Monday, April 29, 2019

THE INTERNATIONAL SWWJ GATHERING ON THURSDAY IN LONDON

Not long to go now for our special 125th Anniversary Lunch to be celebrated on Thursday 2 May.  Already packing my case full of historical artefacts to display at the fabulous London Stationers' Hall.  What a history!!! Can you believe that our team met there (in the stock room) while bombs were dropping during World War Two? The Council members carried on as usual - stoic lot in those days. 
Kate Mosse OBE our Guest Speaker on Thursday
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The newly bombed Stationers' Livery Hall London 1940
I'm looking forward to meeting lots of our new members, as well as old friends, most of whom have served on our Council within living memory. Oh, and hope to get around to meet our special guests, too. 
Big smiles from Kate when I  snapped her at Chelmsford Waterstones six years ago - super lady! 
On Thursday we are so fortunate to be meeting the most fabulous guest speaker: novelist Kate Mosse, OBE, whose books have sold in excess of an incredible seven million copies to date. Wait till you read her new creation The Burning Chambers. Check us out at www.swwj.co.uk   

Saturday, April 27, 2019

OUR LATEST GUEST ON 'BOOK CLUB' PHOENIX 98FM, BRENTWOOD, ESSEX


It was lovely to meet journalist and author, Laura Burkin, yesterday who was invited onto the programme by popular presenter, Michelle Ward at Brentwood's community radio station.  Laura is a hardworking journalist, who is also an award-winning writer, having previously won the BT Regional & South East News Journalist of the Year prize.  Our guest speaker is also a member of the international Society of Women Writers and Journalists, members of which will be celebrating the organisation's 125th birthday in London next week. She is also a committee member of the Brentwood Writers' Circle.

Laura's background is interesting in that she followed her dream of becoming  a professional journalist working for local newspapers in south/east London and West Essex and later writing freelance for national titles on a myriad of topics, before becoming a senior press officer at a Premier League football club. Laura is currently writing her first novel which she outlined during the programme with Michelle and we all look forward to reading her book when it is published. 


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

VISITING KENTWELL HALL - ENVIRONMENTALLY SPLENDID

Planning to visit Kentwell Hall at Long Melford,  Suffolk soon. This is a perfect environmentally friendly place which will be welcoming back by popular demand The Suffolk Regiment Living History Society. The group accurately re-create the British Infantryman around the time of D-Day, 6th June 1944. 
Enjoy seeing how they lived and watch their drills and infantry tactics through displays and battle re-enactments.


* House & Gardens
* Lambs & piglets
* Miniature Shetland ponies
* Rare breed Poitou Donkey
* Take the Story Book Adventure Trail around the grounds
* Have fun at the outdoor games and on the obstacle course
* Enjoy lunch or afternoon tea in the  Stable yard Tearooms
* Children under 5 are free
* Free on-site car parking 
* perfect environment 
  

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

BOOKS BY MY BEDSIDE...

As well as creating material for my regular historical columns, I am also researching and writing my next book linked to the town of Brentwood within the Brentwood Borough Council. This will be called BRENTWOOD - IN 50 BUILDINGS and I have problems in that I have three times that amount of structures that deserve not only a mention, but a full period of intense research. In the meantime, I am also trying to read two books, one written by our guest speaker at next week's SWWJ 125th celebratory lunch, Kate Mosse and by another author, new to me, Ken Follett, so not a moment to lose!  

HOPING TO SEE YOU ON 2 MAY IN LONDON!

Our 125th Anniversary Lunch approaches.
The day of our great celebratory lunch is drawing ever closer. Thursday 2 May at Stationers’ Hall in the heart of London is the magnificent venue for a wonderful meal with waiter service, including a glass or two of wine. There will be a display, detailing some of the Society’s highlights ‘past, present and future’, a raffle with some lovely prizes, goody bags for everyone to take home, and a fantastic guest speaker: novelist Kate Mosse, OBE, whose books have sold in excess of an incredible 7 million copies to date. More details on our SWWJ website www.swwj.co.uk   Details of the above are on the Diary page and, of course, in the The Woman Writer magazineDiary   Latest News

Saturday, April 13, 2019

JOYCE AND NORMAN IN PERFECT HARMONY

I often write about the joy of listening to BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live (Richard Coles and Aasmah Mir); well, this morning's edition was great in that we heard the recording of Joyce Grenfell and Norman Wisdom both singing Narcissus. This always makes me laugh and reminds me what a super president she was in the twenty-one years she headed our SWWJ organisation. In Wikipedia she is described as a great comedian, singer, actress, monologist, scriptwriter and producer. She was also an excellent writer and I have all her books on my bookshelf.
In Joyce's film appearances, she was cast in such roles as the gym mistress Miss Gossage in The Happiest Days of Your Life and Ruby Gates in the St Trinian's films. At that time, it was still unusual for a woman of her  social class to be professionally engaged in show business, but somehow she managed it, as well as turning up at our council meetings and special events. 
Joyce Grenfell with Elvis Presley
 You can learn more about Joyce Grenfell in my book (pictured) and about our Society of Women Writers and Journalists who will be celebrating their 125th birthday on Thursday 2 May, 2019 full details on our website www.swwj.co.uk  

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

BEERY NEWS FROM NEIGHBOURING TOWNS BILLERICAY & BRENTWOOD

Journalists invariably enjoy a mixed working day, out and about interviewing, but in my case, mostly at my office desk. Last week was different in that I received an invitation from Press Officer, Wendy Pike take some of my local history books for signing to the Billericay Brewing Company headed by Trevor Jeffery.  

It was great that Trevor and his friend Roland Kannor MD at Brentwood Brewing Company, joined forces to showcase their latest styles of beer. Trevor's brand new brew is Workhouse IPA and it is a fabulous variety from his long list of varied beer styles You may wonder why he chose this unusual name for his new creation and the reason is that workhouses were both prevalent in Billericay and Brentwood from the mid-Victorian century. 

I feel it is great that two local famous firms have joined forces in this way. Roland said: "We've always enjoyed a friendly relationship with Billericay Brewing Company and we plan to build on this neighbourly relationship, to our mutual benefit. We will continue to operate as separate companies yet we aim to find ways we can work in co-operation with each other."  Roland Kannor, Managing Director of Brentwood Brewing Company said: “It makes perfect sense for breweries like us to work together to utilise spare capacity in brewing, deliveries and staff to cut costs and to reduce our carbon footprints. Billericay Brewing will make use of the extra production capacity that Brentwood Brewery has to offer."

Trevor Jeffery, Director of Billericay Brewing Company said: “It will be a great move for us to brew our best-selling beers at the larger Brentwood Brewery. Shifting this production will also give us more space at Billericay and so we will be able to serve even more people at our popular micro-pub and brewery every weekend.” Cheers.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

CALLING ALL WRITERS (AND READERS) - JOIN US IN LONDON THURSDAY 2 MAY AND MEET OUR WONDERFUL BEST SELLING GUEST SPEAKER AUTHOR KATE MOSSE

Kate's new book THE BURNING CHAMBERS is an amazing read and she will be signing copies on 2 May.
Booking forms and full details of our anniversary lunch plus everything you wish to know about The Society of Women Writers and Journalists can be found there. For any historical details of SWWJ, do make contact via 
www.swwj.co.uk
Kate Mosse signing books in Chelmsford, Essex