Archive for the 'sudoku' Category


The Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Dudley Vernon Steynor

Service conducted by  The Revd Canon Cavell Cavell-Northam


Dudley was born on 16 October 1909 in Malvern where he grew up with his two brothers and sister in a large family home enjoying the freedom of the Malvern Hills.  Kite flying, model aeroplanes, motor cycles and motor cars were just some of the hobbies pursued by the family.

His interest in music developed at an early age as the family were very close to Vernon Warner the young protégé pianist.

Dudley was in one of the first intakes at Stowe school and a contemporary of David Niven, Sir Nicholas Winton and Geoffrey de Haviland .  In later years he bumped into David Niven at Heathrow Airport. David recognised him immediately, which says a great deal about the Steynor profile.

On leaving Stowe he studied the piano in London at the Academy of Music   living in Kew with his brother Martyn.  Together they joined the Hounslow Flying club and learned to fly.

Following his studies at the London Academy of Music he was advised to continue studying in Europe and chose Berlin where he studied at the Edwin Fischer School, only returning due to the imminent possibility of War.

His wish to assist the war effort as a pilot was initially thwarted by poor eyesight.  Having spent some months on the ground as a Link Trainer Instructor, and following a weekend party at the house of Jumbo Edwards his Commanding Officer and pre war Olympic Gold Medal Rower, a further medical in London was arranged. This medical was with the Chief Medical officer of the RAF.  He proceeded to test his eyesight by initially requesting him to read the chart with his good eye and then, without changing the chart and while looking the other way, asked him to read it again!  Dudley passed.

Some months later Dudley bumped into the Chief Medical Officer, thanked him, and asked if he realised that in fact his eyesight in one eye was really quite poor.  He replied that he knew people who could see perfectly and were quite lethal in the air and some people, like  Dudley, who might not have perfect eyesight but were  excellent pilots. As one who spent his time on the ground he would prefer people like Dudley above him!

The outcome of this was a posting to Booker Airfield as an Instructor in charge of B Flight where he spent the rest of the war. Here he met Ann who was assisting the war effort by helping with the tea wagon along with two of the sisters of King Zog of Albania who was living in exile at Parmoor here in Frieth.  Dudley and Ann were married in 1943.

On being de-mobbed Dudley decided that a career as a concert pianist was no longer an option and proceeded to devote his energies to designing and developing various ideas.  The first of these was the Verdik Petrol Economiser which made significant improvements to the petrol consumption of the cars of the day, and was widely acclaimed by the motoring press.

There followed  a humane rat trap which he designed at the request of his uncle in Birmingham who owned a hardware shop and it was the mesh of this trap that led to his next significant development.

A famous burns’ surgeon was staying with the Hon Mrs James in Lane End and on seeing one of the traps announced this was just the mesh needed to make guards to protect children from the horrendous burns suffered as a result of accidents with electric fires.  Dudley came up with a suitable design and as a result was kept busy for a few years supplying the electricity companies and then gas companies with guards to fit to all their various models. It was not long however before the manufacturers started incorporating guards at the manufacturing stage bringing this market to a close.   Guards for open fires were a further development and these carried on selling for a number of years.

Dudley and Ann started their married life at The Cottage, Lane End next to the old Chapel on Moor Common.  William was born here in 1948.

In 1951 they moved to Colliers Corner on the day of the birth of their daughter Linden who Dudley delivered in the absence of the midwife who had not yet arrived.  Dudley always said he was not phased by this as he had been in the Boy Scouts!!!

The family was completed by the arrival of James in 1956.

Although continuing throughout his working life with his inventions he decided that with a growing family to support he needed a more stable income. This led to his ownership of Goodchild’s Garage in Lane End and then a Daf Dealership.  Soon Dafs could be seen wherever you looked!

Among his many and varied interests steam always held a fascination. The purchase of an Avelling & Porter Steamroller gave the local community a much loved landmark as he kept it next to the road outside his house.

