Sunday, December 27, 2015

SHARING THE JOY VIA RADIO


I very much enjoyed being invited on to six radio stations for programmes during 2015 and have met some interesting  people who man the various recording studios in Essex. some work around the clock.  My new friends have helped publicising, not only my new book titles and writing jobs, but several of my current voluntary work projects.  So grateful for their help - long may it continue!  Don't ever under-estimate the power of radio: national, regional, community and hospital radio.

Hospital radio is vital in keeping patients' spirits high and, again, I have been humbled by the people keeping these studios going. All of them need volunteers and help, of all kinds, so if folk have time to spare, do make contact with Basildon Hospital Radio; Bedrock Hospital Radio, Havering; Goodmayes Hospital Radio, Broomfield Hospital and there are many others out there who would appreciate just a little of your time.   If you turn to pages 117-119 in this current edition of ESSEX LIFE, you will be able to read more about this vital service to help patients in hospital. Jacqui James is chairman at Basildon Hospital Radio and David James is the brilliant photographer who took this great picture.







Recently, our local museum in Billericay was the meeting place to welcome Ray Clark from BBC Essex in tiny way of contributing to his new programme. Ray's Saturday morning programme on BBC Essex is a favourite of thousands of listeners who will have the chance of learning more about some of our lovely Essex towns and villagers in the coming months.
Ray Clark pictured outside the Cater Museum, Billericay






Saturday, December 19, 2015

BACK IN BRENTWOOD'S PHOENIX 98FM STUDIO WITH SIMON J FRITH

Simon J Frith -  Red Stable Films at Brentwood's Phoenix 98fm  our guest in the studio's Book Club programme.

Yesterday morning was our regular monthly BOOK CLUB programme on Phoenix 98fm based in Brentwood, presented by our good friend Michelle Ward.  She always provides such a fun-packed session, always a welcoming cup of coffee and relaxed atmosphere.  

Our guest for December was the award-winning film producer/director Simon J Frith, whose career I (and our listeners) found so interesting.   We  enjoyed learning a little about what inspired him to enter the world of film production and the mechanics of how he has achieved his considerable success. Not enough time really in that hour, so we want him back soon..

Simon is currently finishing a film starring Mike Edmonds from Billericay.  Mike, who has been in film, theatre (Royal Shakespeare Company)  and radio for more than 35 years.  Simon and his team from Red Stable Films based in Essex have made an intriguing  film based on Mike's life which is to be entitled 'Under the Radar'. There are some pretty surprising folk in the film world who will be appearing on the credits when this hour-long movie is launched in the spring. We hope Mike Edmonds will come along to meet Michelle in the studio thereafter. 
 

Mike Edmonds, by the way, has appeared in many films worldwide, including Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Harry Potter, Time Bandits et al and  and is a favourite on the Sci-Fi convention circuits around the world, majoring in the US and Japan. His fan club is universal and through social media, is growing.
 
 
 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

RESEARCHING THE FORD MOTOR COMPANY'S HISTORY AT DAGENHAM, ESSEX, ENGLAND

The first Ford vehicle coming off production line at Dagenham in 1931.  Plenty more old photographs in my latest book below.
(with thanks to Ford Motor Company archives, Brentwood Essex) 

NICE SIGNING SESSION

Enjoyed a recent book signing session selling most of my new books - another delivery next week. I do enjoy meeting people who have lived in my town and have so many memories and stories, everyone unique.  No, this doesn't mean a new book. This was my tenth title, although I have written numerous contributions to anthologies and thousands of magazine and newspaper features.  Currently working on short stories and work connected with films.   Watch this space!!!

Monday, December 07, 2015

SUPER BILLERICAY CHRISTMAS MARKET YESTERDAY - MORE PICTURES COMING IN

TIM HENTON AND TIM KIRKMAN AT 139 HIGH STREET BILLERICAY

Just a little snowfall (artificial, of course, but artful)

Saturday, December 05, 2015

MEET THE PUBLIC TOMORROW 11.00am - 5.00pm



Looking forward to meeting friends and residents of Essex tomorrow (Sunday) at Billericay's great Christmas Market to which we have, in the past, welcomed thousands of visitors. Most shops will be open and I know there are some great bargains to be found.

I'm delighted to have been invited to sell some of my ten books at Hentons Residential offices at 139 High Street where Directors Nick Henton and Tim Kirkman will be welcoming visitors.  This building has some significance to me, as it is the first photograph in a book I wrote some dozen or so years ago entitled  BILLERICAY VOICES and is still in print.  Hentons' building was once an inn with much history (known as  The Three Horseshoes) way back in the mid-18th century. It has an intriguing, spooky provenance, as have lots of the buildings in that particular part of Billericay High Street.

Just a short walk from Hentons is our Town Library within Burghstead Lodge, which is reckoned to date back to the 17th century and boasts its own unusual history.  There, high on the left-hand wall, you will see photographs of Henton's office in earlier times - fascinating glimpse of the past.

The Library will be open and here you can meet our Museum's new Curator, Katie Wilkie who will be selling some of our newest titles from the Museum.  One, a book compiled by former Curator Chris Brewster and Barbara Birdsall, is a wonderful collection of Harry Richman's paintings which gives the reader glimpses of Billericay buildings as they were over half a century ago, some now sadly, demolished.

So, do pop in and meet us at both venues, share a Christmas drink and mincepies and let's talk about this super small town 'Billericay', it's history  and what it has to offer. Although many of our old jettied buildings were destroyed so long ago, we still have some ancient houses in and around the centre of Billericay. Look out for the Chantry House c.1510 at 61 High Street and learn more about its remarkable history.
   

Friday, December 04, 2015

HOTTING UP FOR CHRISTMAS - BILLERICAY STYLE

Busy few weeks working on several new features for latest magazines, then monthly gathering of Billericay Readers Group and a visit last Thursday to Phoenix Radio 98fm at Brentwood with our new Curator at Cater Museum, Katie Wilkie.  First time in studio for Katie, but Michelle Ward made her feel at home - well, she is great with all her guests.  Saturday saw the switching on of the Christmas lights in Billericay with our very own Town Crier, Jim Shrubb, a great personality.

Katie Wilkie


This year, with the snow, full brass band and even a stage for the town council team, Billericay welcomed the festive season.