Thursday, November 27, 2014

ALCS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - INTERESTING VENUE THIS YEAR - HOME OF THE BBC

Most writers I know are keen members of the ALCS, the Authors' Licensing Collecting Agency, who really support us in so many ways. So, today, we all met up at Broadcasting House in Portland Place for the AGM. Each delegate was interesting and outlined plans for the coming year. Check them out at www.ALCS.com. It was great to find seats in the BBC's stunning Art Deco Radio Theatre which hosts many of the nation's best known radio shows. Sandie Togsvig was on the agenda for that afternoon, so off we went to enjoy a super lunch, courtesy of ALCS and the BBC. 

It's ages since I was last there - the builders were in at the time when the lovely Jocelyn Hay CBE (Voice of the Listener & Viewer)) showed us around in the company of Head of BBC history, Robert Seatter, but we had to pop on hard safety hats and were shown over the place during construction.  

Yes. that was a few years back and the new building has been finished and looks wonderful.  I believe people can now visit the BBC for a small fee and learn where all the action takes place in various studios and perhaps have an opportunity of meeting some of the people who produce the programmes.  

Sadly, our lovely friend Jocelyn died  earlier this year, and we certainly remember the 

hard work she put into our great Society of Writers & Journalists.  It was interesting that day to meet some of the producers who were working on Woman's Hour.


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SK, Jocelyn Hay CBE, Robert Seatter (BBC)

Friday, November 21, 2014

ALEX RUSHTON'S BOOK SUNRISE AT AN LAC

Our new Secretary at the Society of Women Writers & Journalists, Alex Rushton from Weybridge, looks back on an amazingly busy year. 

Her first novel, SUNRISE AT AN LAC published by Scriptora, under the auspices of the SWWJ, received non stop interest at Weybridge Books recently.  Trevor Lewis, who attended the signing as an associate member of SWWJ, said: "There was a steady stream of people throughout the afternoon and a friendly atmosphere, which made this event a huge success." 

Wonderful!  Just the language we writers love to hear. 

Alex's fascinating novel set in a post-apocalyptic future in the year 2033, is a thought-provoking story, priced at £6.99. We hope that it flies off the bookshop shelves, and can also be ordered from Weybridge Books, Church Street, Weybridge on 01932 842498; also at www.amazon.co.uk.  Many congratulations, Alex. Looking forward to your next novel. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BACK TO BBC ESSEX AND MEETING OLD (AND NEW) FRIENDS

Gaelan Connolly Producer at BBC Essex
Trust me to visit BBC Essex today while their new studio is being built. But no problem, as it was 'business as usual' and a super warm welcome from BBC Producer Gaelan Connolly and the lovely presenter Steve Scruton. It was Steve  who interviewed me for my very first book way back in 2001 (TEA @ THREE) and several times thereafter, but today we were talking about my tenth book BARKING & DAGENHAM FROM OLD PHOTOGRAPHS. My publisher this time is Amberley in Stroud.

A great surprise was that Steve also originated from Dagenham and was familiar with many of the people and places that I have chosen for inclusion in this new book (which took me two years to complete). Eventually, with some kind support from the Barking & Dagenham Post and Brentwood Gazette, readers supplied many of the images.

Today, even before I reached home, I had received many messages on my tablet and emails from people who had also grown up in the area. Same story at tonight's Billericay Society meeting. I will reply to each and every one when I get through my current deadline and will run off some of the photos requested and email them.  Hope to meet Tony Fisher regular BBC Essex presenter and invite him and Steve Scruton to our Brentwood Writers' Circle one day. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

SIGNING OUR NEW BOOKS AT BRENTWOOD IN ESSEX THIS SATURDAY MORNING

We made it to Brentwood Library this morning and what a lovely bunch of readers came in to buy our books.  You see Frances Clamp and me showing our latest titles and it was super to go home almost empty handed.  We also brought along some of our older books which are still regarded as "evergreens" and even these were purchased by mainly local Essex residents who were buying them as gifts.  Sally Anne Kent was on hand to take some pictures and we were indebted to Tom Watson and library staff for looking after us! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

BOOK SIGNING AT BRENTWOOD LIBRARY ON SATURDAY 15 NOVEMBER 10.00 TILL NOON

BOOK SIGNING IN BRENTWOOD LIBRARY ON SATURDAY STARTING 10.00-12 NOON.
Frances with her new book (October 2014)

Delighted to be signing my new book with my friend and colleague, Frances Clamp whose new book SOUTHEND-ON-SEA IN THE GREAT WAR will be on sale,  Before this, she is  appearing on BBC Essex Radio on Thursday at 3pm and you will have a chance to hear how she researched and wrote this super book. By the way, both Frances and I are long time members of the Society of Women Writers & Journalists, the very best organisation for professional writers - check us out at www.swwj.co.uk


My newest book (10th) is from another area - BARKING & DAGENHAM, which is now a London Borough and in 2015, will be celebrating its 50th birthday, for, as older people will know, the two towns were once separate.  More than 180 photographs  and postcards are included and there are some surprising inages with many historical links to nationally known characters.

