally, I omitted to add that my two pounds ten suit from Fifty Shilling Tailors was made to measure. I was flying high. Somehow there was always just enough left over for the Saturday night hop at the Archer Hall in Billericay, ten Players, and a pint or two in the Rising Sun at intermission.

    By Alan Davies (18/02/2017)
  • Alan’s mention of the Saturday night hop has jerked another memory from the back of my mind to the front. Myself and three other friends/workmates, the only name that’s coming to mind is Kenny Houghton, would often trundle over to Ramsden Heath, of all places. There, on Friday nights if I remember correctly, in a little church or village hall, would be a hop/shindig that we went to, to find girls???  This never happened for any of us, which looking back was hardly surprising as the young female population of the area was pretty much non existent. Getting there and back was a thrilling yet painful experience as all four of us travelled on the one motorcycle. Me, being the smallest, sat on the rear mudguard and rear light, the person in front of me (Kenny) held one of my legs, while the person in front of him held the other one. This I believe is one of the reasons that put me off owning my own motorbike for many years. 

    By Donald Joy (18/02/2017)
  • Yes, Donald’s memory reinforces how much time and energy we young lads spent in the pursuit of young females. I doubt that has changed. One of the four or so lads who comprised our group to the Archer Hall was Ray Farmer. Ray (son of Sid Farmer taxis) often managed to borrow a taxi for the Saturday evening. We traveled in style! At least we did one way. After the dance it was every lad for himself. The goal of the evening was to dance and chat up a likely lass and to walk her home after the dance. (Bus service had finished.) One had to plan carefully however. If the young lass lived in, for example Stock, this meant a three mile walk to see her safely home and a six or seven mile walk back home. Much better to find someone who lived in Great or Little Burstead! Particularly in February.

    By Alan Davies (18/02/2017)
  • A comment from Richard Haines suggests that Leana Springate was in the same class as he and I. My first year at LHR was in 1958, I was in Upper 1B and the form teacher was Mr. Rosen. While my memory is reasonable for its age, and I do recall many of the names of both girls and boys in that class, I sadly but obviously cannot recall all of them. I also remember many pupils from other forms and other years, but again not all. I also recall where many of them lived, although I don’t know why I knew in the first place. What I’m eventually trying to get to is: I don’t remember Leana being in the same class as me as I’m sure she is one that I would most certainly remember. If there is somebody who could verify this for me I would be most grateful as I’m beginning to wonder if my memory is working as well as I think it is?

    By Donald Joy (17/02/2017)
  • Really shouldn’t have needed to ask about Alan Davies and the job he had that paid so well. If only my memory worked as well on short term as it does for long term then I would have remembered reading about his work. Yet another very interesting man with many interesting tales to tell and many already told on here. 

    By Donald Joy (17/02/2017)
  • This contributor, Robert Springate, has been rather productive recently, with his comments on here. I don’t know him but I know that I do like him, as he seems to be a lot like myself, ordinary. His stories are a lot like mine, again ordinary and easy to relate to. Hopefully one day I might bump into him, as I too live in Clacton, he sounds to me like an interesting person. Also I guess that Leana is his younger sister ? I didn’t know her at school to speak to but I knew who she was and I had no difficulty spotting her in the 1958 photo as she was a striking looking girl. 

    By Donald Joy (15/02/2017)
  • I remember the symbol. It was a label sewn into every article. Memory says that it was never referred to as anything other than “Utility”. Certain articles were banned from being produced. Girls and women could not buy pleated skirts. Men could not find double breasted suits. Both examples were deemed to require an unnecessary amount of (superfluous) material. After restrictions were lifted, as late as 1952, I remember purchasing my first ever suit. A double breasted blue suit from the Fifty Shilling Tailors. Does it still exist? True to its name, the very smart suit cost me two pounds ten shillings. A tidy sum considering I earned three pounds fifteen shillings a week.

    By Alan Davies (15/02/2017)
  • I wonder what job Alan Davies had in 1952 that paid him £3.15.0 per week, that must have been a good wage for the time? I had what was considered a well paid job in 1962, 10 years later and I got just £4.2.4. net.

    Editor: You may find the answer in the Article List, under ‘Memories of Alan Davies’.  Alan’s writings make very interesting and enjoyable reading.

