Friday, November 25, 2016

ALL WRITERS ARE WELCOME AS VISITORS TO OUR CHRISTMAS GATHERING

I love all aspects of the National Liberal Club, Whitehall (particularly this beautiful staircase).   Do join us on 6 December for the Society of Women Writers & Journalists' Christmas tea and a chance to catch up on all our writing news. 

We will have the well known writer, Ginny Vere Nicholl from Feel Good Books as our guest speaker and I know that she is a brilliant narrator with some great ideas for marketing our literary efforts. Do check out ticket availability at Enquiries@SWWJ.co.uk

Another attraction will be a special 'book table' for our new titles that have been published by members over the last year or two. Looking forward to meeting some of our new members who have joined us this year; and maybe a few of our overseas friends who are arriving in London for Christmas will take the opportunity of coming along. A warm welcome awaits!  




Friday, November 11, 2016

CATER MUSEUM'S NEW BOOK ON SALE TOMORROW 12 NOVEMBER 2016

Literally hot off the press! 

The Cater Museum will have stocks of their new presentation of BILLERICAY'S  ZEPPELIN. This new little book gives the background to the momentous event that  took place during the night of 23/24 September 1916. Second Lieutenant Frederick Sowrey  based at Suttons Farm aerodrome, Hornchurch, was on patrol in his tiny biplane, when he attacked the huge 650 ft Zeppelin L32 as it flew over East London  in the direction of our town of Billericay.




Unfortunately, the entire crew of this airship lost their lives in the conflagration that followed.  Jim Devlin, Leader of  Billericay Town Council and his Councillors marked the centenary by erecting a commemoration stone (courtesy of Jane Bennett Funerals) close to the spot in Greens Farm Lane in memory of those twenty two German airship members. 

Air Marshal Sir Freddie Sowrey, son of Royal Flying Corps Second Lieutenant Frederick Sowrey, visited our town on 24 September 2016 and unveiled the commemoration stone. He and his family were entertained by Graham Jeffrey at his Billericay Brewing company at 54 Chapel Street. Sir Freddie later attended the Zeppelin display at the Reading Rooms in Billericay High Street.  This was organised by Karen Dennis and the Western Front Association members, together with Katie Wilkie, Curator at the Cater Museum, Billericay.

To order this book, please telephone 01277 622023 or curator@thecatermuseum.plus.com

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Monday, November 07, 2016

VISIT BILLERICAY LIBRARY AND MEET THE AUTHORS - SATURDAY 12 NOVEMBER 2-4 PM



Brentwood Writers' Circle members invite you to come to our MEET THE AUTHORS book event at BILLERICAY LIBRARY on SATURDAY 12 NOVEMBER from 2 - 4pm.

We are delighted that novelists Frances Clamp, Maggie Ford, Dawn Knox, Jim Reeve and yours truly who will be signing books (and selling at reduced price) and talking about our books which all have a World War One theme. 

This is also an opportunity to  launch the Cater Museum's new title BILLERICAY'S ZEPPELIN which traces the sad story of how 23-year-old Second Lieutenant Frederick Sowrey in his tiny biplane, shot down the mighty German L32 Zeppelin. Exactly one hundred years later, on 24 September 2016, a commemoration stone was erected by Billericay Town Council as near to the crash site as possible in Greens Farm Lane, Billericay.




Among those invited to attend the unveiling of the stone were Air Marshal Sir Freddie Sowrey  son of the Royal Flying Corps Second Lieutenant Frederick Sowrey and his family, the Lord Petre, Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Air Commodore Dean Andrew, Stephen Horncastle RAF VR (T) who, with his ATC cadets from 2393 (Billericay), provided a very smart Colour Party and numerous other guests. 

Jim Devlin Billericay Town Council Chairman and his councillors also welcomed Dan Pierce of St John the Divine Church, Billericay, who gave the unveiling address. The Town Council were pleased to receive the visit of Ralf Borttscheller, nephew of Karl Borttscheller, wireless operator of the Zeppelin L32 crew.



