Friday, September 23, 2016


Saturday 1st October, 10.00 am - 4.00 pm 

Special day coming up.  
The Ursuline Convent School, Queens Road, Brentwood, Essex CM14 4EX
These annual Writer Day Sessions are always his year's speaker is the acclaimed writing coach and poet Sarah Hymas, who works with writers in a variety of ways. The day promises to be an entertaining and informative one and not to be missed.  

If you are an amateur or professional writer, or just interested in the written word, come along and meet and socialise with fellow writers and like-minded people. The venue, The Ursuline Convent School, is a short walk from Brentwood Station.

Non-members pay just £20, and this includes refreshments and a buffet lunch, which represents excellent value for money.

Please purchase or reserve tickets by emailing or telephoning the Secretary, Ena Love: Tel 01277 226840 Email:

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Thankfully local press have picked up news of our Museum's Centenary Exhibition to be held at The Reading Rooms in Billericay High Street on Saturday 2.00pm - 5.00pm.   We hope you will visit us at this Exhibition on Saturday afternoon.  This event commemorates the town's involvement in the Battle of the Somme, Battle of Jutland and the crash of the L32 Zeppelin on the night of 23/24 September 1916.  Entry is free and refreshments will be available in the Reading Rooms during the Exhibition.  A warm welcome awaits you. 

During the evening, there is a talk scheduled by the Western Front members, which again is free, but seats are limited, so  should anyone wish to attend at 7.00pm-9.00pm, do let the Cater Museum know on 01277 622023

Sunday, September 18, 2016


We have quite a few events on the Billericay calendar over the next few weeks.  Yesterday's History Day  in the Library was a great success and good fun - community at its enthusiastic best - an opportunity to get together with  members from some of the town's other groups.

At the end of next week, we mark the anniversary of one hundred years  since the L32 Zeppelin was shot down over Great Burstead, just a mile from our ancient High Street. A commemoration plaque is being prepared and work is in hand for an exhibition on Saturday 24 September in the Reading Rooms, High Street from 2.00pm - 5pm.  The award-winning aviation author/illustrator  Ray L Rimell has written THE LAST FLIGHT OF THE L32 which will be on display at the exhibition and can be obtained from Ray Rimell, or via the Cater Museum, 74 High Street, Billericay after Saturday, 24 September 2016. 

Staff at the Cater Museum will be joining the Essex Branch of the Western Front Association and the 10th Essex Living History Group to present NOT JUST THE FIRST OF JULY: THE AIR WAR COMES TO BILLERICAY.  The exhibition will cover the major events of 1916: The Battle of Jutland, The Battle of the Somme and the Zeppelin L32 crash.  

After the exhibition, presentations and a talk will cover the same topics at 7.00pm.   The exhibition and the presentations are free, but the evening presentation will be ticketed. Apply to the Cater Museum:  01277622023

Alongside, we are  preparing an updated version of Ted Wright's book first published in 1977. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Music, dancing, singing and socializing have always been sure-fire ways of combating depression and difficult times.  Since I've been researching my new writing project, I've received a treasure trove of archive material from interested folk from around the world. Many thanks to members of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists and to Jarvis Cocker in tonight's BBC Radio 4 programme.  So - watch this space! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


How I love Essex fruit farms and the chance to Pick My Own!  There are many in our county, but Spencer’s Farm Shop in the tiny village of Wickham St Pauls near Halstead Essex, is one of the best. This  family-run business established in 1973 has a wonderful  Coffee Shop opened in 2010 run by Frosty and Ray Mead.

The Farm Shop is run by Jenny Spencer - third generation of the family to operate Spencer’s - and her business partner Jo O’Boyle. Both Jenny and Jo recently gave up their corporate careers in London to move to the countryside to get a better work life balance while working for themselves. They took over the running of the shop in March 2016.

Adjacent to the main building is the Coffee Shop run by Frosty and Ray Mead -  great cooks - and Frosty is a superb cake maker - which I can certainly verify. All the food is home made, cooked and prepared by Frosty and Ray, excellent chefs and cake makers (see my birthday cake at my last visit)

The fruit farm side of the business continues to be run by the Spencers as it has been since the 1970s. It is a Pick Your Own fruit system and this was great when I needed lots of fruit to use in my winemaking endeavours at the time of writing my wine-making column for Home Farmer - a great international magazine. 

It's good to see the fruit growing at the back of the building and the owner allowed me to take some photographs last year for my column. Close by,  there's a large play area for children including a sand pit, climbing frame, vintage tractor and ride on tractors. This year in early summer, Spencers started their own small petting farm too with goats, rabbits, guinea pigs and chickens - well worth a visit for families. 

Travel Advisor review: 
We happened upon the farm shop and tea room more by accident than planned, but what a delight!  Great food shop with a nice selection food.  Tea room lovely food excellent quality and plentiful and the service was good too. Definitely will be going back. Highly recommended.