Sunday, November 12, 2017

THE SONS OF THREE COUNTRIES REMEMBERED

Taking their bow!  Playwright Dawn Knox (blue dress) with Stephen Metcalfe MP (far right), Basildon Mayor and DOT Production cast plus volunteers and Bob Sheridan and his team
Saturday 11 November was such an appropriate date for the final part of the FORGET NEVER PROJECT - SACRIFICE AND LEGACY which commemorated the centenary of the Great War.  The Woodlands School auditorium at Basildon was packed!


 
Local MP Stephen Metcalfe started this project in 2014 with support from Basildon Borough Twinning Association and Basildon Borough Heritage Group, alongside a dedicated group of volunteers from the local community and schools in the area. Since it started, the project has reached out and touched thousands of people's lives, not only in Basildon Borough, but also in their twin towns of Heiligenhaus, Germany and Meaux, France.

My fellow SWWJ member Dawn Knox was the author of this highly individual play which saw its fourth performance last night. It has attracted enormous audiences in the above twin towns. Three individual young men are remembered. George Burnett from Wickford in Essex; Albert Kiekert from Heiligenhaus and Louis Vallin from Meaux.  We learned about this trio of militia and their families; their hopes and dreams and we know, from archived letters, that none of them wanted to kill their contemporaries in this 'War to End all Wars'. Alas, the English and German lads died in the trenches; the French boy lived to tell his tale.

The performers from DOT Productions were superbly directed by Andrew Lindfield and the actors: Natalie Scotcher who played the narrator/nurse, Zac Hamilton - George Burnett;  James Le Lacheur - Albert Kiekert; Christopher Walthorne - Louis Vallin and Andrew Linfield the British Sergeant.  The pianist and composer was Senne Jonckers and soloist was Neel Hannes.  They had travelled from Belgium and joined the group Fricklesome Amset consisting of Peter Klaus, Hannes Johannsen, Rike Ullenbaum and Sebastian Zimmermann provided glorious music. The students of  Lee Chapel Primary School and the Woodlands' School choir were the tops. What a superb group of young people and what a wonderful performance! 

                                                                 

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

HELLO NEW YORK TIMES - APPRECIATE YOUR INTEREST IN OUR ESSEX TOWNS

Just a little gathering of some of our excellent Essex writers attached to the Brentwood Writers' Circle which celebrated its 75 years of membership last year. Check out their website and learn some fascinating history.
image courtesy of Julie Gowers)
www.brentwoodwriterscircle.org
www.swwj.co.uk

 
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BILLERICAY'S MUSEUM IS OUR SECRET GEM - LOCAL HISTORY REALLY MATTERS

With thanks to the editor of The Resident whose monthly journal keeps Billericay's residents up to date on community matters. For more detail of The Cater Museum at 74 High Street, Billericay, check out our website
www.catermuseum.co.uk

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

WRITERS GALORE! A NEW AUTHOR'S FACE ON PHOENIX 98FM'S BOOK CLUB, ESSEX

Sylvia Kent and Brian Hughes MBE
A warm welcome was extended yesterday to Brian Hughes, our first legal author to take his place in the Phoenix 98fm studio Book Club chair.  Brian is working on the last draft of his new book, a memoir,  which already has hit the 300,000 word mark.  Brian knows the Phoenix 98fm studio well, as he appears on several programmes weekly with Scott Ross discussing legal matters, but yesterday, the majority of Book Club, was dedicated to his new book project expected to be published early next year. As yet, untitled.

Presenter Michelle Ward, assisted by Oli, were amazed to learn of Brian's past history with so many adventures and life changes, which resulted into a lively discussion and promoted several calls.

Brian Hughes MBE Oliver and Michelle Ward, our presenter
We also discussed the current books which Billericay Readers' Group are reading, the Society of Women Writers and Journalists' London events - exciting times ahead - and, of course, Brentwood Writers' Circle activities - all perfect connections for those who are thinking of writing their own books.   Do keep your eye on www.swwj.co.uk  www.brentwoodwriterscircle.org and, of course, www.phoenixfm.com



  

Sunday, October 29, 2017

THE SONS OF THREE COUNTRIES REMEMBERED

Following last week's anniversary of the memorable 1917 battles in the Great War, organised by the Essex section of the Western Front Association linked with The Cater Museum, another Essex event is in our diaries. 

Saturday 11 November 7.30pm is our red letter day when we experience local talented playwright Dawn Knox's unique play The Sons of Three Countries Remembered.  Full details are on the poster and as you see, tickets are available from 07849 736101. We look forward to seeing you there. Dawn is an award winning author and one of our newest members of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. She was a guest recently on Phoenix 98fm radio programme Book Club presented by Michelle Ward.   

Saturday, October 21, 2017

LEST WE FORGET - THE GREAT WAR

Members of the Western Front Association
Today was rather a special day and one that I would not have missed - the annual gathering of the Essex Branch of the WESTERN FRONT ASSOCIATION in Billericay at our Reading Rooms. Karen and Steve Dennis organised this poignant exhibition in league with Bill Fulton (chairman of the Essex Branch of the Western Front Association) which was appreciated by us all.
Katie Wilkie, Curator

The Curator, Katie Wilkie  of our local Cater
Museum at 74 High Street, Billericay prepared a collection of books and artefacts which attracted many visitors. Katie and staff from the museum came along, together with friends and families with an interest in the Great War.

Here is an image I especially like - Ken Wisdom with his unique poster that he personally created.

Welcome to writers of America and Canada.quent visitors

Ken Wisdom with his wonderful poster

Welcome to new readers from USA and Canada