    By Donald Joy (15/02/2017)
  • Hi, Donald Joy.  Thanks for your comments on my comments!

    Nice to know that you are a Clacton resident as well. With my story about the Laindon conveniences and you living in this area, you possibly know of that “Hell hole” that is an apology for a public W.C. on  Rosemary Road. The poor guy that cleans them deserves Tendring Council’s highest award for bravery. The awful mess members of the public leave them in, is mind boggling (if you will pardon the pun).

    If I had the job, I would have to throw a stun grenade into the place first! The effect would probably make a vast improvement.

    I’m hoping to attend  the next memory day on the 25th of February, if they ever get that annoying apology for a road, the A12 sorted out. Never a day goes by than an accident occurs. Wonder how that lorry managed to fall off the road bridge at Witham?

    I went via Danbury one day (I have a good knowledge of the back roads. But the journey back to Laindon took two hours, instead of the hour and fifteen minutes that it usually takes.)

    By Robert Springate (15/02/2017)
  • Memories of a barber shop in Laindon. The small shop was adjacent to Koppit’s tailoring premises in Bolsover Terrace. The terrace was opposite the telephone exchange that was on the left hand corner of Vowler Road. Two other shops, one next to the barbers, was a grocery shop, not sure if it was run by Howard’s Dairies, perhaps some one can correct me.

    Next to the grocer’s was a habberdashery shop, run by Mrs Hull. My mum bought my school socks in there. I recall the socks had a large CC on them denoting that it was a wartime symbol (I think, or does any one have knowledge what the symbol stood for?) Mrs Hull’s shop completed the terrace of the four premises. To the left of the shop was an entrance to a yard that contained a removal business. Francis & Jagger Removals?

    Getting back to the barber shop, the family that lived there, where I had my hair cut (a distant memory now, as I don’t have much hair to cut these days) was the Upton family, Mr. Upton was the sole barber. His wife, who was a brilliant seamstress and their son, Paul. (Paul now lives near Southend Airport with his wife, Joyce.) Us small schoolboys, when it came time to have a haircut, Mr. Upton would place a short length of floorboard across the arm rests of the barber’s chair and we would sit on that to bring us up to the hight that an adult would be at, for hair cutting. Bert (bless him) in the past, was perhaps an army barber, and the only style of haircut he knew was the proverbial “short back and sides” that schoolboys of that generation had to put up with.

    I recall sitting on my plank having my haircut, when a young feller came in and asked for a “TONY CURTIS”  The barber replied “I don’t know any Tony Curtis, what does he look like! The young chap was getting mixed up with the new men’s hairdressing salon in another parade of shops just pass Cottis the bakers. (called “Peter’s” assisted by his brother.) This was where my friends and I had our Tony Curtis style hair “do” after we left the LHR and staring to earn a modest wage. In order to get the style to set, we had to have a period under a hairdryer with a net on our heads. Felt a right berk, I can tell you. But the end result was great. We was all sporting a Tony Curtis hair style. But my hair was as stiff as a board, with all the hair laquer that was blasted at it, in order to keep the style and shape, especially the double curl that hung down over both sides of the forehead. The back was shaped into a D.A. (an abreviation for a ducks bottom, you work it out what the A stood for) So that’s my memory of Mr Upton’s barber shop during my schooldays.

    By Robert Springate (14/02/2017)
  • Apparently the CC symbol was brought into force in 1941 by the Board of Trade and was the equivalent of rationing.  CC standing for either Clothing Control, Controlled Commodity or Civilian Clothing (or all three).

    By Nina Humphrey(née Burton) (14/02/2017)
  • The location of the Laindon Public Conveniences were just to the right of the entrance to Laindon Link, the area now sporting awful blocks of flats. The toilet block looked more pleasing to the eye and a welcome bolt hole when you needed them most on the way home, after spending the evening in the Laindon Hotel, on pints of Charrington’s best bitter!

