Monday, January 16, 2017

A GREAT AFTERNOON SPENT AT BASILDON'S ART GALLERY

I managed to visit the Eastgate Art Gallery at Southernhay Basildon on Saturday and so glad to meet some talented artists, sculptors and writers including Dawn Knox who is seen here with some of her colleagues.  Have  discovered that the Gallery will be open for business until Easter, so do pay a visit and have a wonderful afternoon.


Thursday, January 05, 2017

GREAT WRITING MONTH COMING UP - BOOK NOW FOR YOUR PLACE AT THE ESSEX BOOK FESTIVAL

Today, in Colchester we learn about the forthcoming Essex Book Festival which will take place throughout March 2017.  Once again, I'm delighted to be a Patron of this superb writing festival which is in its 17th year.  From 1 March, more than two hundred writers, poets, dramatists and artists will be descending on forty venues across Essex to inspire, challenge and entertain audiences from Colchester to Chelmsford, Southend to Harlow. 

An amazing line-up of the best names in literature are showcased within the book festival programme which can now be found in libraries in Essex www.essexbookfestival.org.uk   

With A L Kennedy, Alan Johnson, Jenni Murray, Christopher Priest, Brix Smith Start, Alison Weir, Sarah Perry, Julian Clary, Sophie Hannah, Nicci French and Alys Fowler all in the mix, plus a fabulous weekend of Golden Age Crime Weekend hosted by the iconic Park Inn Palace Hotel in Southend; a day of Science, Radio & Invention at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford, our inaugural Meet the Neighbours International Day in Harlow, and a contemplation of all things Place in Colchester, there’s plenty to get the juices going


Sunday, January 01, 2017

KICKING OFF THE NEW YEAR WITH SOME GREAT NEW BOOK PROFILES

Front cover:one of the stained glass windows - Farleigh Hospice 
Many of the hundreds of authors, poets and journalists who appear from time to time on this site are all working creatively hard on their new literary projects.  Often I forget about the numerous wonderful and successful short story writers whose work appears in their collections and  anthologies.  

        So, it is now with huge pleasure, that I introduce Maldon-based writer Patrick Forsyth's new anthology A GREAT LITTLE GALLIMAUFRY (no - I wasn't familiar with the word either, but I sure am now!)  

     This is a rather special collection of Essex-based narratives, some fictional, others rather more factual (and historical), and, as you will see, are intentionally diverse. The twenty two authors have managed to use a comparatively small number of words to superb effect and the editors Hospice Trustee Patrick Forsyth and Lloyd Bonson have turned this miscellany of Essex writing into a fascinating and entertaining book, which is intended to raise money for that wonderful oasis of love and care at Chelmsford - The Farleigh Hospice.  At least half a dozen of Patrick's chosen writers belong to the Society of Women Writers and Journalists, that well known organisation of professional writers. www.swwj.co.uk 

All royalties from this book  will, of course, go to help the patients and families who use the services of Farleigh Hospice who are so dependent on voluntary donations.  

Patrick Forsyth will be outlining the content of this wonderful collection on radio shows within the next few weeks. He will be appearing on Phoenix 98fm on Wednesday 11 January on Book Club presented by Michelle Ward.

Here we have the content page, so do observe (and hopefully purchase) this book (£9.99) and help Farleigh |Hospice carry on their vital work. 

ISBN 9781909893085 £9.99 
published by Stanhope Books
Farleigh Hospice
North Court Road
Chelmsford CM1 7FH.
www.farleighhospice.org.



Saturday, December 24, 2016

WISHING ALL MY VIEWERS THE MOST HAPPIEST CHRISTMAS

Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas, particularly the author (Elizabeth Wallace) of this wonderful book which is one of Britain's best sellers.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

HAVE MET MANY FAMOUS FOLK, BUT PRINCE MONOLULU WAS THE MOST COLOURFUL

As an ardent BBC Radio 4 listener, I've just listened to a programme about Prince Monolulu who used to turn up at British race-courses and, at Petticoat Lane Market  (now Middlesex Street) in London's East End.  This character absolutely fascinated me when I met him on a visit there with my parents. Then a few years later, he jumped aboard my compartment on the District Line tube and caused a sensation with his flamboyantly coloured costume  and crazy,  but beautifully dyed, feathers arranged in his exquisite  headdress. He began talking to everyone and I was fascinated. What a contrast to our boring business suits!




Becoming a regular personality on the race-track as a  tipster, Monolulu told interviewers that he had been born in Abyssinia, the son of the chief of the Falasha tribe, but upon researching later, I found he had been christened Peter Carl McKay in the Danish West Indies. His father and brothers were all horse breeders and racers on the island of St Croix.  Probably, this is why he would kick off any conversation with "I gotta horse!"  

In the austere 50s and early 60s, he brought fun and colour to so many people and his story is incredible. Born October 1881, died February 1965 - I wish I had accepted the commission for an article, perhaps one day I may. If so, will have to pay a visit to the Prince Monolulu pub in Maple Street, Fitzrovia in London's W1

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

SWWJ'S LINKS WITH WOMEN'S HOUR BBC RADIO FOUR



Today Women's Hour is often relayed from Salford in Manchester, but in the old days, around the time the programme began in 1946, it came from Broadcasting House, Great Portland Place, London, visited by many of our earlier members of the SWWJ who supplied features, stories and even worked in their studios. The late Jocelyn Hay, one of our Society Council members became well known when she founded Voice of the Listener & Viewer in 1983. Appointed MBE in 1999 and then CBE in 2005 for her work in sound and vision, she received 'Elizabeth R Award for an Exceptional Contribution to Public Service Broadcasting' by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association in the same year. What a woman - and what a lovely friend! We miss her. For more information, go to www.swwj.co.;uk
Your truly, Jocelyn Hay and Robert Seatter, Head of BBC History on a visit to Broadcasting House during rebuilding

Thursday, December 08, 2016

SUPER CHRISTMAS GATHERING IN LONDON FOR SWWJ

Our lovely Pamela Payne with guest speaker Ginny Vere Nicholl
Always great to meet up in London - here are some of our members from the South East at our Christmas gathering in the National Liberal Club in Whitehall. website: www.swwj.com