Wednesday, June 20, 2018


BBC Essex presenter - Sadie Nine
I received a little flurry of emails and calls following my half an hour or so with presenter Sadie Nine on BBC Essex this morning. We spoke about some of our iconic women through history, particularly Anne Knight, the anti-slavery and women's rights campaigner Quaker who, I believe, kicked off the movement championing the major social reforms of her age.  This was way before the fight for women's suffrage had even started and went on - not without travails - to success forty years after her death in 1862.
This plaque sums up the history of Anne Knight
It’s ironic that Essex is unfairly maligned when conversation turns to the Arts. Yet, it is the richest county in music, painting, literature and history, and boasts some of the world’s most distinguished authors. Essex folk also obviously have a huge love of reading which is evident when hearing the latest figures for reading groups in the county – there are now more than 600 groups - more than in any other English county. Some reading groups meet at local libraries during the daytime, but there are also many who meet in each other’s homes in the evenings or at weekends. Book clubs are now considered cool among the young (so I'm told). 

The Billericay Readers’ Group will celebrate their eighteenth birthday this year. There is also a great interest in writing circles and these are reporting increased membership. Here we have just some of our members of Brentwood Writers' Circle which was formed in 1941 with a notable vice-president of Vera Brittain - so it's great to know that reading and writing are alive and well and still flourishing in Essex. 

Just a glimpse of some of our members of Brentwood Writers' Circle


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