Tuesday, January 28, 2020

SADNESS AT HEARING THAT WE HAVE LOST NICHOLAS PARSONS

What sad news to hear of the passing of Nicholas Parsons, at 96, my very favourite presenter of several radio programmes.  I had had the pleasure of meeting Nicholas at Broadcasting House some years ago at a media event and found him interesting and a delight to chat to following one of his famous programmes 'Just a Minute' which he chaired for more than fifty years. He will be much missed on BBC Radio 4.  

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

STILL ADORE ERIC BLAIR (GEORGE ORWELL) SINCE I DISCOVERED HIM ON 1 JANUARY 1984

Once I discovered the work of novelist George Orwell in the mid-'80s, I began reading and enjoying his collection of books, especially those set in Burma.  Would loved to have met him. We think about him on this 70th year since he died on 21 January, 1950. He was 46. Now, we have his  statue outside the BBC in Portland Pace, London and I am reading Animal Farm, 1984 and soon to start Coming Up for Air.

BRILLIANT MORNING AT PHOENIX FM YESTERDAY WITH OUR SPECIAL BOOK CLUB GUEST DAVID WORSFOLD

Michelle Ward was today joined by journalist, author, trainer, presenter, media consultant and writer, David Worsfold. David talked about his work and also his new book FIGHTING FOR THE EMPIRE. We had a fascinating chat with David about his life and his new book. David is seen here with journalist and author Sylvia Kent.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

AUSTRALIAN BUSH FIRES AND OUR VOLUNTEERING CRAFTERS AROUND THE WORLD

The bush fires affecting Australia in recent weeks have sparked a global crafting effort, as thousands of volunteers have united to knit, crochet and sew shelters for small animals who have been affected by this terrible crisis.
So much land has been burned, killing millions of wild creatures.  As the death toll climbs, many animals have been orphaned or left without homes.
The little marsupials including possums, koalas and wombats must have pouches in which to grow. Without their mothers they rely on hand-stitched products from donors. Other animals such as flying foxes also require pouches to help their recovery, and rescuers say koalas need mittens for their little burnt paws.
                                                            



The Australia-based Animal Rescue Craft Guild put out an SOS call for these products on its Facebook group, which amassed more than 120,000 members in the subsequent weeks. The effort has attracted donors across Europe, Asia, and from more than 40 US states and Puerto Rico, posts in the group show.
The Rescue Collective, based in Queensland, has partnered with the Animal Rescue Craft Guild to distribute donated items to independent animal carers across the country. The collective has been getting an overwhelming number of requests from rescuers around Australia. (information courtesy of The Guardian and the talented UK crafter Jenni Elliott)

Sunday, January 12, 2020

13 JANUARY AND RELEASE DAY FOR 2020 ESSEX BOOK FESTIVAL PROGRAMMES

Lift off!   I've already received my programme outlining details of this year's fabulous ESSEX BOOK FESTIVAL offering 100 events, 40 venues, 300 writers & artists all playing their part in Essex 2020, a year-long county-wide celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) in Essex.  I've been involved with this annual Festival since its first year and have enjoyed being a Patron and meeting many of the guests over its 21 years.

And what a great Festival this is going to be!  With the super crime writer Val McDermid launching the Festival at Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, on 28 February with her new book HOW THE DEAD SPEAK, our Festival promises to be equally exciting and diverse. Do learn more at www.essexbookfestival.org.uk and reserve your tickets. 




Wednesday, January 08, 2020

BRENTWOOD IN 50 BUILDINGS

To celebrate my 25 years working with Essex Life (once the famous Essex Countryside which began in 1952), I was delighted to see a little of my brand new book BRENTWOOD IN 50 BUILDINGS displayed within the January edition of Essex Life magazine.  


Wednesday, January 01, 2020

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO READERS IN MY 15TH YEAR OF BLOGGING AND 350,000 PAGE VIEWS - WHEW!!!

Time seems to pass quickly when delving into historical archives. It was 2007 when my first invitation arrived to attend the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the life and times of Captain Christopher Newport, a Harwich sailor who, in 1607, had been the overall commander of the expedition to Virginia, America.

Mr Michael Macy, the American Cultural Attache at London's American Embassy and Members of the Harwich Society at Ha'penny' Quay Centre plus a group of historians and press, enjoyed learning about this valiant captain who rightly earned an important place in Essex naval history. His  trio of ships – the Godspeed, Discovery and his own flagship, the Susan Constant, reached Chesapeake Bay on 23rd April 1607 and the spot they eventually chose to make landfall – on 14th May was named Jamestown - in honour of King James l.

In May 2007, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth left England on a state visit to Virginia, where she and President Bush took part in similar ceremonies to mark the 400 years of the Virginian landing. 

Today, we start a new decade, and learn that another 400th anniversary is approaching. This time, we shall be commemorating the voyage of the Mayflower with numerous members from Essex on board, among them at least four from our own town of Billericay. Eighteen months ago, Billericay Mayflower Twinning Association created a steering group from representatives from the town’s clubs and societies to co-ordinate a programme of forty commemorative events to run throughout this year, and details of all the participating groups’ leaflets and posters of endorsed events will soon be available.

The complete programme will be printed in the spring and available through  Billericay's Town Crier journal, The Resident, and the Billericay Library, as well as at a launch on 20th June 2020 in our High Street Reading Rooms. In the meantime, as events become finalised, up to date information will be gradually revealed on the popular BMTA’s website: www.billericaytwinning.org.uk and through the Facebook page: Billericay Mayflower 2020.

The members of the Billericay Town Twinning Association have worked hard to include something of interest for everyone – all ages and interests catered for – so that 2020 will be a truly memorable year.

www.billericaytwinning.org.uk  
www.sylviakent.blogspot.com