Second Lieutenant Frederick Sowrey with his colleagues at Sutton's Farm Hornchurch 1916  © Sowrey Private Collection

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

LEARN MORE ABOUT LOCAL HISTORY AND THE LIFE AND LORDS OF THE MANOR IN DODDINGHURST

FROM SAXONS TO STONLEY

This is to let Essex folk know about a rather special gathering coming up on Sunday 6 November 2.30pm. The sub-title of the one-hour talk is "Turmoil and Intrigue" - the opportunism and back-stabbing of our politicians these days pales into insignificance when you learn about the Earls of Oxford who owned so much of Essex, including the pretty little village of Doddinghurst from 1100 to 1580. 

There will be a Powerpoint presentation to illustrate the talk, some of the slides will show just how ruthless these times were.  Nothing changes!  Don't buy tickets in advance - just come to All Saints' Church in Doddinghurst on Sunday November 6 between 2pm-2.30pm.  Cost of entry £4 - super tea and home-made cake in the Priest House after. Profits from the event will go towards the cost of the conservation of the 16th century processional cross which is adorned with beautiful paintings by a Renaissance artist. A warm welcome awaits.    

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

LATEST EDITION OF HOME FARMER BRITAIN'S FAVOURITE MAGAZINE ON ALL ASPECTS OF SELF SUFFICIENCY

Of all the dozens of magazines and newspapers to which I've contributed over two decades, I  do enjoy writing features for this magazine  - the splendid HOME FARMER.  My current offering to the November issue is published on pages 34/35/36 and no - it's not all about geese (front page) , although I do love these cheeky birds (not the brash green geese used on the web by our cyber aficionados) more the farmyard cacklers. We used to keep one called Jacko down the end of the garden - a most effective guard-dog!  

My current article is about the French wine Beaujolais Nouveau which years ago, the French winemakers used to release on 15 November from the vaults of Les Sarmentelles in the Beaujeu region.  Some amateur winemakers try to emulate this wine, but it's rather a difficult task in our UK climate.   


Sunday, October 23, 2016

BEST SELLING ESSEX NOVELIST MARTINA COLE LAUNCHES HER NEW BOOK AT OUR NEW FOYLES OF CHELMSFORD

Best selling Essex novelist Martina Cole's new book BETRAYAL was launched at the brand new Foyles bookshop in Bond Street, Chelmsford on Saturday. 

Hundreds of Martina's fans were there to buy her new title and she spent several hours signing books for them. Martina has been friends with us all at Brentwood Writers' Circle over the years since her first book 'Dangerous Lady' was published in 1992 and our paths have often crossed since she came to Brentwood's Ursuline School to outline how her writing career started. 

Martina was also a member of our Society of Women Writers and Journalists and is known for encouraging and helping young writers.

Do visit us at www.swwj.co.uk and also the new Foyles book store where you can also enjoy coffee and cake in their little cafe area. Friendly staff and super sales team. twitter @swwj #swwj 
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Friday, October 21, 2016

FABULOUS NEW BOOK FOR CHILDREN - AN ALPHABET OF AWFUL ANIMALS FOR ADULTS

Author George Courtauld and artist John Holder have produced this superbly illustrated book for children just in time for Christmas. Both are grandfathers and their book jacket gives us some intriguing information on their history.  George is already a well known writer whose "Fat Bulldog' trilogy concerning his life as a Queen's Messenger, travelling 3,500,000 miles world-wide, has brought him great success.

John Holder is also well known for his work in the classic tradition of humorous illustration, dating back to Victorian times. In 2012 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Anglia Ruskin University for his lifetime contribution to illustration and drawing at Cambridge School of Art. 

John's drawings are wonderful.  Wait till you see how cleverly he has illustrated the animals in this book with snippets of verse from nearly 80 creatures from A for Aardvark to Z for Zoo-keeper, via a huge variety of creatures both mythical and extant, such as a gargoyle, the Jellyfish and a Witchetty Grub - lots of fun and, as the above gentleman have suggested, perfect for the loo bookcase, as well as the bedside table.