Monday, February 24, 2014


Martina Cole

Some of my titles have been on sale in many UK bookstores and via Amazon  for several years now, so how nice to be asked to do a little book signing now and again. Rather odd, but pleasant, that some of my books are sold in places such as Sainsbury's, Tesco and other food stores, but it all helps a writer's royalties, of course, and if possible, each one is signed by the author. Here are a couple of illustrations from the book which is being used to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists (Joyce Grenfell was one of our esteemed presidents way back in the 1950s). To buy the book at a special price, may I direct readers to website where they can purchase at a very good price. 

Lady Sarah Wilson, former president of the SWWJ, an extraordinary journalist working for the Daily Mail

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Always a huge pleasure to join Phoenix 98fm presenter Michelle Ward for BOOK CLUB.  This week we chatted about the books chosen by the Billericay Readers' Group including Andrea Levy's The Long Song which received huge critical acclaim.  We are also reading Lady Audley's Secret by Elizabeth Mary Braddon, written in the 19th century and set against the amazing backcloth of  Ingatestone Hall.  This book has a mystery at the centre and has never been out of print. Our own readers will get together soon to discuss their thoughts on this Victorian novelist and her writing skills.

We were joined in the studio by Brian Davis and his wife Joy.  Brian was an editor on Brentwood Argus and an author of several books, the latest of which is entitled I'LL TAKE THAT ONE. His super book presents readers with more than 250 vignettes from evacuees during World War II.  I wrote a feature for the Brentwood Gazette recently and received many calls from folk who also remembered being young in the '40s during wartime.  Brian's excellent book is priced at £17.99 and can be ordered from the author at

Thursday, February 13, 2014


I'm on a learning curve regarding European wars. Well, I have to research quite a lot and where better than at the Cater Museum at 74 High Street, Billericay.  There you will find a cornucopia of amazing of artefacts on all periods. 

Now, of course, I'm well into studying the Great War, as are many other writers.  1914 is the year in question and if you visit our Museum over the next few months, you will find much to interest you.  The famous L32 zeppelin was shot down over Billericay on 23 September 1916 and many books have been written about this event.
The L32 zeppelin which was shot down over Billericay

Our super Curator, Chris Brewster knows a lot about cookery in past times and if you check out our museum kitchen, you will be able to pick up some rather special recipes she has collected for you to try to get a taste of food from the past.  I'm about to make her Balmoral Tart!    Ring Cater Museum on 01277 622023 and check out our website at


As we are in centenary year for the commemorations of the Great War, many writers are researching information for their books and articles.  One place I found recently which is of huge interest was the special exhibition that is currently displayed at the Valence House Museum in Dagenham. We learn so much about the impact of war on local families.  This exhibition is free and if you are visiting, do allow a lot of time as there is much to see and absorb. I like to give them a ring first to make sure it is convenient to their staff. Always so helpful.  
Valence House Dagenham -  do pop in to see their superb War War I exhibition

Thursday, February 06, 2014


Currently, Havering Museum's volunteers have been working hard to create a fabulous exhibition which launched on January 11th. My friends Patricia and Birger Pound who worked at Ind Coope Brewery, were there to cut the ribbon.  Wish I could have attended, as I, too, worked for Ind Coope brewery many years ago. 

Brian Evans, author of 31 books, Birger Pound, formerly brewer with Ind Coope, with Patricia Pound, author of 5 books and Roland Kannor, managing director of Brentwood Brewing Company, who obviously knows a thing or two about making a great pint of beer. The Pounds cut the ribbon and the exhibition is ready for all to see. 

Aptly entitled MINE'S A PINT, the exhibition is fascinating. Pat and Birger were joined by other friends, the author Brian Evans and Roland Kannor of the Brentwood Brewing Company.  Each one of these folk has a fascinating story to tell and they do it very well indeed either in lectures or in their various books published recently.

The exhibition is open to the public and will run until 22 March. Admission is free for children under 16 and £2.50 for adults, £2 for senior citizens. 

For more information, email or call 01708 766571

Sunday, February 02, 2014


Still raining in Essex, but how lovely to see these snowdrops - I planted out that mix of bulbs so very late - no excuse - but isn't nature wonderful!