Thursday, June 30, 2022

BUSY DAY FOR AUTHOR LIZ WALLACE WHO PAID A VISIT TO PHOENIXFM RADIO ON TUESDAY



It was wonderful to meet up with Liz Wallace, author of seven books, who lives in Denver, Colorado and was a guest speaker on radio presenter Michelle Ward's June Book Club programme this week via Phoenix98fm. 

Liz was delighted to catch up with Michelle and outline some of her more  recent creative pastimes, including writing assignments and radio appearances in the US. Liz has been a regular guest over the last six years and it was good to catch up with events and successes in her busy life.  

ESSEX BOOK FESTIVAL EVENT AT BILLERICAY LIBRARY




Although changes took place this year with our annual Essex Book Festival moving from the month of March to June this year, readers and followers of the Festival turned up at Billericay Library on Tuesday 28 June to meet and listen to crime novelist Mark Billingham.  And he was certainly worth waiting for with a sparkling, funny talk and presentation of his new title The Murder Book.  


Saturday, June 25, 2022

SAD NEWS FROM BILLERICAY WITH THE PASSING OF OUR CIRCUS QUEEN JOAN ROSAIRE


Today is a very sad day when learning of the death of our lovely friend, Joan Rosaire who had lived in this town for more than seventy years.  Although, I initially met her more than twenty years ago when she agreed to be interviewed for one of my local history books, we remained friends since that time.  Some while back, she asked me to write her memoir of her life devoted to her famous career in the Rosaire Circus, particularly her professional days in Paris. 

The author Ken Porter took on the task of research, writing and publishing her book entitled 

Not only do we learn of the early background of the Circus Rosaire and its travels around the UK before World War ll, but also Joan's personal fascinating life story, set in Billericay and London's famous theatres where she and her famous horse Goldy performed before Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and the royal family.  We also learn of the origins of the British circus, the famous celebrities Joan met during her exciting world of work and are treated to images of Joan's family and their link to the then King Peter of Yugoslavia and the many famous people she performed alongside.

Ken Porter also collected numerous photographs to illustrate Joan's biography and both were kind enough to appear on several of our radio programmes, particularly Michelle Ward's Book Club on Phoenix 98FM. Joan will be sorely missed by all her friends, but particularly from the circus world in which she played such an important part. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

MORE NEWS FROM OUR ESSEX CITY - CHECK OUT OUR CHELMSFORD FESTIVAL 3 JUNE - 3 JULY 2022

 


DON'T MISS OUR ESSEX BOOK FESTIVAL - REACHING THE PARTS OTHER FESTIVALS DO NOT REACH

 

100 Events

40 Venues

200 Writers & Artists



Reaching the parts other festivals do not reach

Still so much more to come...

After a fantastic first week of events, including our launch at Harwich Electric Palace Cinema with Blake Morrison and The Hosepipe Band – what a fabulous night that was! - we are really looking forward to all of the wonderful things in the mix for the rest of June. 
Ones to watch out for, particularly in terms of ticket availability, are novelist Patrick Gale at Chelmsford Library on 22nd June and maverick crime-writer Mark Billingham at Billericay Library on 28th June.

Plus, our festival finale with the irrepressible Guardian columnist John Crace, who will be talking about his latest book A Farewell to Calm: The New Normal Survival Guide at Anglia Ruskin University on 30th June. 
Another author not to be missed is leading historian and Joint Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces Tracy Borman. Tracy will be talking about her latest book Crown & Sceptre: A New History of the British Monarchy at Layer Marney Tower on 26th June. Crown & Sceptre looks back at the history and evolution of the monarchy from 1066 to the present day, feeding the renewed interest not just in the modern royals but in the predecessors who helped shape the institution into what it is today.

The Pleasure Garden

Hylands Estate, Chelmsford - Sunday 19th June
To say that we are excited about our special event – The Pleasure Garden - is something of an understatement. Aside from the obvious delight of welcoming Radio 4’s Today presenter Justin Webb to talk about his memoir The Gift of a Radio, a gripping, darkly funny and candid memoir, which offers an unflinching account of family dysfunction and education in a Quaker Boarding School, and an eye-opening portrait of 1970s Britain, we have a raft of exciting events on offer at Hylands House and Gardens on 19 June. 
This includes an afternoon in the company of gardener and author Lulah Ellender, who will be talking to leading Radio 4 dramatist and avid gardener Robin Brooks, about her latest critically acclaimed book Grounding.
Lulah began writing Grounding: Finding a Home in a Garden after her mother’s death, when sorting through the family home, she found a diary that her mother kept recording the rhythms of her gardening year.

In the words of Kathy Clugston, presenter of BBC Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time: "As Lulah sows, deadheads and weeds she explores her feelings of place and identity, fear and loss." A lyrical delve into how gardening literally roots us to places and helps us look towards an uncertain future with hope. Lulah and Robin are also both leading creative writing workshops as part of the day's activities. 
We are also delighted to be welcoming Dr Sarah Pye, award-winning Australian children’s author, to Essex. Sarah will be sharing the stage with her trusty orangutan puppet and sidekick Pongo.
Not only will they be reading from Wildlife Wong and the Orangutan, an exciting adventure story about a real-life scientist in the jungles of Borneo, they will be teaching everyone how to build their own real-life orangutan nest in Hyland’s Pleasure Garden. Resist that at your peril! 

Win Festival Tickets

Win 2 x complimentary tickets to Lulah Ellender's author event Grounding at The Pleasure Garden, hosted by Hylands House on Sunday 19th June.

Question - Which Radio 4 Today presenter will be talking about his memoir at Hylands House on 19th June?

Be the first to email the correct answer
to hello@essexbookfestival.org.uk to win
View all events and book tickets for Essex Book Festival 2022
Win a Free Book!
 
To win a free copy of Lulah Ellender's Grounding: Finding Home in a Garden book, be the first person to email us with this secret code: rhythms of nature

Email: hello@essexbookfestival.org.uk
Essex Book Festival is funded and supported by Arts Council England, Chelmsford City Council, Essex County Council, Explore Essex, Thurrock Council and University of Essex
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Thursday, June 02, 2022

JUBILEE JOTTINGS - QUEEN ELIZABETH'S PLATINUM CELEBRATIONS

 


Celebrating 70 years of Her Majesty The Queen's reign







Monday, May 30, 2022

KICKING OFF THIS ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME PLATINUM WEEK OF ROYAL CELEBRATIONS


Billericay's own local queen during 1936 Coronation celebrations in Lake Meadows




This special week is going to be remembered for a long time by many of us around the world.  On Saturday last, some of the members of our Billericay Archive Group celebrated the upcoming  Platinum Jubilee by remembering earlier celebrations through photo boards.
 
     Good to meet some of our local Billericay Councillors, too.

Lovely to welcome new and long-standing residents who came into the library to meet us and give their own jubilee stories.

Geoff and Heather Douglas with yours truly and our helpful Billericay staff