Christmas Newsletter for 2002

from Colin and Elizabeth Hicks

Each year we send out a Christmas Newsletter to family and friends.
The text below is a slightly edited version of our Christmas 2002 Newsletter with some extra photos etc.

Elizabeth, Jasper and Miriam
Jasper, Elizabeth and Miriam
in August 2002

Holidays Galore!

Colin and Elizabeth had several holidays of a lifetime this year. At Easter, Elizabeth and her sister, Heather, went to visit the Caribbean island of their father´s birth - Barbados. Colin tagged along to research the Payne family history. They were warmly welcomed by all Dad´s relatives - both into their homes and by taking time to show them round their lovely island.

Instead of staying in England for the Queen´s Jubilee, Colin and Elizabeth spent a week in June in Canada. While there they visited Martin and Avril Taylor (friends from University days) on Vancouver Island, took a train trip through the Rockies, and then spent a few days with Colin´s great-auntie Betty and great-uncle Joe in Calgary.

In August we all spent a week in France (with Heather, Stewart and Ruth). The photos of Colin and Elizabeth with Jasper and Miriam are from that holiday.

Colin, Jasper and Miriam
Jasper, Colin and Miriam in August 2002

Click to see Colin and Elizabeth´s eChristmas Card to You!

Envisat in orbit
(artist's impression)

Envisat being launched by Ariane 5
ENVISAT being launched
by Ariane 5


(c) ESA 2002

Up, Up and Away!

Colin has now completed three years as Director General of the British National Space Centre (BNSC). He is as busy as ever - he will have been abroad for over 70 nights this year - even more than last year - spending many of those in Paris. He says that if he bumps into someone when he is travelling (even in England) he now finds himself apologising in French rather than English!

In March Colin attended the launch from Kourou in French Guyana of Envisat - an event which had extensive British media coverage with the headline "A health check for the Earth". After the successful launch, Colin did a live BBC radio interview from his mobile phone while sitting on the ground in the middle of Cayenne market.

Unfortunately launches often take place at night (European time) so if Colin invites you to go and watch one with him, expect to stay up all night! That happened to Richard and Rachel when they went with Colin to a live telecast of a French satellite launch in Toulouse. They left home at mid-night and got back at 5am - at least it gave everyone practice in understanding French!

Not to be outdone, Elizabeth went on two successive nights with Colin to a live telecast of another important launch in August. Home at 1.30 am the first night after a launch postponement with only 5 minutes to lift-off - but at least the MSG-1 satellite was launched successfully on the second night - a 2 am return home.

In October Colin visited NASA´s Johnson Space Center in Houston - famed as the recipient of Apollo 13´s message: "Hello, Houston, we have a problem". He was presented with a Union Jack flown on the Shuttle to the International Space Station - a fairly unique holiday souvenir!

Elizabeth is very much in demand for dyslexia tuition both at Chase Bridge School and privately. She mixes and matches this with travelling to Beckenham to look after Miriam one day a week.

He said, 'I am the light of the world'
John 8:12 (NIV)
Cartoon of Jasper doing his homework

Rachel, Richard and Jasper

Richard, Rachel and Jasper moved back from Toulouse during August 2002. They spent the last year there to improve their French and widen their horizons. Naturally Colin and Elizabeth popped down to see them whenever possible - they much enjoyed playing in the snows of the Pyrenees with Jasper last Christmas.

Back in London, Richard has resumed his work. Rachel is now working part-time at a local sixth form college helping students with language difficulties.

Jasper is 5 and has started school full-time in England. Asked whether he was learning to count and read at his new school he replied scornfully "It isn´t that kind of school". But despite any such school deficiencies, his reading is coming along very well. Jasper claimed to be the only member of his family not to speak French, until he was overheard speaking French in the playground to another child who also knew some French.

Jasper Jasper Jasper Jasper
Jasper - celebrating his fifth birthday!


Click to see Colin and Elizabeth´s eChristmas Card to You!

Joanna and James
Joanna and James

Dame James
Dame James

Joanna, James and Miriam

Miriam is talking in complete sentences - and making her self-determination and wishes very clear. "I do it, me" was her constant summer refrain. See our Grandparent page for more photos and more details!

Joanna has been seconded from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to the Home Office. She will be working for the next six months on policy to deter anti-social behaviour with the expectation that there will be a White Paper and a parliamentary bill to follow.

James is still at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (University of London). During 2002, James plumbed the height and depth of culture: (a) in January he starred as Dame Deirdre Ditherer in a traditional pantomime at their church; and (b) in February he conducted Mozart´s Requiem with a 30 piece orchestra and a 60 strong choir.

Miriam Miriam Miriam
Miriam in 2002


He said, 'I am the light of the world'
John 8:12 (NIV)
Colin's Websites

Teddington Baptist Church
Wot? - What's Online for Teddington?

Churches Together in Teddington
The BIG Top

The Teddington Society

London Baptist Association
Thames Valley District of Baptist Churches

Personal Website
We are a grandmother!

Teddington and London Baptists

Elizabeth was elected to the Leadership Team of Teddington Baptist Church (TBC) in March - a new and fascinating role. She also runs the church welcome team.

Colin still maintains two websites for the church and he chairs the Board of Directors of the London Baptist Association.


Click to see Colin and Elizabeth´s eChristmas Card to You!

Miriam, Joanna and Grandma
Miriam, Joanna and Colin's Grandma
in September 2001

Other Family News

Colin´s Grandma (Kathleen Hargrave) died in September shortly after her 100th birthday. She slipped away quietly after a few months of illness. Colin produced a celebratory document about her life, her descendants, and her ancestry based on his family history researches which he called "From the Heart of England".

five generations picture in 1998
Jasper with his mother, grandfather, greatgrandmother
and greatgreatgrandmother in 1998


e-mail and website addresses

e-mail to Colin:
e-mail to Elizabeth:

Colinís web sites:
Colinís office e-mail:
Colinís office web site:

e-mail to Richard and Rachel:

e-mail to James:
Joanna's office e-mail:
but while she is with the Home Office (Dec 2002 - July 2003)
e-mail to Joanna at home:
The Clipper Cards web site is at: