Friday, July 25, 2014

MEDIEVAL SECRETS FROM THE CATER MUSEUM - SATURDAY 26 JULY 12-4pm

Let's hope the lovely summer weather continues over the weekend with so many events happening in this part of Essex.

I'm particularly interested in our visitors from the MERRIE COMPANIE - who will be present tomorrow at our local CATER MUSEUM 74 High Street, Billericay.  Chris Brewster, our Curator knows an awful lot about these folk and the Tudor period, so I am anticipating their arrival at  12 noon for a good chat and a chance to pinch some of their medieval secrets about herbal medicine and crafts of the period.Plants are there if you wish to make a small donation to the Museum and I know you will find some pretty fascinating folk there.  Do pop in for a while or stay for the whole afternoon - you will have a lovely time!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A REALLY GREAT DAY AT THE NATIONAL LIBERAL CLUB LAST WEEK

Our gorgeous 120th celebration cake presented by Lady Sandra Howard
The Annual General Meeting of the SWWJ held last week at London's National Liberal Club was a rather special day. Great gathering with members from around the world and a extra special celebration as it is the Society's 120th year (on May l).  Lady Sandra Howard did the honours by cutting our cake. Will be posting more photos at a later date. Happy anniversary to us!
 

Just a few of the Brentwood Essex contingent

 
 
 
 
 
As well as writing novels, short stories and every imaginable form of journalism and poetry, one of our 'hidden gems' in the Society is offering creatives a chance to visit the SWWJ Drama Group which meets regularly in a venue near Piccadilly Circus London. They welcome newcomers who are interested in playwriting and acting.  Here we have Carolyn Pertwee (who wrote the play LIFE CHANGES) and Edmund Dehn playing the lovers. The play was directed by Jenny Patrick - a superb performance. 


Thursday, July 10, 2014

BILLERICAY FESTIVAL OF ARTS 10 - 20 JULY 2014

Nearly didn't make the launch of this year's Billericay Festival of the Arts tonight, but so glad I did.  Met many creative people including artists, sculptors, potters, cartoonists, and designers; also folk skilled in decoupage, stained glass, and other materials. Loved Liz Kemp's exquisite handbags, each one perfect in itself. Much of the artists' work is exhibited in the windows of shops along Billericay High Street.

Well known story tellers Carl Merry and Colin Taylor will be performing their special form of art throughout this fabulous week of creativity. Perhaps if you pick up a programme from the hub at St Mary Magdalen, you can choose from a whole list of concerts, displays and events.

Here are a few snapshots of some of the people who made this evening such fun.
Lesley Cartwright (internationally acclaimed artist) and Carl Merry (popular storyteller)
Margaret White, Chairman of The Fold celebrating 35 years of live music, drama with arts & crafts
 

Monday, July 07, 2014

SUPER SOPHIE MORTON AT BARKING & DAGENHAM POST - thanks!

I was fascinated by this little chap and his history. He is believed to have been carved around 4,000 years ago.  If you can enlarge the feature, you will see that he was buried in the marshes at Dagenham until disturbed in 1922. Then, as the Becontree Estate was being built, up he came and you can view him at the marvellous Valence House Museum. He (or maybe she) gives us a clue to harvest offerings to the gods in Neolithic times. Makes your mind boggle! You will see him (or her) again in my book to be published by Amberley in the autumn.

Friday, July 04, 2014

LOVELY SURPRISE - ONE OF MY OLD BOOKS NEWLY REPUBLISHED

Still working hard on my tenth book, but this morning received a batch of a newly hatched BILLERICAY VOICES.  Researched and wrote this a dozen years ago and (thankfully) here it is again, with a new cover back and front and a slightly different title VOICES OF BILLERICAY.

This time, you will see front cover and on page 86 a photograph of the parents of our good friend Michael Shelley. The plane is the famous 'Flying flea' and the photo was taken  in the early 1930s. Below this image is a local farmer, Mr Mills of Coxes Farm and a happy band of children from South Green Chapel.

Back cover gives us an idea of how hard  agricultural workers worked in the fields during the last years of the nineteenth century. There were so many farms around Great Burstead - not many now! It was a hard life, but people always seem to remember the good times of childhood. Take a look at the dedicated Billericay Archive file on the web www.billericayarchives.com and learn about people's lives in their own words!  ISBN 9780752-424705 www.thehistorypress.co.uk  £12.99