Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Sunday at Hylands Park was alive and jumping with the sound of Glenn Miller and fabulous wartime music. Visitors swarmed around the displays of war-time military vehicles that contrasted with modern day equipment. Youngsters were allowed to climb on the Land Rovers and jeeps, and were shown how to operate the heavy machine gun. Ancient motor cycles mingled with military staff cars and other war-time vehicles with the owners dressed in the uniform of the day. An RFC (Royal Flying Corps) truck from World War 1 was on display. The public loved it. In addition, there were stands representing many of the military associations, with several refreshment stalls. Jiving on Hylands House terrace was enjoyed.

The Royal British Legion tent was the base for veterans who were happy to discuss their military experiences with the youngsters. In the central arena, the Essex Wing of the Air Cadet Corps held their formal parade and over 600 smartly dressed air cadets, in full immaculate uniform paraded for their Commodore. from Royal Air Force Cranwell who inspected them and took the Salute.

Later the air cadets held their drill and banner competitions. Music was provided by bands of the air cadets who gave superb performances both during the day and at the final parade. Huge applause greeted the appearance of the Royal British Legion as they led the parade that continued for the following air cadets. The Mayor of Chelmsford, Tony Sach took the Salute and received the folded Armed Forces Day flag from two air cadets. Congratulations to Chelmsford Borough Council whose organising team performed a superb job, supported by the air cadets of the Essex Wing. BY COURTESY OF NEWSQUEST ESSEX

Monday, June 22, 2009



I'm back on line now - gremlins at play over the last month - then an electrical storm caused my modem to crash - oh well - back now - difficulties overcome.

So interested in today's news re the new Speaker of the House of Commons. Was rather hoping that Ann Widdecombe would get the job, but old John Bercow is the winner - the 157th Speaker to take the Chair. Some of them in the past lost their heads! Hope he makes a better job than his immediate predecessor. I simply loved Betty Boothroyd when she was Speaker. Interviewed her one Christmas in Speaker's House - a magnificent place. She was my WOMAN OF THE YEAR and the topic of my feature article. Received such a warm welcome. Around that time, interviewed Ann Widdecombe in the House and again - super hospitality extended. The resulting features were instrumental in my Freelance Writer of the Year award - so here's to these splendid ladies!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Still experiencing internet problems. However, can now send and receive emails (in a new, rather odd performance) The problem was due to a nasty storm that smashed electricals along with my modem, putting me out of action. Apologies to blogees!For those interested in the writing of the SWWJ 'history', here's an image of lady writers circa 1900.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


The latest winner of the Jack Kendall writing competition at Brentwood Writers' Circle is long time member, Peter Pascoe, who is pictured receiving his award from BWC Chairman, Ena Love. The event was extra special in that it was our Annual Writers' Day and our guest speaker this year was Marion Hough, Chairman of Swanwick Summer School. Picture here of Chairman Ena Love, Marion Hough and Frances Clamp.

Friday, June 12, 2009


During the past week, I received several calls from veteran soldiers serving with the Essex Regiment during World War II. Not many local soldiers who took part in D-Day remain! Some appreciated last week's feature on the D-Day commemoration in France last weekend. Had been invited to cover this memorable event, but conflicting diary dates made this impossible. However, gave readers of the Weekly News a few memories of Brentwood around the time of this top secret 'Overlord' operation. Few pics used are linked to Jimmy Reddell - first Freeman of our Borough. He died in 2007 aged 97 but lived for the last few years of his life at the Royal Chelsea Hospital where I used to visit monthly. Here he is at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2006 pictured with a few of his pals from the Hospital. Jimmy wrote his memoirs of D-Day and his life as a soldier and we do miss this lovely man.

Friday, June 05, 2009


As requested by those who could not make last week's Summer Festival held at the Royal Overseas League in London's Park Place in St James, have included a few more snaps. Our member, Alison Chisholm won the Lady Longford prize for poetry. Alison, from Southport, is well known to readers of The Writing Magazine where she writes a regular poetry column. Her work can also be read in Springboard We welcomed some excellent speakers including Peter Snow and patrons including Sir Tim Rice. Our Life President, Lady Shirley Williams, caught up with the news over lunch and it was great to meet her once again. Our prize winners were there to pick up their awards and some of our overseas members managed to get there, too. Producer, actor, director Martin Cort, our drama expert arranged the playlets which were excellent - the actors gave superb performances.Few pictures here to illustrate the flavour of the day.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


After a difficult fortnight of computer problems resulting in holdup in blog postings, I'm now back and am preparing to meet our SWWJ members at the Summer Festival at the Royal Overseas League, London on Thursday. As well as seeing many friends from around Britain, there are also several overseas writers coming along. We'll have a chance to enjoy a good lunch, first rate speakers and entertainment from our talented scriptwriters and actors.