The Duo - Kent and Clamp in London last week at the Society Women Writers & Journalists' 120th Anniversary celebrations at Stationers' Hall, London


Sunday, November 09, 2014

BARKING & DISTRICT HISTORICAL SOCIETY - A RATHER SPECIAL EVENING AT HARP HOUSE

Amberley Publishing Limited in Stroud has now published my latest book (tenth) which I took with me last week when the BARKING & DISTRICT HISTORICAL SOCIETY celebrated their 80th birthday. Enjoyed meeting lots of local historians and there were lovely folk at Harp House - their regular monthly meeting place.   This is a super group with excellent knowledge of their borough. Guest speaker was Keith Glenny, someone I've been interested in meeting for ages, well, since I started research on this latest book and how lovely to meet the BDHS President Bill George and Chairman John Blake.

Other book signing sessions are on the diary including Brentwood Library on Saturday 15 November at 10.00 till noon; Frances Clamp, my literary chum will also be signing her book that day (Southend-on-Sea in the Great War) so we are looking forward to seeing friends and people, many of whom actually appear in our books. I have more signings at Dagenham Library (date to be fixed), Valence House Museum and Eastbury Manor House - the latter two, my favourite historical mansions, are certainly worth a visit at any time of the year, but particularly at Christmas. 


Monday, November 03, 2014

WHEN THE ESSEX REGIMENT WENT TO WAR.- ESSEX HUNDRED PUBLICATIONS They Did Their Duty’


Andrew Summers & John Debenham publicising earlier books 
Here we have a new book from Essex Hundred Publications which examines the First World War from an Essex perspective.   The book has three themes.

1. The establishment of Essex Farm in Belgium,

2. An overview of the Essex Regiment during the war,

3. Something quite unique for a First World War title, the home front AS SEEN AND REPORTED THROUGH THE EYES OF THE LONDON and ESSEX BASED LOCAL PRESS.

Today all our news reporting, past and present, is seen through
the prism of 21st century communications'  technology. In ‘They Did Their Duty’  we reflect on what the local press actually printed in its own words. It is quite surprising in many cases with what the local press filled its pages. It has to be remembered during that Great War, there was no radio, television and of course internet or social media. Telephones were a rarity and photography and film in their infancy.  Thus, apart from word of mouth, the only source of news was print media. The book is illustrated with maps and photographs and period newspaper advertisements.

Available from the usual book stockists, online or direct from the publisher. ISBN 9780955229596 RRP £9.99 
www.essex100.com or ask@essex100.com

Saturday, November 01, 2014

NEW BOOK OUT - WILL REPLY TO READERS ASAP

Lovely reminder of West Ham team in 1972 - some familiar fresh young faces - see if you can name them? Several were in the 1966 World Cup  
Delighted that flyers and posters arrived this morning from AMBERLEY PUBLISHING'S PUBLICITY TEAM.  This advertises my new book BARKING & DAGENHAM FROM OLD PHOTOGRAPHS and already orders are coming in!  Have book signings in the diary. Thank you Amberley.  Few photos from my book are shown below.  Delighted with response and am currently thanking all those super people who responded to my request. Article currently in this week's Barking & Dagenham Post page 11/12 and due to appear in  a few glossies.  Seems we have some well known names emanating from the old Borough (which will be 50 years old on 1 April 2015)


Always such a delight to talk to.  How grateful I am to Dame Vera Lynn for this super recent photograph.She has also given me some wonderful personal memories of her life in Upney Lane during World War 11.  From records, I've gathered many world renowned entertainers, singers, actors and leaders in politics and government who are, or have been, connected with this well known Borough of Barking & Dagenham. 



Let's contrast this photo of the first vehicle off the assembly  line at Ford Motor Company in Dagenham in 1931 with this rather unusual photograph starring two  local lads  Sir Trevor Brooking and Frank Bruno.  The occasion was the production of the company's 250 millionth vehicle worldwide.  I thoroughly meeting the staff at Ford during my research at Dagenham and at their headquarters at Eagle Way, Warley, Brentwood, Essex. 
Sir Trevor Brooking and Frank Bruno helping the celebrations of Ford's success in 1996