Wednesday, June 30, 2010


What a commotion in the press in the spring! Such silly stereotype of the 'Essex Girl' has been highlighted in the press after one stupid journalist coined the phrase many years ago. From Boudica to Elizabeth l - from Helen Mirren to Fatima Whitebread, from Dorothy L Sayers, Margery Alllingham through to P D James, some of the world's best known and distinguished women have been born, lived here or had a strong connection with this large English county.

Now the Essex Women's Advisory Group is planning a special charity day at the magnificent Hylands House at Widford near the county town of Chelmsford, Essex and this is your chance to discover how proficient and clever the ladies from Essex really are. The big day is set for Saturday 10 July at this gorgeous venue from 11 - 5pm. Stall and exhibition promoting businesses owned or managed by Essex women; a folk fair and market; exhibition and sale of arts & crafts; judging of schools/colleges art competition; fashion show; band; singers; dancers; cheerleaders; tethered hot air balloon ride (if weather is clement)and many family activities and entertainment.

The primary aim of the Essex Women's Advisory Group is to monitor the wellbeing of women and girls who live in Essex by broadening their vision, self-worth and belief, by helping them succeed in commerce, the arts and sports; and protecting and advising them if in trouble or distress.

EWAG is aware that there are many voluntary and community organisations supporting vulnerable women and girls in Essex, advising them on personal or family problems, and helping them build skills and attain self confidence. To assist these organisations, EWAG has established the Essex Women and Girls Charitable Fund. This is managed by the grant making charity, the Essex Community Foundation. For more information about ECF visit

Essex Women's Advisory Group has been featured in Look East on BBC One; in the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Daily Express,, ITV and BBC News; on BBC Radio 4 on Thursday 4th March and on the BBC Breakfast Programme on 6th March. Do come and make this a huge success.Further information and booking forms available at 01206 230770

Thursday, June 24, 2010

FORBIDDEN - Elizabeth's new book

Elizabeth Wallace has arrived in England. This Denver-based author, broadcaster and lecturer has several web pages and blogs. She writes on many topics but particularly enjoys travel, history, word and phrase origins, curious customs, superstitions, and folklore.

Elizabeth has published five books on travel and history. All have been very successful and have gone into further publications. Her newly released sixth book entitled "Forbidden" is her first novel and she is current marketing and signing her new book. She is very active in her Colorado community giving presentations, workshops and book signing events. As founder member of the Castle Rock Writers, she continues to give support and encouragement to the group, as well as attending critique groups and workshops. She has appeared several times on television to promote and market her books. Her great friend, the illustrator Audrey Ledgerwood has created a fascinating front cover for Elizabeth.

Elizabeth's story is set in Essex, England and Scotland during the mid 1660s. It is fast paced, dark and edgy, and is based partly on an ancient Scottish legend on which the BBC recently made a documentary. They tried to find the subterranean cave that is a key part of the story. Black Rose Writing (

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Wonderful wedding celebrations in Brackla, Bridgend, South Wales. Julie and Peter's special ceremony on their garden lawn among so many friends and relatives. Their super neighbour, Stephen Clarke gave a meaningful blessing. Julie and her bridesmaids looked stunning and we, their guests, loved the whole day. Such a beautiful bride and a very special occasion we would not have missed. Just a few pics here with Peter and his daughter, Jessica and there are many more great pictures via Jonathan Griffiths' website: - choose Julie and Peter's wedding party.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Wednesday evening - just back from London after attending the above and what an experience! This one-day conference was organised for all those involved in community archives across the land. Co-hosted with University College London, delegates were welcomed by Professor Woudhuysen, the Dean of Faculty of Arts & Humanities and we met the super Carole Souter, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund which does so much for our museums and history studies. Our little team (from Billericay and surrounding towns and villages) was able to meet and chat to Britain's top historians, curators, archivists, oral and visual experts. The delegates' list was impressive. Here are two of my new friends, Pat Marshall and Phil Coley both experts in their own fields. Sue Hampson was our representative from Essex County Council Libraries. More about the community archives at a later date.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Such fun during a rainy evening last night at Oscar & Louis' Tea Rooms in Chapel Street, Billericay. Situated in the heart of the town, just a stone's throw from our High Street, this little haven of tea shop heaven contrasts with more ordinary fast-food outlets. Businesswoman Ruth Scally and her husband Roger already own the thriving Spa Cottage beauty salon next door and the whole building is more than 200 years old. It was once the home of Ruth's VIP for the evening, Jeanne Argent, who came along with husband, Derek. Jeanne was actually born in the cottage in which the Tea Rooms are sited.

My pal, James Shrubb the most famous town crier in the world preceded me with his clanging bell and opening speech rendered from his illuminated scroll. I followed on with my offering and cut the beautiful ceremonial ribbon. Our super press boys were there and we all enjoyed champagne and gorgeous food. So many friends and colleagues came to celebrate and wish Ruth and Roger well. This is one new venture that will succeed - heritage reigns.

Monday, June 14, 2010



The team from BWC who organised Saturday’s Writers’ Day in Brentwood had every right to celebrate their success in putting on an extra special annual event on June 12. Many of the delegates were members of the Society of Women Writers & Journalists. It was an action-packed day with a good programme and food and our guest speaker, Judith Spelman was fascinating. She is pictured centre between authors Elizabeth Lord and Frances Clamp, A top journalist and interviewer, who seems to have met everyone in the fast moving world of up-to-the-minute writing, Judith has been a columnist with Writing Magazine since its creation and has worked for many other international journals. She is also an author of several books. She was certainly on top form at Brentwood on Saturday, providing her audience with a truly inspirational day – then back on the M25, and home to Dorset.

Friday, June 04, 2010


Superb lunch at the Royal Overseas League in London's St James on 3 June. Good to see so many new members and old friends - all great writers. The speaker Sheila Crowley, well known executive with top literary agents - Curtis Brown, gave valuable advice from her perspective as one of the firm's senior agents. She is pictured with Penny Legg, Editor of our journal. A brilliant day which began with a visit from our Life President, Lady Shirley Williams - always a joy. Lady Williams and her supersonic PA Dan Colvin both arrived from Westminster and wished us well for another successful year. Dan is pictured with our chairman, Jean Morris and SWWJ member and judge Hilary Townsend. Also pictured is winner of the Lady Astor Rose Bowl Competition. Mari Nicholson, with judge Hilary Townsend. We also see Maggie Butt who judged the 2010 Elizabeth Longford Poetry Competition. She is pictured with Valerie Dunmore, Vice-President. Few pics of members and guests including Associate Member Jim Reeve, who received third prize in the new SWWJ Morris Duo Competition for a true life event story.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010