    In the very tough winter of 62/63 the toilets became frozen for weeks on end. But when you have gotta go, you have gotta go! A plumber was called out from the builders yard on the corner of Manor Road (A.E. Judd and Son) to unfreeze the cistern above the toilet pan in the first cubicle with a parrafin blow lamp. Then continue to each cubicle in turn to unfreeze the cistern. (He never made it to the second cubicle) In order to reach the cistern, he had to stand on the rim of the pan. Unfortunatly, his foot slipped off the edge and into the mire of contents in the pan! All the pans were frozen with the contents that couldn’t be flushed!

    The poor plumber had to squelch his way back to the builders yard to get cleaned up. Don’t know if he was compensated for the “In convenience” with a little extra in his pay packet for a pair of new boots and socks. Poor man!

    By Robert Springate (13/02/2017)
  • Please can anyone tell me what the B.E.O. building was in the High Road?

    In 1939 my grandad had plans drawn up at Westminster for refuge accommodation behind the BEO building. The two unventilated shelters were to accommodate 12 persons in each shelter, including 5 BEO staff.

    Thank you.

    By Valerie Manning (25/03/2016)
  • Reading about the Publicans’ wheelchair races, I recall that one year when the competitors reached the Laindon Hotel, the next “pit stop” after the “Fortune of War” a piano smashing competition took place on the forecourt of the Laindon Hotel.

    Pieces of a demolished piano had to be small enough to pass through a car tyre. The remains were then un- ceremoniously thrown over the low pub boundary wall into Jeakins yard! Never knew what comments were made when Jeakins staff opened on the Monday morning and found a heap of demolished pianos! But great fire wood though. 🙂

    By Robert Springate (21/11/2014)
  • My memory says that the public conveniences were erected in the very late 1940’s, maybe even 1950. The directional sign outside the Winston was, presumably, erected at the same time. I am sure that every Laindoner knew where the new public bogs were so one can only assume that the sign was intended for the rare visitor from outside of Laindon who happened to be caught short. Certainly any Laindoner would know a bog was available much closer in the opposite direction, fifty yards behind the photographer, at the railway station.

    By Alan Davies (14/05/2014)
  • Even though I was born in Tyler Avenue, I only ever entered the Winston Club once.  I too am glad there still is a part of old Laindon still standing, considering most of it has been ripped down.

    By Brian Baylis (01/04/2012)
  • Reading of the Winson Club being one of the last remaining commercial outlets caused me to reflect on other similar properties still existing in its original form and with the same families and also residential properties still in the hands of the prewar residents.. The ones which come to mind are the Frenches at Watch House Farm in Wash Rd. and the Websters who still occupy the property although the original dwelling has gone. As to the residential old families, I believe the Fordham family still occupy the house in High Rd. North. I am not sure if the Parkinson dwelling opposite the Laindon Link still exists, not having been in Laindon High for many, many years. The only other families I can remember who still occupy their original homes are the Sulliivans in Church Rd. and a family in Waverly Rd., whose name escapes me. I still live in the same dwelling that I lived in the 1920s’. The coming of the new town certainly scattered the old residents both locally and overseas.

    By W.H.Diment (08/03/2012)
  • It was lovely reading all the comments on ‘The Winston Club’ it was a brilliant place to grow up in. 

    I knew most of the men in the ‘Beano’ photo especially my Grandad Ted Burton Snr who was the most gentle kind hearted man you could ever meet, the scar on his face was due to a bad accident which left him with a glass eye.

    I also remember walking along the cinder path beside the railway line with my Mum Kitty Burton (James) to see my Nan Kit James at Beatrice Road. I also remember her living next door to Violet who used to give me sweets. 

    I have been up St Nicholas Church and found my Mum’s sisters grave (Gwen) who was killed in the war you can still see the poem my nan wrote on the head stone. 

    Laindon holds a lot of happy memories for me.

    By Jan Burton (06/03/2012)
  • I am Lisa grandaughter of Ted Burton Jnr and daughter to Linda Burton unfortunately my mother and father left the Winston some 6 years ago. I also spent most of my youth at the Winston and have some fond memories of my nan and grandad singing on stage.

    I am very proud to say that my daughter is following in the footsteps of her great grandmother, it was lovely seeing the old photos of my great grandad and always remember his glass eye lols.