In 1964 he was tempted back to flying when William started gliding at Booker, now Wycombe Air Park. Dudley was soon recognised as an excellent pilot and instructor and he continued enjoying his gliding in retirement up to the age of 84.

In early 1981 disaster struck. There were extensive power cuts across the area as a result of a heavy snow fall. Dudley had taken Ann out to get a hot meal when the power was restored. The resultant surge caused a fire in Colliers Corner and they returned to find five fire crews doing their best to get it under control. They had lost nearly everything they owned.

Undaunted, a mobile home was bought and placed at the bottom of the garden for them to live in. The initial clearing of the site was carried out by two young men who were keen to earn some money between their training sessions at Marlow Rowing Club. A number of local tradesmen were engaged to rebuild the house and by the spring of 1982 they were able to return. As a thank you for all the hard work Dudley took the two rowers gliding. In the years that followed he watched with great interest the developing career of one of those rowers, Sir Steve Redgrave.

Following the death of his wife Ann in 1996 he returned to his music and at the grand age of 87 produced two CDs of his favourite piano pieces.

Latterly he kept himself fit by doing at least 10 minutes a day on his exercise bike and completing fiendish Soduko puzzles until only a few months before his death.

His 100th birthday was a milestone he wanted to achieve. He thoroughly enjoyed his day which many here I am sure will remember as it brought Lane End to a standstill!

More about Sudoku


There are many different ways to solving these puzzles and I do not suggest my way is best. But it does enable me to solve the hardest (Fiendish) puzzles from The Times fairly quickly. This is what I do:


I divide each puzzle into three phases:


  1. Copy the puzzle on to a Sudoku pad with its larger squares using a Red pen.
  2. Starting with the top left Block with its nine small squares and pencil in the possible numbers with small figures. Start at the Top left square and moving from left to right until all nine small squares of this top left block have their possible small numbers written in. Proceed to the next top Block on the right and treat it in the same way, and so on until all nine blocks have been filled.During this ‘Exposition’ you will probably find one number in sole possession of its square. Write this number in full size and then look for a similar number in its COLUMN, in its ROW and in its BLOCK and rub them out. During this process you will uncover some more single numbers in sole possession of their squares and can be therefore raised to full size and should be treated like all full size numbers and will have similar small numbers deleted throughout their COLUMNS, ROWS or BLOCKS. By the time you have reached the last BLOCK you will find you have almost completed the solution of the easier puzzles.

    During this ‘EXPOSITION’ stage keep any eye out for ‘matching pairs’. If you see two numbers left in a square and the same two numbers left in another square and both pairs are in the same column you can rub out any similar numbers in that column. The same rule can be applied to a ROW or a BLOCK throughout the puzzle.

    This ‘exposition’ stage is where most people (including me) make mistakes, so it pays to spend extra time on it. I am still learning after several years with Sudoku. To prove this point I advise you to check the whole puzzle by subjecting every red figure to the COLUMN, ROW and BLOCK test. If you find no mistakes to correct you are a genius!



Perhaps the best advice I can give you is to get a book on solving this clever and demanding puzzle and then work out your own way of meeting the challenge. As you get older it will prevent your brain from becoming addled.


We all dread turning into a cabbage as old age creeps on us. Losing our mind means we cannot be of any further use to anyone and it is time to move on to the next stage i.e. HOME where one can enjoy a pause before returning back to earth for another incarnation. While the moment is not ours to determine we can at least make it interesting by keeping our minds active. Crosswords is one option and the recently introduced Sudoku is another and is the one I use. I suggest the compilers of these puzzles could improve them by subjecting them to solutions by logic. It is somewhat annoying to find oneself up against a guess in order to proceed to a successful solution. I therefore recommend the set of 200 puzzles by Carol Vordeman all of which can be solved by logic alone. There is no such thing as a “logical guess” which is an oxymoron. Another mind trainer is the daily countdown on Channel 4 with the bonus of the exquisite Susie Dent in Dictionary Corner.

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