Sunday, July 22, 2018

STUART WALLACE'S LATEST SUCCESS IN THE UK

The well known writer, Elizabeth Wallace will be arriving soon in Essex with some of Stuart's latest commissioned creative work. Stuart was born in Essex, England and emigrated with his family to the US, in 1978 where they lived for twenty years in Kansas City.  Here he graduated from Shawnee Mission High School, attended The Kansas City Art Institute, and became a citizen of the United States. He believes he inherited his entrepreneurial drive and passion for work from his parents, each successful in their own right.  His mother, Elizabeth is a award winning author and a former member of the Society of Women Writers & Journalists in London.
 
After leaving The Kansas City Art Institute, Stuart began his first successful design firm but the necessity of providing for a family shaped his life for many years. However, during this time, he never stopped painting, sketching, and creating works of art. Often, he was able to weave those ideas into his daily corporate life as an Executive Creative Director. 
 
Many life-altering events have changed Stuart’s outlook on life, but his hiatus is over, and he is now able to focus his time and energy on what has always given him pleasure…the ability to create. Stuart's work is superb. Nothing escapes his eye, a detail, specific texture, or a shape will eventually turn up in a painting. He has expressive subtle style with attention to detail that often gets lost until you look deeply, and then discover it. 
 
 
Stuart's artistic talent has brought him a strong following in the US and soon British art  galleries will also have the advantage of exhibiting his unusual modern creations.
 
Take a look at Stuart's latest pieces on display at Loveland Art Gallery, Denver, Colorado.  www.stuartwallace.wixsite.com/artwork 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

MY FAVOURITE COMPOSER RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS AND THE STORY OF HIS TRIP TO ESSEX

The young RVW (courtesy of the Vaughan Williams Society)
Even after so many years of writing features for my favourite
magazines, it's always super to see my words published on the page of the county's most popular journal.  With the 60th anniversary of the passing of that wonderful composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, and listening to his music on Classic FM Radio, I simply had to write about this composer's time in a little town - where I lived for most of my life - in Essex so many years ago.  My story can be found on page 102 with more images of the great man and his music.   Incidentally, I have been contributing features to Essex Life (previously Essex Countryside) for almost 25 years.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

SEMI FINALS - WORLD CUP AND FOOTBALL FRENZY IN BRENTWOOD, ENGLAND







So England won the latest game in the World Cup semi-finals, our team playing against Sweden. Congratulations to all footballers taking part and, of course, the winners.  Wrong time to walk down Brentwood High Street as the game was about to start  - had to get to our writers' meeting - so fought hundreds of good-natured and very excited supporters lining up to watch the game on the giant screens in the pubs. Then the police squads arrived with riot vans and a couple of ambulances - just in case. It was getting very loud. Took a few quick pics as the crowd started to gather. Later, we couldn't move for happy fans and had to get a lift home as no public transport could get through! Oh well - such is life (and the world of sport)! 






Bobby Moore 1966


Tuesday, July 03, 2018

A GREAT DAY FOR THE SWWJ WITH OUR SPEAKER ANITA MARIE SACKETT WITH SWWJ PRESIDENT FLOELLA AND THE TEAM

A super SWWJ Annual General Meeting held in London's National Liberal Club on Thursday with our speaker Anita Marie Sackett pictured with our President Lady Floella Benjamin. Anita launched her new book THAT'S HOW IT USED TO BE - a super nostalgic meander through the 1940s and 1950s. Many more photographs on flickr


Monday, June 25, 2018

BOOKS, BOOKS AND MORE BOOKS

We, in the SWWJ are proud of the writing talent within our membership and it is interesting to ponder on the variety of topic and genre which are consistently being published by our team.  Currently, I am reading Jane Corry's new thriller The Dead Ex which will be launched by Penguin on Thursday 28 June. As a twice recorded Sunday Times bestseller, Jane will surely agree that it is difficult to both create words for one's own current articles and books alongside reading and reviewing other authors new titles, but as so many of us choose to follow this way of life, there's never a dull moment!  Jane's book is certainly a page-turner. 
Jane Corry 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

WOMAN OF COURAGE - ANNE KNIGHT OF CHELMSFORD





BBC Essex presenter - Sadie Nine
I received a little flurry of emails and calls following my half an hour or so with presenter Sadie Nine on BBC Essex this morning. We spoke about some of our iconic women through history, particularly Anne Knight, the anti-slavery and women's rights campaigner Quaker who, I believe, kicked off the movement championing the major social reforms of her age.  This was way before the fight for women's suffrage had even started and went on - not without travails - to success forty years after her death in 1862.
This plaque sums up the history of Anne Knight
 
It’s ironic that Essex is unfairly maligned when conversation turns to the Arts. Yet, it is the richest county in music, painting, literature and history, and boasts some of the world’s most distinguished authors. Essex folk also obviously have a huge love of reading which is evident when hearing the latest figures for reading groups in the county – there are now more than 600 groups - more than in any other English county. Some reading groups meet at local libraries during the daytime, but there are also many who meet in each other’s homes in the evenings or at weekends. Book clubs are now considered cool among the young (so I'm told). 

The Billericay Readers’ Group will celebrate their eighteenth birthday this year. There is also a great interest in writing circles and these are reporting increased membership. Here we have just some of our members of Brentwood Writers' Circle which was formed in 1941 with a notable vice-president of Vera Brittain - so it's great to know that reading and writing are alive and well and still flourishing in Essex. 


Just a glimpse of some of our members of Brentwood Writers' Circle

  




Monday, June 18, 2018

REVIVING MEMORIES OF BILLERICAY PAST

Of all my current writing projects, I very much enjoy meeting, interviewing and collecting memories from local folk.  These, in the past have often ended up in my regular newspaper and magazine columns and, more importantly, my books, some of which are regarded as 'evergreens'.  This collection of books was  published by The History Press based in Stroud, Gloucestershire quite a few years ago and I am back today signing a few for some new residents to our town.  It seems that even young people are keen to learn about the provenance of their special town.  Have lots of articles coming up in local press about times' past. More to come!