Monday, February 28, 2011


Carol Jolly and her team organised another excellent show from The Five Lakes Hotel at Tolleshunt Knights near Maldon on Thursday. The Exhibition Hall is enormous and on Thursday was filled with a hundred great stands. As one of the Essex Writers, we were visited non stop all day and met some great people, some of them wanting to write their memoirs. I'm attaching pictures of some of the super folk to posed for my camera.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Come join us and many of the county's readers and writers on Thursday 3 March at Chelmsford's main library. We are all set to welcome you to the 2011 Essex Book Festival followed by a whole month of events and authors appearing throughout this large county.

Famous names such as Andrea Levy, Tom Courtenay, David Baddiel, Will Hutton, Barbara Erskine, Julian Stockwin, Simon Heffer, Peter Sissons, Jojo Moyes, Lindsey Davis, Joanna Trollope, Lesley Pearse, Peter Lovesey, Esther Freud and Michael Dobbs and many others will entertain us. Don't miss the chance to see not one but three US authors: Sara Paretsky, Kim Edwards and Sarah Blake.

Showcasing new and growing Essex talent as never before, watch out for rising stars Kimberley Chambers and Matthew Plampin and debut authors Guy Saville, Erin Kelly and Ceri Norman. Many events will be on hot topics as varied as landscape and environment, current affairs, music, English usage, history and biography.

Tickets can be bought by telephone, using a credit card, on 01206 573948 via the Box Office, there is an 80p per ticket charge for online bookings. Tickets will be posted. By post: please complete a booking form (found inside the Festival programme) and send with payment to Essex Book Festival Box Office, Balkerne Gate, Colchester CO1 1PT. There is no processing charge for postal bookings. In person by visiting the Mercury Theatre, Balkerne Gate, Colchester CO1 1PT. The Box Office opens 10am-8pm Monday to Saturday

Questions about events or a general enquiry about the Festival please email: or telephone 0845 603 7628

Friday, February 18, 2011


‘The Art of John Lennon’ at The Mandeville Hotel

Presenting limited edition prints of John Lennon’s original hand-drawn sketches on February 26th and 27th at Marylebone’s stylish Mandeville Hotel. Join art lovers who are celebrating John Lennon for what would have been his 70th birthday at this exhibition showing a selection of 30 original prints signed by Yoko Ono including ‘War is Over’, ‘Imagine Peace’, ‘Jock and Ono’, ‘Come Together’, ‘Double Fantasy’ and ‘Consult the Stars’. With the originals valued at £1.5million and above, these limited edition prints are collector’s items and available from £800. Yoko Ono initiated the print programme in 1985 demonstrating Lennon’s passion for art, and retains many of the original works herself. There will be four new prints on show, never seen before in the UK and Europe and several prints which are currently only available in the US.

For decades, the name John Lennon has been instantly associated with The Beatles and music, but very few know him as an artist and hence, few people have seen his artwork until recently. His drawings are whimsical yet poetic and a commentary on his everyday life, his wife Yoko and their son.

The Mandeville Hotel, renowned for its fabulous afternoon teas has created a John Lennon inspired men’s afternoon tea, served with John Lennon’s favourite drink The Panama, a brandy Alexander style drink. (Available in the deVille Tea Room during the weekend of the exhibition from £23.50.) As a fan of the afternoon tea, John Lennon even illustrated this as shown in this sketch done during the summer of 1977 in Japan.

Date: Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th February, 2011
Address: The Mandeville Hotel, THE RED ROOM, Mandeville Place. London, W1U 2BE (The exhibition will be held in the Red Room
Time: 10am-6pm

The exhibition is being organized by Jonathan Poole (UK representative of Bag One Arts, N.Y.) and Legende Celebrity Art

Monday, February 14, 2011


My favourite On Line Digital Magazine SUITE 101 is now home to many readers of every type of topic. My 70th feature will be up and running tonight - check it out!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Each year the Essex Tourism & Leisure Show attracts more exhibitors and visitors," said Organiser Carol JollY. For many years, this prestigious Show was held at the Brentwood Centre but has settled comfortably at its super new venue at the Five Lakes Resort, Tolleshunt Knights near Maldon. This year, the Show will be held on Thursday 24 February from 10.00am – 3.30pm. Tickets are free and there is much to see with more than 90 exhibitors covering numerous types of sport and leisure activity. It is not all home grown. As well as Essex, there will be representatives from Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Sussex, Kent and of course, London. So we will learn about wonderful castles and historic houses, theme parks and museums, in fact, a huge showcase of attractions to keep visitors interested all day.

Courtesy coaches will be running on the hour and half-hour from Witham Railway Station, and there will be refreshments available during the day.
Visitors can expect free competitions, displays, presentations and give-aways going on throughout the day, along with an abundance of free literature and ideas for super days out and short holiday breaks. The travel industry will be well represented, as will be our county’s hotels, historical homes and venues suitable for weddings, exhibitions and prestigious events.

There is also a chance to meet members of the Brentwood Writers’ Circle who will be on hand to talk about their own recently published books and maybe give advice to aspiring writers and poets who may want to see their own work in print. Last year’s visitors included many from the US and Australia. Frances Clamp, President of the Brentwood Writers’ Circle is looking forward to attending the show on the ‘Writers’ Stand’ along with fellow members. Frances is currently a regular contributor on Brentwood’s history show presented every Tuesday at 2pm by Scott Ross for Phoenix FM. Frances will be signing copies of her newly published book Brentwood - My Heritage and members of other writing and photographic clubs will all be on hand to give advice on the day.

For people travelling by car, there is adequate car parking close to the venue entrance. This is one Show that must not be missed. For more details contact: For FREE tickets to the show contact Carol Jolly 01245 435152/07584 480072, email or visit:

Saturday, February 05, 2011


A SCHOOLBOY’S WAR IN CORNWALL BY Jim Reeve The History Press £12.99 ISBN 978-0-7524-5540-2

My writing colleague, Jim Reeve is enjoying great success with his third book A Schoolboy’s War in Cornwall and is still receiving excellent responses from readers.

Jim’s memories of the childhood are told movingly in this, his third book under the History Press impress. He draws on his own personal childhood experiences as an evacuee during World War Two.

Brought up in London’s East End, Jim, his little brother and mother were billeted in the Great Western Hotel, Newquay. He considers it an adventure and outlines his experiences in the book which runs to 50,000 words.

“This book depicts my experiences and those of others of our evacuation to Cornwall, a place chosen by the authorities as a place of safety,” says Jim. “One and a half million children were moved out to areas designated as safe. The government commandeered four thousand trains and three thousand buses to take the youngster to their destinations. The children’s parents never knew where their children were going to be billeted and the whole process was often disturbing.”

Jim’s book is both poignant and amusing at times and he shares vivid recollections of war-torn London contrasting with the beauty of St Ives, Newquay and Redruth which he knows so well. History aficionados, former evacuees and readers interested in this aspect of World War II will appreciate Jim’s memories which are told in his engaging narrative. I enjoyed this book very much. Jim is pictured with Valerie Dunmore, Vice President,when he recently won an award for his work as the first SWWJ Male Associate to receive such an award. And - he made front cover!