    By Lisa Oram (27/11/2011)
  • Lisa so lovely to hear from someone from the Burton family at last. Your Gt. grandma and my grandma were neighbours in Beatrice Rd., during the war and supported each other. My Mother, Violet Davies, and your grandma were good friends. Your mother and I were friends and I also worked for your grandma in the club for a short while. 

    If you look under Laindon Families, the Sewell family  on this site you will find quite a few references to your family.

    I am so glad you liked the photo, I have been trying to name some others on it perhaps mum can help.

    Oh I did not look above but there you are Brenda another school friend, we did have some great times when Linda and Pat lived in Devonshire Rd., and you came to see them. I hope you remember me.

    By Gloria Sewell (27/11/2011)
  • After looking at this photo with my mum Brenda (Bartley) Hendry provided me with some of the names. In between my uncle Ted Burton & uncle George Bartley it looks like my grandad Harry Bartley next to uncle George is Tom Thomas (senior) in front of him is his son Tommy Thomas (he was the nephew of my nan Buddy (Harris) Bartley) next to Tom Thomas was my grandad’s friend Arthur Brown!

    By Kim Chrystie (26/11/2011)
  • Hi Terry great to hear from someone with 70/80 memories of Laindon and what is left of it keep it up.

    By Gloria Sewell (25/11/2011)
  • As a budding guitar player and old Laindoner, the Winnie was one of my first gigs, around 1976. I have a cassette of us playing there. The group comprised me, the Smith brothers, who lived almost opposite me in Devonshire Close.  Lennie Smith, Vocals, Eddie Smith on Bass Guitar, Phillip Shute from Victoria Rd on Drums, Mark Robinson from Langdon Hills on Keyboards, and Robin Montier from Fairview Rd off Timberlog Lane, the only non Laindoner, on guitar and vocals. We were called crusader!!! I do play the cassette at times, we played all the 70’s rock and pop classics.

    By Terry Steward (24/11/2011)
  • Silly me sitting here all alone tonight the penny has dropped the first man on the photo standing next to George Bartley is Mr.Ted Burton Snr. himself. I recall he had a nasty scar on his face but I can’t remember what caused it.

    By Gloria Sewell (14/10/2011)
  • Yes Eric. The last I heard Linda Burton (single name) and her husband were running the club, she was a school friend of mine. I would love to hear if she is still there or even if one of her children now run it. Her mother’s single name was Kitty James who was my mother’s friend. Her mother I only knew as Mrs. James lived next door to my granny in Betrice Road, where I was born. I do know they were friends and a great support to each other during the war years when my granny lost her eldest son John and Mrs. James lost Kitty’s Sister Gwendolyn. Also during the war, the story goes that they were sweethearts they are buried side by side in St. Nicolas Church, a sad but touching story, I think you would all agree.

    Nina the conveniences were opposite Parkinson’s on the corner of what is now Laindon link. I don’t know if it’s still the same in that area but that is how I last recall them. I know they were still there approx 1970 I recall using them funny enough on the way home from the Winston Club.

    Editor: The original toilets were knocked down when they built the link. New toilets were built at the Laindon Centre, at the rear of the Joker Pub. 

    By Gloria Sewell (13/10/2011)
  • I was always aware of the Winston Club but it was a mystery to me as my father, George Burton, was teetotal and never went there. I notice with interest that the club was run by Ted Burton Snr followed by his son Ted Burton Jnr. As far as I am aware, they were not related to us although my father did have a brother Edward William Burton (known as Bill) who owned and ran the builder’s yard in Manor Road, Laindon, for many years until his death in 1951. Bill and his wife Beatrice didn’t have any children, so it couldn’t have been him.

    By Nina Humphrey (nee Burton) (05/10/2011)
  • While studying the first photograph above, I had a little chuckle when I saw the sign ‘Public Conveniences’ as the arrow appears to point directly at the Winston Club. Obviously, they were further along the High Road. I vaguely remember those conveniences during the fifties but can’t remember exactly where they were situated. The sign is no longer there in the second photograph as I am sure those conveniences had been demolished by the time the sixties came along.

    By Nina Humphrey (nee Burton) (05/10/2011)
  • Hi I remember my uncle Albert Bull and his wife Peggy and her brother Fred Gibson going to Winston Club it was a regular saturday night out

    By Keith Nock (05/10/2011)

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